'Profiling' of Muslims in US slammed
The increasing number of crimes caused by anti-Islam hatred has become alarming in the US, the Council on American Islamic Relations warned.In a letter to US President Barack Obama, CAIR's national executive director, Nihad Awad, complained about the situation.
Washington-based CAIR officials claim that new airport security guidelines, under which anyone traveling from or through 14 Muslim-majority nations will be required to go through enhanced screening techniques before boarding flights, will disproportionately target American Muslims who have family or spiritual ties to the Islamic world and are therefore subject to religious and ethnic profiling.
In a statement, the CAIR leadership claimed that the Transport Security Administration's security directives would result in the profiling of Muslims."Under these new guidelines, almost every American Muslim who travels to see family or friends or goes on pilgrimage to Mecca will automatically be singled out for special security checks--that's profiling," said Awad.
While singling out travelers based on religion and national origin may make some people feel safer, it only serves to alienate and stigmatize Muslims and does nothing to improve airline security, he said.
"We all support effective security measures that will protect the traveling public from an attack such as that attempted on Christmas Day," added Awad. "But knee-jerk policies will not address this serious challenge to public safety."
Awad’s complaint is that using enhanced screening on travelers from or through the 14 countries “will disproportionately target American Muslims who have family or spiritual ties to the Islamic world and are therefore subject to religious and ethnic profiling.”
That’s true, it will. Persons with ties to the Islamic world are disproportionately represented in the types of jihadist attacks on Americans and other Westerners that have made all this screening necessary.
Awad compares the new directive to “knee-jerk policies [that] will not address this serious challenge to public safety.”
But I think this may be the first public policy on airline safety since 9/11 that hasn’t been a knee-jerk policy. The decision to isolate 14 troublesome countries for more careful handling is a rational course based on what we know about this enemy, even if it is still too timid. It was the no infant formula, no nail clippers, no toothpaste rules that were knee-jerk policies. And the TSA wanding 100% of fat Irish guys—as an affirmative action program to avoid wanding of guys who look like Mohammed Atta—is a knee-jerk policy.
Or maybe just a jerk policy.