Sunday, January 10, 2010

Profiling Passengers - Wrong?

I was watching C-Span yesterday morning, and one of the guests was Nihad Awad, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is a group dealing with American Muslims, and the relations between America and the international Muslim community. Awad has been the Executive Director since 1994, and was speaking yesterday about racial and religious profiling.

There have been a few instances of security officials stopping Muslims, but religious profiling isn't US policy. Awad was making the point that the profiling will only serve the alienate Muslims that don't hate the US yet. IE, our own citizens. And while he makes a valid point, it doesn't change the facts. Fact, all terrorist attacks of the last 15 years have been Muslim extremists. Fact: They were young men.

When we are looking for White Supremacists, do we go to Harlem? No, it doesn't make sense. It's logical to scrutinize young Muslim men more than other passengers, because they are more likely to be a threat. Profiling will save time and money, and increase our chances of actually catching a terrorist.

That said, profiling is still not right. Frankly, and I know that I'm going to be disagreed with, none of this security is right. Controlling who gets on and off a private plane, that's not the government's place. We shouldn't be wasting money on any of this. Bin laden did much much more with 911 than the innitial effects. How much money has been lost due to the extra security across the country? The time lost? The threat of a terrorist attack is bad, but it's not worth the loss of civil rights. Religious profiling .... doing nothing for the last hour of the flight (including the bathroom! even for children!) .... possibly having to register travel plans and reasons for traveling ... it's not worth the small bit of extra safety. And it's giving the government way to much power.

Remember the Nazis? "Your papers, please"

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