Mike German, a former FBI agent, offers these thoughts on racial profiling as a means to identify terrorists in the United States:
otherwise intelligent people suggest that it's perfectly reasonable to racially profile all Asian, black and Arab Americans who might be Muslim in the hope of catching the very tiny percentage of Muslim extremists who might actually be a problem. They suggest that Muslim Americans should endure this inconvenience with the realization that the police are just trying to ensure everyone's safety. But it's not just the public humiliation that makes racial profiling wrong; it's the reinforcement of the false impression that all Muslims are potential terrorists.The entire article is worth reading.
Racial profiling is not just unreasonable, it's racism. And it's not just ineffective, it's counterproductive. Osama bin Laden has spent the last 15 years telling Muslims that Islam is under attack by the West: "They compromise our honor and our dignity," he said in a 1998 interview, "and dare we utter a word of protest against the injustice, we are called terrorists." Overstated to say the least, but effective nonetheless, because extremism is fueled by the perception of injustice. Racial profiling doesn't add to our arsenal -- it adds to his.
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