Americans Back the Wrong Profiling: Racial vs. Religious Profiling

I'm not sure what good racial profiling is. The last time I checked, Islam was not a race.


Most Americans expect a terrorist attack on the United States in the next few months and support the screening of people who look Middle Eastern at airports and train stations, a poll showed on Tuesday.....

By a 60 percent to 37 percent margin, respondents said authorities should single out people who look Middle Eastern for security screening at locations such as airports and train stations a finding that drew sharp criticism by civil liberties groups.

Plenty of Christians and Jews in the Middle East, very few of whom I'd guess are a security risk. And Pakistanis are not Middle Easterners. Neither are Afghanis or Indonesians.......

Since the questions asked in the survey say nothing about Islam, why is it that CAIR is concerned?

Its one of those things that makes people think they are doing something to protect themselves when theyre not. Theyre in fact producing more insecurity by alienating the very people whose help is necessary in the war on terrorism, he said.
True enough, we do need their help.....but when has CAIR ever offered to help?

Inasmuch as Muslims in America have not volunteered in great numbers to help fight the war then it no longer matters what they think. If killing Islamic fascist abroad and arresting them at home alienates Muslims--if it makes them feel picked on--then they are not our people. If you feel a closer kinship to my enemy than you do to me, then exactly why should I give a rat's ass if I offend you?

And if you're not helping already, if you already feel alienated, even when we don't single you out, then what harm can profiling you really do? I really don't see any downside to this, other than the obvious stupidity of calling it racial profiling.

I don't want racial profiling, I want religious profiling.

More at LGF

Posted by: Rusty at 10:20 AM


1 While there might be some sense in using religion as a metric in profiling, it is pretty easy to fake or lie about your religion. Hypothetically, all a "middle eastern looking" terrorist would have to do is claim to be a Chaldean.

Posted by: galletador at August 30, 2006 10:40 AM

2 I'll be a little more blunt than galletador: You are an idiot. Your comment on religious profiling is like saying "I don't want to profile civilians, I want to profile terrorists." Well, d'uh, but that's f**king impossible. You can deny you are a terrorist or your religion, you can't deny how you look.

Also, Pakistanis, Indonesians and Afghanis may not be "middle easteners" but I bet you I could pick them out of an airplane crowd, 9 times out of 10, either by looks or listening to thier voices.

And if you say only 9 times out of 10? I'd say that's one of the problems with profiling, it's subjective. While I'm for profiling, your comment is just inane.

Posted by: Petzel at August 30, 2006 11:06 AM

3 Petzel:

Would profiling help? or would it just a make us focus on a stereotype while our enemies recruit people who do not meet our expectations for example:
Would profiling have found her:

Would this guy if he shaved his beard, fit a profile?
That was the Chechen commander the Russians just killed

How about this guy:
Does he fits a profile?

I have also seen a Muslim with a red beard/hair that was part of the Bosnian campaign, don't forget there are thousands of Bosnians that might not match the profiles too.

The British plot had three British converts [actual British people] supposedly too!

The intelligence community also know that Al-Qaeda is looking to recruit Islamic converts that are not from the middle-east so they are not profiled as easy.

It might be safer to just treat all with equal suspicion.

Posted by: davec at August 30, 2006 01:14 PM

4 Profigling my ass. The only way to deal with muslims is to kill them. You cannot negotiate with them, you cannot reason with them, and you cannot appeal to their humanity; they are rabid dogs that should be shot and ground up for pig feed.

Posted by: Improbulus Maximus at August 30, 2006 01:52 PM

5 I am for no overarching institutionally implemented directives that hinder good cops. Profiling one way or the other is just that.

Profiling is a word that segments out one component of the "gut" that cops have. When a cop sees something that is not right, they should be able to pursue what their gut tells them, without having to disengage a portion of themselves to analyze exactly what it is that is out of place that they are alerted to.

There are signals and communication that are conveyed on mentally undetectable levels, that people can still pick up on.

There are things that are out of place in Boise Idaho, that are not in Birmingham Alabama, and vice versa, and etc.

The local boys with badges need to be able to do what they need to be able to do so that they can sleep at night and look at themselves in the mirror.

EVERY factor that is available to the cop should be used to get the bad guys.

(cop = policeman, peace officer, airport screener, forest ranger, etc.)

Posted by: QC at August 30, 2006 02:09 PM

6 Nothing wrong with profiling. I've been singled out a couple of times for extra scrutiny when flying despite being caucasian and non muslim. This is because I was a young man travelling alone. Some people are higher risk and deserve more scrutiny. And no one who is not a terrorist sympatiser objects to being inconvenienced by polite staff who have decided you need more atention.

Posted by: peter at August 30, 2006 02:46 PM

7 DaveC: While I agree that profiling is inexact, it is probably the most efficient tool we have available to us*. Yes, there are many Muslims who aren't brown or foreigners, and yes I know that the terrorists are looking for alternatives. However, to date, successful terrorists have been male, between 20 and 45, foreign, from the other side of the world/vaguely arab looking in some sense. So, how does profiling these folks hurt US citizens?

* I've arrived at this conclusion by seeing (first hand, as a significant part of my job) what a CF the TSA has become due to underfunding, poor management and, mainly, lack of attention from the admin. It infuriates me that Bush et al claim to be tough on terror, but are so pissed they had to create another federal agency that they have, in a fit of pique, decided play "I'll show them". It's not the TSA's fault, they are generally good people trying to do a monumental task with spit and baling wire. But the Bush admin has decided they are the retarded incestuous bastard child. Yeah, the feed it a little, but generally they keep it locked in the attic.

Posted by: petzel at August 30, 2006 03:49 PM

8 I've linked to you here:

Posted by: Consul-At-Arms at August 30, 2006 04:21 PM

9 Petzel:
I was never one to believe the DHS was a good idea, the criticism on the failing agencies was mostly to do with internal politics, backlogs and inefficient handling, by rolling all of these into the folds of a "super" agency it has just created even more internal politics, and inefficiencies -- now some people have ten managers instead of two, or have a boss who is not qualified to judge their performance or job.
The DHS should have been a separate entity where all domestic agencies departments could file security related reports, receive security bulletins, they would also only serve one purpose to fight terrorism on our shores with skilled operators like the F.B.I H.R.T / ICE S.R.T at their disposal and a central anti-terrorism based charter -- now the DHS is responsible for Hurricane response? that doesn't seem to be a good idea at all (and look how it worked out!) and seems to be one big slug of an agency, that doesn't even know how to organize it's internal structure -- much less a disaster response.

Posted by: davec at August 30, 2006 05:36 PM

10 This is not a police action. Trying to believe it is will only cause us to lose. For example, A man in San. Fran. ran over 14 people killing one.

In a police action, there is no picture of the man, and no name. Before an investigation is done, the police shout no terrorism here. Maybe so, but in war terrorism would be considered, and looked into.

Posted by: Leatherneck at August 30, 2006 06:10 PM

11 Domestically, the Police are on the front-line of Anti-terrorism?

Posted by: davec at August 30, 2006 11:23 PM

12 Oh yea! Who is policing the police in New Orleans?

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