D I S C R I M I N A T I O N    &    N A T I O N A L    S E C U R I T Y    I N I T I A T I V E    --    B L O G
  DNSI Home - http://pluralism.org/affiliates/kaur_sidhu/
  Pluralism Project - http://www.pluralism.org
  Harvard University - http://www.harvard.edu

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Chicago Tribute Editorial on Profiling of Muslims

At this stage of assessing how best to minimize the threat to aviation security, it would be unwise to rule out the use of profiling in some form. Implemented carefully, it might allow a more effective allocation of security dollars without placing a "T" on the forehead of every Muslim man with a boarding pass.

It's not clear, though, that it would add much to law enforcement's arsenal. Police would be remiss to let Islamic extremism distract them from other potential threats. Theodore Kaczynski, Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh were terrorists, but not Muslims. It also bears remembering that upward of 99.99 percent of all Muslims are not terrorists.

Profiling also can be defeated in obvious ways. A dark-skinned Islamic extremist can disguise his name, his ethnicity, his religion, his hair color, even his gender. He also can enlist help from someone in a different category: One Syrian man tried to bring down an El Al jet by putting a bomb in the carry-on bag of his Irish fiance.

In the wrong hands, profiling can create problems. Recently Ohio police arrested two Arab-Americans who had $11,000 and hundreds of cell phones and charged them with soliciting terrorism - only to release them a few days later. Three other Arab-American men found with 1,000 cell phones in their van were held on suspicion of trying to blow up Michigan's Mackinac Bridge. After questioning them, the FBI said it found no terrorist ties or intent.

But that doesn't mean local police, federal agents and transportation security personnel should have no discretion to follow their best instincts. In time, the government may embrace the use of computerized analysis of passenger lists to detect dangerous intent. If a sea of data finds an ominous pattern that touches on race or religion, law enforcement would be irresponsible to ignore it.

Profiling is not going to liberate travelers from the restrictions that go with flying in the post-9/11 era. We can't ban liquids or knives only for passengers who look Middle Eastern, or let non-Muslims skip the metal detector. Though Islamic terrorism is the conspicuous threat today, new enemies could emerge tomorrow.

The burden of safeguarding aviation can't be loaded onto one group. It will have to be shared by all of us. Profiling is not going to liberate travelers from the restrictions that go with flying in the post-9/11 era. [Link]

DNSI     direct link     0 comments   Email post: 

Post a Comment

<< Home

About DNSI

The Discrimination & National Security Initiative (DNSI) is a research entity that examines the mistreatment of minority communities during times of military action or national crisis.

More Info:
DNSI Home Page

The Blog

Why a Blog?
The purpose of this web-log is to offer news and commentary in a fluid, dynamic format while our more substantive reports are forthcoming.

Recent Posts
Muslim athletes accuse New Mexico State of religio...
America's Muslims Aren't as Assimilated as You Thi...
Discrimination won't make air travel safer
Officials at Minneapolis mosque suspicious of fire...
Federal agency helps Muslims sue cruise line
JFK Airport illegally targeting Muslims, groups sa...
Beard appeal rejected
Muslim pilot reveals shock at being ordered off fl...
'Why are you wearing that on your head?'
Don't blame multiculturalism

04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009


Religious Diversity News-Pluralism Project

Into the Whirlwind
Human Rights in India
Ethnic Confusion Britain
Anil Kalhan
Sepia Mutiny

Feeds, etc.

(c) 2005 Discrimination & National Security Initiative 1531 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138