In the wake of the Transportation Security Administration’s outrageous new pat-downs and full-body scans at airports, several prominent conservatives, including Sarah Palin and Charles Krauthammer, have called for racial/ethnic profiling as a more effective, less intrusive alternative security measure. But while leftists will react to them as they always do—call them simple-minded, knee-jerk bigots—they’ll have a harder time making that case with racial profiling’s latest advocate.
As an American Muslim, I’ve come to recognize, sadly, that there is one common denominator defining those who’ve got their eyes trained on U.S. targets: MANY of them are Muslim—like the Somali-born teenager arrested Friday night for a reported plot to detonate a car bomb at a packed Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon.
We have to talk about the taboo topic of profiling because terrorism experts are increasingly recognizing that religious ideology makes terrorist organizations and terrorists more likely to commit heinous crimes against civilians, such as blowing an airliner out of the sky. Certainly, it’s not an easy or comfortable conversation but it’s one, I believe, we must have.
Nomani (of whom Hot Air has more video here) offers over a dozen examples of attempted and successful terrorist attacks over the past couple decades, all of which, oddly enough, had something in common: religious affiliation and country of origin. She of course acknowledges that religion, race, and nationality alone can’t constitute an effective security program, but contends that it’s only common sense to at least take these factors into account, and that it’s insane to pretend they have no relevance.
Is this somehow intrinsically demeaning to peaceful, freedom-loving Muslims? Nonsense:
According to a terrorism database at the University of Maryland, which documents 60 attacks against airlines and airports between 1970 and 2007, the last year available, suspects in attacks during the 1970s were tied to the Jewish Defense League, the Black Panthers, the Black September, the National Front for the Liberation of Cuba, Jewish Armed Resistance and the Croatian Freedom Fighters, along with a few other groups.
In each of these groups’ names was a religious or ethnic dimension. For that time, those were the identities that we needed to assess. Today, the threat has changed, and it is primarily coming from Muslims who embrace al Qaeda’s radical brand of Islam.
Asra Nomani can’t be dismissed as a mere Islamophobe like the Left usually does with profiling defenders. But because she thinks outside the box of pre-approved opinions leftists allow Muslims to have, she’ll either be simply ignored, or condemned as some self-hating traitor to her faith (she says one Muslim viewer called her an “Uncle Tom”). The truth is, Nomani is no traitor; in fact, her courage should be an inspiration to her fellow American Muslims. The ones who, like her, are truly repulsed by what is done in their name should stand by her side.