Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How Profiling Saves Lives, and Fear of 'Islamaphobia' Gets People Killed

The Democratic Congress is at this moment obstructing the “John Doe legislation,” (Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act), sponsored by New York Rep. Peter King. The legislation “protects citizen whistleblowers who report suspicious activity from being sued.” (“Disarmed by the Dems”).

The amendment arose after the six imams thrown off the US Air flight last year sued the elderly couple who reported their provocative behavior to airline authorities.

CAIR's behind that lawsuit, and its purpose is absolutely clear: to send the message that in the future anyone who thinks he might be witnessing possible suspicious or dangerous behavior by Muslims would be better off not reporting it to anyone. In a close call, dreading the headache of a lawsuit might be just enough to keep a wavering whistleblower from saying something that could save many lives.

Dragging fellow passengers into a courtroom is just one more tool jihadists would love to have in their campaign to get nonMuslims to self-censor. It will be bad enough if anyone attempting to report suspicious Muslim activity risked costly litigation by well-financed activist groups like CAIR; still, the vast majority of cases where questionable behaviors by Muslims are deliberately overlooked is the fault of what we nonMuslims do to ourselves.

I'm talking about our fear of being called names like "racist," which has been driven so deep into us that we censor ourselves long before any jihadist Gestapo needs to step in.

ITEM: Earlier this year a 23-year-old Circuit City clerk was credited with foiling the plot of the Fort Dix attackers for contacting authorities about suspicious material on a customer DVD. “[H]e saw a tape of men in Muslim attire firing guns,” and shouting "Allah Akbar." He waited overnight and talked it over with his family, wrestling with the question, “‘Should I call someone or is that being racist?’” In the end, he called the FBI. (“King amendment”).

ITEM: Debra Burlingame describes this well-known instance:

“It has been nearly six years since 19 ordinary-looking men boarded four commercial airliners, killed all the pilots and then flew the planes into buildings and the ground.

“One of those most haunted by that day is the airline employee who checked in two of the hijackers that morning. He told the 9/11 commission that the pair, traveling on first class, one-way, e-tickets, ‘didn't act right.’ Though he selected them for secondary screening, he didn't request a more thorough search because ‘I was worried about being accused of being “racist” and letting “prejudice” get in the way.’”

No one's suggested either the store clerk or the airline employee acted out of an irrational fear of Muslims. Instead, each of them describes showing up to work on their respective fateful days with another pre-existing, and entirely different, fear lurking within.

They were both afraid of being called “Islamaphobic.”

In both of them this fear was so pronounced it played a direct role in their decisions. The store clerk, acting post-9/11, managed to overcome his fear. But first he had to wrestle with it overnight, and we'll never know how close he came to saying nothing.

Then the airline employee on 9/11, lacking the experience of what was going to happen only a short time later in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania, allowed his fear to divert his better judgment and his duty.
Michael Smerconish interviewed the screener and learned exactly how it happened ("Profiling: Street Smarts by Any Other Name"):
“Michael Tuohey saw two of the hijackers on the morning of 9/11 and had the same instinct. Tuohey worked the ticket counter at the airport in Portland, Maine for US Airways. He'll never forget that particular day amongst his 34 years of employment. At 5:43 a.m. on a bright Tuesday morning, two men wearing sport coats and ties approached his ticket counter with just 17-minutes to spare before their flight to Boston. He thought this pair was unusual. ‘It was just the look on the one man's face, his eyes,’ Tuohey told me. In front of him were Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al Omari.

“’I looked up, and asked them the standard questions. The one guy was looking at me. It sent a chill through me. Something in my stomach churned. And subconsciously, I said to myself, “if they don't look like Arab terrorists, nothing does”. ‘Then I gave myself a mental slap. In over 34 years, I had checked in thousands of Arab travelers and I never thought this before. I said to myself, “that's not nice to think. They are just two Arab businessmen”.’ And with that, Tuohey handed them their boarding passes.”

As Ms. Burlingame writes, “We disarm ourselves when we succumb to political correctness - which encourages us to second guess our common sense and look the other way.”

Imagine this same fear planted in the hearts of many tens of millions, many scores of millions of us, and you may have some idea why it is that so many double standards are tolerated by your fellow citizens, government officials, and the media when it comes to Muslims. Everybody's scared.

I’m not going to try coming up with a suitable term that denotes the irrational fear of being called, considered, or (worst of all), accused by oneself of Islamaphobia. The term “phobia” has been all but ruined by the homosexual lobby, anyway. But a reminder couldn’t hurt of how those who properly employ the term define “phobia” “a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger.”

Sort of like being called a name.

Still, those night-after-night news reports, and the endless screen crawl, (70% of which describe Islamic murders on some unhappy part of the globe), have their effect. They tend to cause the anxiety we feel toward all those real flesh-and-blood people promising to kill us to feel even bigger than the anxiety we might feel about being called intolerant. Even with all the thought control we’ve been put through, our instinct for survival can trump all that if we see enough examples of what’s going on. And we’re seeing plenty.

(And what else except some kind of thought control can explain how many millions and millions of us can’t see what's all around us?)

And because all that increased terror activity we see risks diluting our inner terror at being accused of profiling, Muslim extremists like CAIR have to come up with some external method to shut down any prohibited speech from us about Islam. If they can’t make you too blind to see, then the next best thing is to make you too scared to say what you can't help seeing.

That's where the legal jihad comes in. As Steve Lowry writes today, ("King amendment"), without Peter King’s amendment, people in situations like the store clerk and the airport screener “will have to worry not just about being called racist, but about being sued if their suspicions prove unfounded.”

Prior to the six imams’ lawsuit, CAIR and their fellow travelers used propaganda techiques, intimidation, and our court system, to try to silence critics of Islam--effectively prohibiting any criticism that links Islam with terrorism. Recently the Islamic Society of Boston filed a suit for libel against 17 defendants, including “a number of Boston residents, a Boston newspaper and television station, and Steven Emerson,”(“Be Careful What You Sue For”), critics who'd brought to light the ISB’s ties to terrorism. Daniel Pipes recently explained how the ISB lawsuit represents a warning about “radical Islam's legal ambitions”:

“The Islamist movement has two wings, one violent and one lawful, which operate apart but often reinforce each other. Their effective coordination was on display in Britain last August, when the Islamist establishment seized on the Heathrow airport plot to destroy planes over the Atlantic Ocean as an opening for it to press the Blair government for changes in policy.

“A similar one-two punch stifles the open discussion of Muhammad, the Koran, Islam, and Muslims. Violence causing hundreds of deaths erupted against The Satanic Verses, the Danish cartoons, and Pope Benedict, creating a climate of fear that adds muscle to lawsuits such as the ISB's. As Mr. Emerson noted when the Muslim Public Affairs Council recently threatened to sue him for supposed false statements, ‘Legal action has become a mainstay of radical Islamist organizations seeking to intimidate and silence their critics.’” ("Islamists in the Courtroom").

As we see now with the suit from the six imams, the legal threats are going beyond targeting scholars and reporters to targeting private citizens, like the “John and Jane Doe” defendants in Minnesota. They did nothing more than pay attention to their surroundings, and then use a cell phone to alert authorities when they witnessed actions that, as it turned out, were intentionally belligerent and provocative. The imams’ lawsuit actually charges that the couple “’purposely turned around to watch them’” in the boarding area and then “’made a cellular phone call.’”

Turned around to watch them. That count could have been written by any kid in the back seat during a family road trip. The King amendment would place lawful citizen action like that off limits to lawsuits.

But the majority in Congress doesn’t think that’s a good idea. As Ms. Burlingame explains, “According to key Democrat leaders, John Doe protection will encourage ‘racial profiling.’”

Lowry sums it up this way:

“The Democrats oppose fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, oppose key provisions of the Patriot Act, oppose President Bush’s electronic-surveillance program, oppose Guantanamo Bay, oppose the aggressive interrogation of terrorism suspects, and now they oppose lawsuit-free passenger vigilance. If only they took the terror threat as seriously as that man who may have to defend his cell-phone call in court.”


Ronbo said...

Clearly the Leftists are on the same side as the Islamofascists just like in the Cold War they were in alliance with Communism.

This is called "Revolutionary Defeatism" and started with the Russian Revolution in 1917 when the Bolsheviks sided with Imperial Germany in order to bring down the Provisional Government.

Thus the Leftist idea is to use the Islamofascists to defeat the U.S. Government, so they can move in to take total control of the country.

I call this, "The Red-Green Alliance."

Cheers, Ronbo

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're writing about these things. It scares me that so few Americans realize how serious and REAL this is.

Wendy Woodley, Dearborn