Friday, August 18, 2006

The Case For Racial Profiling

From a libertarian blog (yes, it really is) “The case for ethnic profiling” (which everybody calls “racial profiling”).

In reality, a young male Jew getting off an El Al flight from Tel Aviv is likely racially little different from a young male Muslim getting off an EgyptAir flight from Cairo. But the former is highly unlikely to be a terrorist. The latter is merely unlikely to be a terrorist.

Blogger Rogier van Bakel argues:
It simply doesn’t hold water to insist on subjecting Southern Baptists, Scottish pensioners and kindergartners from Paducah to the same scrutiny as young muslim men, for fear of offending the latter.

Suspicion falls more easily on muslims because muslims have turned out to be responsible for one major terrorist act after another. No amount of pussyfooting or sugarcoating will change that fact. The sooner all sides face it honestly and squarely, the safer we all will be.
Dealing with several arguments against profiling, he mentions the following:
Argument Two: Focusing on muslims alienates the very people — peaceful members of muslim communities — whose tips authorities rely on to help them catch terrorists.

Muslims will have to face the music just like everyone else. Again, the radicals who would visit large-scale violence upon innocent civilians are not Italian septuagenarians or high-school-age Chilean exchange students. If I were a law-abiding muslim in my prime, I believe I’d understand why screeners would want to take a closer look at me and my luggage, and why law enforcement officials might take an interest in my affiliations. It would all be burdensome and inconvenient, for sure — invasive, even. But it would only strengthen my desire to help root out potential mass murderers who, after all, cause all that scrutiny, and who abuse and insult my faith to justify their actions. I’d also understand — from taking an unflinching look at terrorism’s bloody record — why police officers and intelligence operators would focus more on muslim areas than on Hindu communities and Amish neighborhoods.
It’s clear that this isn’t true of the loud Muslim political lobby. It’s also true that aggrieved Muslims would be egged on by the secular liberals in places like the ACLU.

But if society has the guts to tell both groups to “stuff it,” in the long run not only will terror be more effectively fought, but Muslims will be the winners as Americans feel more secure.

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