There have been several recent Al Qaeda plots involving American commercial airplanes: the 9/11 attacks; the attempted 2001 shoe bombing; the 2006 plot to bomb planes flying from London to the U.S.; and the December 2009 attempt to blow up a plane over Detroit.

Following each of these attacks and plots, there have been public calls to focus airport security on Muslims flying to the U.S., and on Muslims flying within the U.S. During times of public fear, some American Muslim travelers have been subjected to heightened scrutiny. For example, following the disruption of Al Qaeda’s August 2006 plot to bomb planes flying from London to the U.S., some American Muslims of Iraqi descent flying into the U.S. from overseas reported that federal agents in New York took their American passports; held them for several hours without food, water, or chairs; asked them if they ever had weapons training and what they thought about the Iraq war; and yelled at them and threatened to arrest them when they complained about the way they were being treated.

Arguments By Those Who Believe The Government Should Not Focus Airport Security On Muslims

1. Airport screeners should thoroughly interview and search all passengers, not just those who “look Muslim.” That will maximize safety.

2. There are a billion Muslims around the world, and millions of Muslims in the U.S. Only a very small percentage of these Muslims have attacked, or plotted to attack, airplanes. It would be a huge waste of the government’s time and money to interview and search all Muslim passengers, since most of them are innocent.

3. Collecting intelligence before passengers get to the airport is a more effective way to stop people who pose a threat. For example, the 2006 plot to bomb planes flying from London to the U.S. was stopped before any of the plotters got to the airport.

4. Airport screeners cannot effectively focus on Muslims, because they don’t always know who’s Muslim and who’s not. There are people of other faiths who “look Muslim,” like the Brazilian man who was shot and killed by British police on the London subway soon after the 2005 London subway bombings. The government will end up interviewing and searching millions of people who “look Muslim” but aren’t Muslim. Furthermore, there are Muslims of all different ethnicities; they don’t all “look Muslim” or have “Muslim names.” If the government focuses on people who “look Muslim,” Al Qaeda will use bombers of various races (like shoe-bomber Richard Reid) who don’t “look Muslim,” and they will get through the system because security will be focused on people who “look Muslim.”

5. Random interviews and searches are more effective than profiling, because they can catch a bomber whether he “looks Muslim” or not. Random searches can also turn up “innocent bombers,” passengers who have unknowingly been given bombs by friends or relatives. Because of limited resources, the government has to choose between focusing on Muslims or doing random searches. For every screener who is focusing on Muslims passengers, that’s one less screener doing random searches.

6. Ethnicity and religion are distractions from the most important warning signs. Screeners should focus on passengers who have recently traveled to certain countries; who appear to be anxious or sweating; or who are wearing bulky clothing or walking in an awkward manner (because they might be concealing weapons or explosives). Because of limited resources, the government has to choose between focusing on Muslims or looking out for suspicious behavior. For every screener who is focusing on Muslims passengers, that’s one less screener watching out for suspicious behavior.

7. Rather than devoting resources to screening people who “look Muslim,” the government should spend its money on better screening technology to be used on all passengers, so that all liquid or solid or powder explosives can be easily detected. In addition, the government should increase the use of bomb-sniffing dogs. If the government prevents weapons from getting on a plane, potential hijackers can’t do any harm even if they get on planes.

8. Focusing security on Muslims will alienate Muslims from law enforcement, make them distrustful of law enforcement, and make them less likely to report suspicious activity that may come to their attention in the future. If the profiling is particularly abusive, and if it sends the message that American Muslims are “not real Americans,” it could help Al Qaeda recruit supporters.

Arguments By Those Who Believe The Government Should Focus Airport Security On Muslims

1. The government does not have the resources to interview and search all passengers. Furthermore, there’s no reason to interview and search all passengers. Everyone who has tried to hijack or destroy American commercial airplanes from 9/11 to the present has been Muslim. For example, the 9/11 hijackers were Muslim. Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber, is Muslim; his co-conspirator, Saajid Badat, who pled guilty after backing out of the plot, is Muslim. Abdulla Ahmed Ali, Tanvir Hussain, and Assad Sarwar, who were convicted of plotting to blow up planes flying from London to the U.S. in 2006, are Muslim. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a plane over Detroit in 2009 using explosives hidden in his underwear, is Muslim. Furthermore, even innocent Muslim passengers could be unknowingly carrying bombs given to them by Muslim relatives or friends. So the focus must be on Muslim passengers.

2. Most interviews and searches of Muslim travelers will not turn up any explosives or weapons, and those Muslim travelers will be free to go. But the only way to make sure that no Muslims get onto planes with explosives is to interview and search all Muslim travelers. After all, the government doesn’t know which Muslims have bombs, and which Muslims don’t have bombs.

3. Collecting intelligence before passengers get to the airport is one way to stop people who pose a threat. But the government does not have sufficient intelligence on everyone who poses a threat. For example, the government did not have sufficient intelligence on the 9/11 hijackers, Richard Reid, or Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before they boarded their flights. If these Muslims had been thoroughly interviewed and searched, they would never have been allowed to get on the airplanes.

4. Screeners may not be able to identify everyone who is Muslim, but they will be able to identify many people who are Muslim. Some Muslims who don’t “look Muslim” may avoid an interview and a thorough search, but the vast majority of Muslims will get interviewed and thoroughly searched. That will increase the chances of Muslim bombers being caught.

5. Random searches can be useful. But random searches would divert limited screening resources towards passengers who clearly pose no threat. The government will end up searching little old ladies. If only random searches are done, there is a greater chance that Muslim bombers will fall through the cracks, because not all Muslims will be interviewed and searched. But if random searches are used in addition to profiling, as a secondary layer of security, they can enhance security.

6. Screeners should certainly watch out for suspicious activity, in addition to profiling Muslims. But if the government only relies on watching out for suspicious activity, a sophisticated plotter could get through. Screeners will not detect plotters who are trained to remain calm, and who are not hiding bulky bombs. For example, the 9/11 hijackers used small knives. Richard Reid’s bomb was part of his shoe. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s bomb was part of his underwear. There is no evidence that any of these Muslims appeared to be anxious or sweating at the airport, or that they were walking in an awkward manner before they got on their flights. But all these Muslims could have been caught if they had been interviewed and carefully searched.

7. The government should use the best screening technology, but the government cannot rely completely on technology, because even the best technology is not foolproof. For example, Richard Reid and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab were able to get explosives onto planes even though they went through metal detectors. Furthermore, the government may not be allowed to use the best screening technology, because privacy advocates oppose the use of body scanners at airports. So interviewing and searching Muslims remains important.

8. Profiling can be done in a way that does not alienate Muslims. Screeners should approach Muslim passengers in a friendly and respectful way, not a hostile way. There should be no attempt to humiliate. Muslims who cooperate should be treated like allies, not suspects. They should be publicly acknowledged and thanked by the captain once they board their plane. Furthermore, the government can give benefits, for example tax benefits or reduced airfares or upgrades to first class, to those who are subjected to intensive interviews and searches; this will help compensate for the additional burden innocent Muslims are asked to bear.

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31 Responses to Should The Government Profile Muslims At Airports?
  1. Fundamentalist Muslims Don’t Fit Profile

    With all the recent talk about racial profiling and profiling Muslims, why haven’t the advocates of this policy taken notice to the fact that the accused terrorists do not fit the description of a fundamentalist Muslim. In fact you would not be a…

  2. I beleive that airport security is currently profiling, however they are profiling the wrong people. The muslims that wear the turbins and long veils are the true muslims the law abiding allah worshiping muslims the people that should be targeted are the ones without the custom clothing and markings these are the ones that come into other countries with the intent to kill. The Radical islamist dress and act like a non muslim in hopes of blending in and therefore having a better chance of completing their objective these are the ones that need to be stopped.

  3. I dont believe that the airport security should profile the Muslims. Muslims aren’t the ones who are causing terrorist attacks. It can be anyone and becuase it can be anyone everyone should be checked the same way at airports. Checking the Muslims more than any other person makes the Muslims feel like minorities. They shouldn’t have to feel this way. The ones with the bombs on the plane have not been proven to be Muslims, so why critsize the Muslims in America? In our first amenmedment of the constitution it gives us the right to establish religion, prohibit the free exercise thereof, freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances. This means that no one should be treated differantly, we all are humans and we all should be treated equally. This security policy needs to be changed and the government should reconsider there actions against Muslims in the airports!

  4. As long as arabs are soley responsible for cowardly terrorist acts, then they should be profiled at every corner.

  5. Muslims are incompatible with most of western civilization, and certainly the United States….with our crazy ideas of personal liberty, women’s rights, etc.

    Muslims should not only be profiled, every single one of you should be forced to swear an oath of allegiance to the U.S. as a first step in EARNING our trust and respect.

    Now personally, I would like to see all mosques in the U.S. closed as threats to national security, the land seized through recently passed emminent domain laws, and sold for parkland.

    Muslims have been a problem for centuries, with their bizarre notion of ‘conversion by the sword’, and will continue to be a problem here in America until Americans pull their heads out of their collective rectums and address this very real threat.

  6. When the majority Muslim community starts to be vocal about the attrocities their brethern are perpetauting and start policing their own, then maybe we can stop “profiling”.

  7. This is a reponse to Jennifer who said:

    “I beleive that airport security is currently profiling, however they are profiling the wrong people. The muslims that wear the turbins and long veils are the true muslims the law abiding allah worshiping muslims the people that should be targeted are the ones without the custom clothing and markings these are the ones that come into other countries with the intent to kill. The Radical islamist dress and act like a non muslim in hopes of blending in and therefore having a better chance of completing their objective these are the ones that need to be stopped.”

    The problem Jennifer is what if the Radical Islamists decide to dress and act like muslims who wear turbins and viels. How do we determine the difference then.

    Like it or not the best way is to check them all just to be safe. I know it’s not politically correct, but it will probably save many lives in the long run.

  8. They should be banned!

    Swearing an oath means nothing in a world of al-Takeyya, kitman and hudna. Their allegiance is to the Ummah. It may be said, “Allah is their objective, the Prophet is their leader, the Quran is their law, Jihad is their way, and dying in the way of Allah is their highest hope!”

  9. One hundred percent of the successful terrorist attacks on commercial airlines for 20 years have been committed by Arabs. When there is a 100 percent chance of being hijacked by an Arab Muslim Extremist, it ceases to be a profile. It’s called a ‘description of the suspect….”

  10. Muslims should removed from america immediatley. The civilians of american and their children depend on it!

  11. the comment all muslims should be removed from america is crazy this country was built on different cultures and religons,and if no one realizes it muslims were here with the american indians when the signed peace treaties and some of the indian names around the usa are both indian and muslims.don’t take my word for it look it up!!!!!

  12. It is sad to know how much hate “Americans” who I am assuming are dominant bogglers on this posted page, are so much in favor for security measurement against Muslim. In other words civilized “Christians” are simply full of hate and grudge against “Innocent Muslims” who have nothing to with tourisms are as barbaric and fanatic as “Al Qaeda” using religion as a justification to bring peace in World. I agree with one of the bogglers comments stated, “Muslims should remove from America immediately. The civilians of American and their children depend on it!”

    Let’s just go ahead and solve this Muslim problem…I guess the whole world will be a better place when you categorize each country on the bases of a particular “Religious authenticity”…..

    Who are you going to pick on after you get rid of Muslims? Chinese, blacks…. may be we should look at your own history and ask our self are you in any way as Radical, Racist, Religous as so called Al Qaeda or the way you profile “Muslims”.

    May be building up Huge walls around your land, so that you get crack down “Other Races”, and “Religious Communities” that you don’t like. Does the work sick “KKK” trigger in you head at all before you make any smart comments?

    I think the solution to the safety of every nation is to solve hate by being bold and trying to solve “terrorism” is by handling with them in a respectful and innovative ways to counter terrorism by building up respect and showing mercy for every one to fight all terrorist or extremist groups who show any kind of hate against other community regardless they are Muslims not. Believe me Muslims in the West want to peace more than any Western living in the West. They don’t want to go back to their home land where every thing is secured up.

  13. should american citizens overseas be profiled and rounded up for the criminal exploitations of u.s. based corporations such as exxon and monsanto or for the war crimes and state terror u.s. administrations inflict upon other countries?

  14. WHAT A BUNCH OF HATE MONGERS–SHAME ON MOST OF YOU ABOVE–WOULD YOU KNOW A TERRORIST IF ONE WAS IN YOUR FACE–THE US IS LOOKED AT AS A TERRORIST COUNTRY BY THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE TREATED THAT WAY IF YOU WERE TRAVELING TO ..SAY BRAZIL?–THEY HATE US DOWN THERE, WE MUSCLE OUR WAY INTO EVERY COUNTRY THAT DOESNT FOLLOW OUR IDEOLOGY, THERE ARE TIMES IM ASHAMED TO LIVE HERE–DONT BELIEVE EVERYTHING THAT U.S. MEDIA SERVES UP, THERE IS A HIGHER AGENDA, AND IN THAT PLAN IGNORANT DRONES WILL NO LONGER BE NEEDED—WAKE UP!!!!!!

  15. I would just like to say to all muslims, who deserve as much respect as human beings as the next man or woman, if a Brit, American or any nation closely associated bombed your country, leaving many with painful scars and memories, and unfortunately, many innocent people dead, it would be in your natural instinct as a human being to be wary of these people.
    The 9/11 attacks, and the 7/7 bombings in London were absolutely horrific, in particular the 9/11 attacks, which were extremely poignant and saw a super power of the world go into mourning. TV broadcasts and internet videos are posted of muslim extremists making threatening and all too true remarks of how we are the ‘infidels’, and how we should all be killed. Is this right? Do you understand why the western world may be a little wary of you? And if you do not understand, then please give me some justification of these terrible incidents? And one more thing, flip the coin, would you react the same way?

  16. all of the terrorist bombers have been young male muslims. It is silly and complete waste if time to screen 89 year old white females at airport checkpoints. In the name of political correctnessm they search 76 year old white males in wheelchairs, children, and Congressional Medal of Honor winning former Democratic Governor of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987 and a U.S. Senator from Nebraska (1989–2001) Bob Kerrey!(?) What a waste of manpower and equipment. If a woman is raped we don’t focus our manpower on interviewing females.
    Profileing or common sense, what’s in a name

  17. if muslims are mad about the way they are being treated they should be mad at there own people because it was not a christian amarican who hates democracy and if they are feeling like the are being stareotyped they are because the threaten our freedom and way of life not all of them do but how do we know witch ones are because they dont wave a flag the hid within there own people so like I said your own people screwed you so if you feel like protecting the we as canadians and amarican need to protect ourselfs by making your people go through extra screening it would be as if a group of white men started blowing up things in your country(we would have to find something you have not blown up yet) you would let us into your country with no extra screening i think not so thank your people for what they have done not us we are protecting what we belive in

  18. All terrorists being muslims, it makes perfect sense to profile them. If muslims really are in favor of a safer America (or world, for that matter, something so ridiculously unimaginable) then go blow yourself up in your own mosque or local taliban chapter.

  19. jamila colon, The good ole USA was not founded on all relgions, it was founded by the Christains. Having said that, our Country is great because we allow all to come to have a better life. When laws change and rules are made to take away from the Christain priciples that are Country was made of, then we have a problem. The muslims and Mexicans are the only 2 countries trying to force us to do it. BUT, only one believes that Christains should not occupy the air. Can you guess who they are???

  20. Every last one of them should be deported!!!!!
    They are sneaky peole who hate america whether privately or openly The only reason they come here is to take advantage to whatever america will GIVE them! Ever go into a store owned by a middle eastern? They look at you and stare wtching every single thing yoiu do as if your up to something not to mention jcking prices for ordinary things up as high as possible not to mention selling you snack foods that are expired! They are handed money here to start up a business! why in Gods name is our goverement giving them a free ride!At least when they first get here! I once many many years ago cleaned a very large house that valued about 500,000 or more these people actually were collecting food stamps and the guy had a pa medical assistance card laying on the counter top! unreal!!!!! these people were plainly well off yet collecting goverment funds deceptively! SNEAKY sneaky – speaking in their native language so we dont understand. Trying to pay less for things but charge more when selling stuff.
    no i would never ever work for these people if they even really wanted to hire an american most dont! I will go out of my way to avoid shopping at a store getting gas or staying at a hotel/motel that is not owned and operated by a true native born american!
    Problem is they are hard to find these days even in the smallest town. call me a bigot or a hateful person on this topic i really dont care! Deport them all and give us back our country!
    Hey i would never want to go to there country for any reason so no if they would not let me into there country it would not matter to me in the least. I say deport and while we are at it lets drop a bomb and watch all of them be destroyed!!!
    Death to the middle east!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Most of these comments are what is wrong with America. They show how truely ignorant the American people are. And what’s more, We are all immigrants to America. Everytime a new ethnicity of immigrant Americans come, people hate them without understanding their culture or where they came from.
    I don’t care what religion you are, they all teach tolerance of others. they all teach peace to all people. Yet one person has to rip on anothers religion solely because it is different, or they don’t understand it. People of all faiths should be treated equal, no matter if you think their religion is stupid.
    There are over 1.5 BILLION Muslims in the world. A few are awful people. I’m talking in the hundreds out of billions. Why should the Billions pay for what a few hundred have done. There are awful christians who want to kill people who have done them no harm, and yet all christians aren’t to blame for what they have done. Neither should the 1.5 billion muslims who are geniunly good people.

  22. Argument 1: Profiling isn’t efficient: Since racial and religious profiling only applies to certain ethnic groups, other groups of people are proven to be equally likely to commit terrorist activities. There is no reason for police to suspect one race/religion over another.

    According to a survey by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics in which 1,272,282 searches are detailed. This survey covers all encounters of citizens with police during 1999. The most impressive finding of these studies is their consistency. In every one, minorities are no more likely to be carrying contraband than non-minorities.

    In 1998 the Customs Service of the U. S. Government revalued their search procedures. The results of their experience contained in Figure 2 below.

    For our purposes the most important statistics from Figure 2 are the hit rates which are essentially the same for Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. So while the Customs Service changed its tactics and increased its hit rate, there was no difference in the percentages of people found to be carrying contraband by race.
    Argument 2: Profiling might actually lead anti-terrorism efforts astray: Extra searches of Arabs decreases the amount of attention to other racial and religious groups, reducing the searches on other ethnic groups that are just as likely to commit terrorism. Often, before and after terrorist attacks, police only search for Arabs as suspects, while other ethnic groups are just as likely to commit the crimes:
    Kozo Okamoto didn’t fit the profile of a terrorist. In 1972, he and two other Japanese passengers had just arrived in Tel Aviv on a flight from Puerto Rico when they retrieved guns from their checked bags and opened fire in the arrival terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport, killing more than two dozen people and injuring nearly 80.
    In April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing in which the two white male domestic terrorists, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were able to flee while officers operated on the theory that the act had been committed by “Arab terrorists” for the first 48 hours of the investigation.
    On January 8, 2011 Tucson white man Jared Lee Loughner shot 19 people and six of them fatally during a meeting US Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding with members of her constituency.
    If we did discriminate people based on race, wouldn’t terrorist groups just use people of different races? Remember John Walker Lindh? The American citizen who was captured in 2001 and was being trained by Al-Qaeda? With a nice shave and haircut he would NEVER be racially profiled at an airport. I am sure he is not the only person training with Al-Qaeda that doesn’t match the proper “profile.” While we spend time, effort and money training people to racially profile, terrorists will spend time training people that don’t fit that profile. Worse still, criminals from these other groups may act with impunity, knowing that their chances of being caught are lower….

    Argument 3: Racial and ethnic profiling is wasteful of police resources, creates tension between the police and minority communities, prevents police from serving the entire community, prevents communities from working with law enforcement and poses a national security risk.

    This overwhelming evidence (showed on figure 1 and figure 2) against the proposition that minorities are more likely to commit crimes that can be discerned during vehicle searches points out how counterproductive racial profiling is. That is, by concentrating on minorities, law enforcement ineffectively use valuable time and resources by engaging in search activities that are likely to be unproductive. There is, however, even more direct evidence that racial profiling is wasteful of police resources. When racial profiling is used, officers end up wasting their limited time on innocent suspects.

    On April 16, 2010, Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration in to law. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants. Arizona’s new law requiring police to demand “papers” from people they stop who they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S. The extreme law invites the racial profiling of people of color, violates the First Amendment and interferes with federal law. The campaign created tension between the police and minority communities, who thought they were being unfairly targeted for frisks. President Obama strongly criticized it. “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.” Several prominent law enforcement groups, including the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, oppose the law because it diverts limited resources from law enforcement’s primary responsibility of providing protection and promoting public safety in the community and undermines trust and cooperation between local police and immigrant communities that otherwise are natural allies to law enforcement. Racial profiling prevents police from serving the entire community. Law enforcement agencies are responsible, or generally seen as responsible, for protecting law-abiding citizens from criminals. When a law enforcement agency practices racial profiling, it sends the message that whites are assumed to be law-abiding citizens while blacks and Latinos are assumed to be criminals. Racial profiling policies set up law enforcement agencies as enemies of entire communities–communities that tend to be disproportionately affected by crime–when law enforcement agencies should be in the business of protecting crime victims and helping them find justice.
    Racial profiling prevents communities from working with law enforcement. Unlike racial profiling, community policing has consistently been shown to work. The better the relationship between residents and police, the more likely residents are to report crimes, come forward as witnesses, and otherwise cooperate in police investigations. But racial profiling tends to alienate black and Latino communities, reducing the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate crime in these communities. If police have already established themselves as enemies of a low-income black neighborhood, if there is no trust or rapport between police and residents, then community policing can’t work. Racial profiling sabotages community policing efforts, and offers nothing useful in return. Race and ethnic appearance are very poor predictors of behavior…. Racial and ethnic profiling caused police to spread their enforcement activities far too widely and indiscriminately. The results of this misguided effort have been disastrous for law enforcement. This treatment has alienated African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities from the police–a critical strategic loss in the fight against crime, since police can only win this fight if they have the full cooperation and support of those they serve.

    Numerous law enforcement officials believe that racial, ethnic, religious or national origin profiling actually poses a national security risk. If you are an airport screener and you believe that every terrorist is going to be Middle Eastern, you are not going to look as hard at people of other ethnicities. In addition, bias based profiling – because of its lack of specificity – wastes resources and ineffectively allocates personnel.
    Anti-terror profiling, like traditional profiling, is a crude and inadequate substitute for behavior-based enforcement. Aside from being discriminatory and just plain wrong, profiling would be counterproductive. It would further inflame the very anti-American passions, which lead people to try to blow up planes to begin with. Any singling-out should be based on a person’s behavior, or strong intelligence that he or she has terrorist connections – not on his or her religion, ethnicity or race. In the case of the Northwest flight, I am incredulous that the man in custody actually continued to hold a multiple-entry visa for the U.S. even after his own father reported his “radicalization” to the US Embassy. His behavior too should have raised questions: he paid for the ticket in cash, and had no luggage.
    The guy who just tried to blow up Delta flight 253 was Nigerian and he would not have fit into the typical “racial profiling” that people are looking to have. A real profiler should have seen he paid in cash, had no ID, and I am guessing showed signs of being nervous.
    Racial profiling can easily escalate into racially-motivated violence.
    Racial profiling encourages police to use a lower standard of evidence for blacks and Latinos than they would for whites–and this lower standard of evidence can easily lead police, private security, and armed citizens to respond violently to blacks and Latinos out of a perceived “self-defense” concern. The case of Amidou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant who was killed in a hail of 41 bullets by the NYPD for attempting to show officers his driver’s license, is only one case among many. Reports of suspicious deaths involving unarmed Latino and black suspects trickle out of our nation’s major cities on a regular basis.
    Racial profiling is morally wrong.
    Racial profiling is Jim Crow applied as a law enforcement policy. It promotes the internal segregation of suspects within the minds of police officers, and it creates a second-class citizenship for black and Latino Americans.
    If one has reason to know or believe that a specific suspect is of a certain racial or ethnic background, then it makes sense to include that information in the profile. But that isn’t what people generally mean when they talk about racial profiling. They mean discrimination prior to the introduction of data–the very definition of racial prejudice.

    “Racial profiling of Arabs” would prove “difficult” for the US authorities because Arabs may have “light skin” and “blue eyes” to “olive or dark skin” and “brown eyes”. The US has, at various times, classified Arab immigrants as African, Asian, European or white.

    Argument 4: Profiling violates the Constitution: The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees the right to be safe from unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution requires that all US citizens be treated equally under the law. It has been argued that this makes it unconstitutional for a representative of the government to make decisions based on race.

    profiling is offensive to fundamental American values
    We have worked very hard as a society for the past 50+ years for racial equality and this would be a HUGE step backwards. I have seen the quote from Benjamin Franklin a lot today (mostly thanks to FlightWisdom) and it is perfect for this concept: “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.”
    Racial profiling is a blatant violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    The Fourteenth Amendment states, very clearly, that no state may “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Racial profiling is, by definition, based on a standard of unequal protection. Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be searched by police and less likely to be treated as law-abiding citizens; whites are less likely to be searched by police and more likely to be treated as law-abiding citizens. This is incompatible with the concept of equal protection.
    We live in a nation whose founders considered free speech and free exercise of religion so important that they deliberately sealed their protection in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
    Currently, Arabs are searched more often than other races. This shows an unequal protection of the community.
    The First Amendment also guarantees freedom of religion, which would be violated by religious profiling.

    The vast majority of the thousands of Arabs and Muslims who will be detained will be found to be innocent of any involvement in terrorism and released, eventually. Yet, in violation of our constitutional principles, they will have endured detention without probable cause or court appearance, and some of these innocents may be convicted and imprisoned or even executed without a proper trial, simply because of what they look like or how they pray.

    If ethnic profiling of middle eastern men is enough to warrant disparate treatment, we accept that all or most middle eastern men have a proclivity for terrorism, just as during World War II all resident Japanese had a proclivity for espionage.”

    Under international law, countries including the United States that use race, color, ethnicity, religion or nationality as a proxy for criminal suspicion are in violation of international standards against racial discrimination and multiple treaties to which the U.S. is a party. These include the U.N. Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
    On its face, this clear use of ethnic, racial and religious profiling will not achieve greater security in the long term for our country. In fact, by targeting only certain passengers for additional screening, “blind spots” can be easily identified and duplicitously exploited by violent extremists wishing our country harm.

    Counter argument 1 : (Consider what happened in summer 2001, when Phoenix FBI agent Kenneth Williams urged his superiors to investigate militant Muslim men whom he suspected of training in U.S. flight schools as part of al-Qaeda missions.
    Williams’ recommendation was rejected, FBI Director Robert Mueller later said, partly because of concerns that the plan could be viewed as discriminatory racial profiling.
    Mueller acknowledged that if Williams’ Phoenix profiling memo had been shared with the agency’s Minneapolis office, which had unsuccessfully sought a special intelligence warrant to search suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui’s laptop computer, the warrant might have been granted.
    If the FBI had taken Williams’ advice, the feeling of some Arabs and Muslims might have been hurt. But the Twin Towers might still be standing and 3,000 innocent people might be alive today.)

    1. FBI check should base on behavior. If an officer has suspicions on militant Muslim men, he should check on him based on his suspicious activity just like he was white or someone else. We could not because FBI director’s wrong judgment and use discriminatory as an excuse to judge profiling is right.
    2. Law force should concentrate more force to suspicious people and do deep investigation and not check over all ethic group or community. If you do wide you could not go deep.
    3. Even they got suspicious info and did not do deep investigation and might not change it to valuable information. It is easy to say otherwise when thing passed, we could avoid this, and could avoid that, when thing started all over again, we would find we might not catch every useful info and do every step correct.

  23. scared tourist... April 30, 2011 at 1:29 am Reply

    OMG! I am really scared right now. I mean, I live in The Netherlands, and also we have here the simular problems. But the problems are not as big as in the USA I quess. Thanks to God the Dutch people are tolerant people and they don;t let themselves fouled by the media and the politics. I was burn in The Netherlands, but my parents are from Turkey by the way; do you people think that’s a part of the middle east to? It is/was always my dream to come to America to have a RV trip and visit different places in California, Arizona and Utah. Just for a holiday, not to stay there of course. But now I’m scared. Would people hate me because I am a muslim? Evetough I were modern clothing and being just like any Dutch women can be? Are me and my husband, two kids welcome?

  24. Concerned Citizen May 14, 2011 at 4:45 am Reply

    @scared tourist I hope one day you and your family will be able to take that RV trip around California, Arizona, and Utah. I live in New York, where religious intolerance is unacceptable. Unfortunately, racist bigots that live in southern United States might not be welcoming to you. But trust me, the places where these racist bigots live are not places that you would want to go. They are sad, desolate places where hate grows, like hick redneck farms in Texas. I’m sure wherever you go you will be treated with the same respect as anyone else.

  25. Whatever the TSA should do, I think they should just leave the children and old people alone!

  26. OMG, this is sick!!!! I have been a victim of Muslim profiling, and I’m not even from a Middle Eastern country, I do not practice any monotheistic religion, and I do not speak any Semitic language. I just happen to look and sound like that: I speak over four languages so I have a peculiar accent, and my physique resembles to the women in those countries.

  27. [...] Should the Government Profile Muslims at Airports? by Muslims for a Safe America [...]

  28. Few years ago I was asked to take off a suit type jacket and I could not because I stupidly was wearing a sleeveless top under my jacket, they took me to a room and patted me down. I didn’t mind one bit. I would rather be safe and they do their job to the best of their ability than be in an airplane crashing down.Heck I cannot even tolerate turbulence! I do not think Muslims should be annoyed because of this.

  29. @Concerned Citizen

    I hate to burst your bubble, but…racist bigots are NOT only in the deep south. They are all over the place. I live only a few miles from the place I was born at. Yet, merely because I am Muslim, I have had to deal with multiple cases of police profiling here in California. The truth of the matter is, it can happen ANYWHERE!!! We MUST oppose it wherever it raises it’s ugly head. You live in New York? It is unclear if you mean the actually city, or just the state. However, it recently came to light that the New York Police Department was involved in MASSIVE racial profiling of Muslims.

  30. [...] of profiling. So if he’s wrong, focus on why his argument doesn’t make sense.A few immediate points to bring up:With a billion Muslims in the world, and only a freakishly small fraction of them [...]

  31. Just because I’m Muslim doesn’t mean I’m a terrorist :(


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