Is there a case for religious profiling?

By Elizabeth Tenety Asra Nomani, the Muslim writer and activist known for her unconventional thinking on religious issues (see her … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

Asra Nomani, the Muslim writer and activist known for her unconventional thinking on religious issues (see her work on women-led prayer), made headlines this week with her post for The Daily Beast titled ‘Let’s Profile Muslims.’

Nomani sat down Tuesday with Jacques Berlinerblau, host of On Faith’s re-vamped video interview series, The God Vote, and made her case for religious profiling at airports. Watch below:

Is Asra Nomani right? Is religious profiling necessary? Is it in keeping with American values like equal protection of the law? Or does it do more harm than good by endorsing a hostile attitude towards Muslims?

Is there another way to address homegrown terrorism among young Muslims? Professor Akbar Ahmed, a top Islamic scholar from American University, provided a counter-point to Nomani’s case for religious profiling in a God Vote video interview with Sally Quinn:

Do you agree with Akbar Ahmed that Muslims communities and Islamophobia are both to blame for the problem of homegrown terrorism?

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • hohandy1

    “Is it in keeping with American values like equal protection of the law? “Equal protection before the law isn’t just an “American value” – it is a Constitutional requirement and guaranty.

  • yourmomscalling

    yes it is

  • bigbrother1

    You want to do profiling? OK, here’s how we should do it.Ask everyone in the airport line if they are Christian. If they answer yes, pull them out of line into a separate room. Then ask them if they think the Bible overrides the Constitution. If they answer yes, throw them in a cell and see if their god rescues them. If he doesn’t, throw their bones in the garbage.It’s harsh, I know. But if we want to protect our country from the people who would destroy our government and freedoms, we need to take harsh measures.

  • sameolddoc

    What has religion got to do with it? Why can’t we just profile arabs and let the rest take their chances. Then, maybe we can stop groping little old ladies.

  • AdamAhmed

    Im sorry Asra, but I think you are dead wrong. Why not just profile all men, because men are more prone to violent acts than women. I dont think profiling will stop terrorism or grievences that people have with the US. I am a PROUD MUSLIM AMERICAN. I have been subject to profiling and incase you have never had it happen to you, it’s not fun. I’ll admit, I too have been brainwashed by the same xenophobic propoganda that you have at times, but I have overcome the self-loathing that you have yet to conquer. You are the type of Muslim that the right wing bigots love, the ones that tell them what they want to hear. Are you the same type of Muslim that goes around apologizing for every violent act committed by any Muslim throughout history? Im not a very strict practicing Muslim, but I am proud of my heritage and will not be an apologist. Also, I think that your use of the Portland man that was arrested is a weak example. He was entrapped, and the government is claiming success in thwarting an attack that they planned. They thwarted their own fabrication and they call it a success in order to make it look like they are on top of things. Profiling is not pragmatic, and it will not stopp terrorism. We need real conflict resolution and analysis of the underlying grievences that cause terror. Until we have a better understanding why others dislike us, and adapt to an interconnected world, we will have to live with the sad truth that people will set out to hurt us.

  • scott071407

    Christians, Muslims, Jewish men or women all should be subjected to profiling. Sad truth is we are in a time that requires that we do so. Regardless of the race, origin, or country we come from, we have to do whatever it takes to remain safe. As an american who does travel I find it very sad that it has come to this regardless of our faith but the truth is the truth and we are all in ONE NATION here in America and if you want to fly in or out or even domestic you should be subject to profiling. Bottom line it doesn’t matter the religion what matters is our safety. I think a lot of people forget it’s not just anyone profiling with our untrained eye’s we tend to think we are only profiling a single religion or look but with trained professionals we can learn to look past those aspects and seek out what we are truly looking for and that is terrorist. Don’t think narrow minded think on a professional level.

  • sameolddoc

    What has religion got to do with it? Why can’t we just profile arabs and let the rest take their chances. Then, maybe we can stop groping little old ladies.

  • dummypants

    Considering what FDR was able to do with the Japanesse consistent with Equal Protection, this shouldnt be constitutionally problematic. And as a wise man once said: dont let a crisis go to waste.People who got profiled wouldnt really have reason to be offended considering that the measure is perfectly rationale given the fairly consistent demographic thread linking plots over the past decade.

  • dummypants

    adamahmed:why you gotta be so selfish?

  • abrahamhab1

    Sammeollddoc suggests:The vast majority of Arabs in the USA are Christians; refugees from persecution and discrimination in their Middle East homelands. Besides not all terrorists were Arabs; some were but most are non Arabs from Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The common denominator of the Jihadists/Terrorists is their membership to “the religion of peace”.

  • sandav

    The Constitution is NOT a suicide pact.

  • washdcnative

    Sandav: who are “the bad guys” and “the terrorists?”

  • dangreen3

    I see nothing wrong with racial profiling. So far all terrorist are Muslims. That is too bad for the innocent law abiding muslims, however they collectively must do something about the issue, or suffer the consequences. I would prefer we finger print everyone who travels, and enter their passports, of their country of birth, in a database. Americans cleared for security, should fly through all this inspection non sense. The rest have to be racial profiled. Not hassled just profiled. It is well understood their are muslims who want to slit our throats, men women and children. Makes no difference to them. This violent element of Muslims has been around before christ.

  • AdamAhmed

    adamahmed:

  • lufrank1

    Well! Effectiveness? Fairness?

  • adrienne_najjar

    I’m for profiling. I’ve had enough of the muslim BS.

  • magellan1

    Well, let’s hold on. There are other important common elements. Yes, the perpetrators have all been Muslims (except Timmy-boy), but their race varies.Just as important:All the perpetrators have been men.All the perpetrators (except Hassan) have been under 35.No need to make an announcement but, if you’re gonna profile, that’s where I would spend my time.

  • seanpatriot

    Yes, she is right. Thank God there are sane Muslims.

  • rcc_2000

    Profiling is actually counter-productive. If we did profile we would be leaving a big hole in security. It becomes increasingly difficult to determine the race of a Muslim. They can be of any race other than middle eastern or Somalian. Caucasian, Hispanics and other races were at Gitmo and other facilities on terror charges. When you limit your search, you limit your effectiveness and increase the effectiveness of the enemy.This is not a P/C question it is a security one. Profiling is racist because it dismisses the reality that non-middle eastern people can be terrorists.

  • pvilso24

    Yes.As many experts have pointed out… current techniques costing tens of billions a year… will NOT catch bombers with plastic explosives in body cavities.99% of terrorists are young, male, and MUSLIM ! They represent less than 1% of the flying public. Therefore yes Religion must be part of the mix, also source country and BEHAVIORIAL profiling – actually supported by 70% of Americans (Wash. Post)Why not focus scans ? pat-downs ? attention ? interviews ? and searches on this 1% ?We profile packages from Yemen and likely from MOST Muslim countries. We profile serial killers today (yes the FBI does).We profile all passengers today.. yes specific groups get a free pass: senior Government officials and security personnel. CAIR is also demanding special exemptions for you guessed it.. conservative Muslim woman !We need profiling like Israel’s El Al Airline – the safest in the world !

  • cmoses46b

    We should be careful about profiling. Whether or not you do it, and how you do it, depends on your frame of reference.For example, the current South African government, mindful of its past experience with the white (supremacist) minority, might decide that whites arriving at its airports from abroad should be cavity search.Ahh! You didn’t mean what you were saying, did you?

  • pvilso24

    A key point…Nomani writes, “In the debate, I said, ‘Profile me. Profile my family,’ “because, in my eyes, we in the Muslim community have failed to police ourselves.” Indeed, in every instance.. rather than acknowledge failure to educate or de-radicalize their young… Muslim leaders consistently deny their responsiblity.. consistently blame others.. the Jews, American policy, Islamaphobia etc.Finally a Muslim who speak the TRUTH !!May Allah bless her !

  • GabeAsher

    Wouldn’t be so much of a problem if we didn’t let them in the country in the first place.Melting pot = garbage pile.

  • genevieve2000

    I am disgusted at this woman. Now she’s teaching Americans, on American constitution and American Rights??? and she claims to be Muslim – I wonder who’s paying her! Let them profile her in her own country, but LEAVE AMERICA FREE AND UNPREJUDICED! profiling is against every fiber of what makes America America.

  • shewholives

    Shahla Jahed may you rest in peace.

  • AdamAhmed

    I think that it is a slippery slope that we go down when we state that 99% or 90% of terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims. It depends on who is doing the framing of the word terrorist. In the minds of many around the world being killed by the US military or US supported authoritarian regimes, the word terrorist would refer to the US. To those in Juarez Mexico terrorist may refer to Cartels killing thousands of innocent people every day. To the Hutus it might be the Tutsis. The people of the world see the same thing from different paradigms. Profiling will not make a difference except for causing those affected by the structural violence to resent the structure even more. How about instead of spending BILLIONS on trying to find a needle in a haystack, that we focus more money on conflict resolution. To quote Tony Benn “terrorism is the act of agression of the poor against the rich, war is the act of agression of the rich against the poor”.

  • whyyesbrain

    Whether we SHOULD profile based on race and religion is beside the point. Such profiling violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th amendment. Case closed.

  • shewholives

    Profile, profile, profile.

  • shewholives

    Asra, you better make sure your head remains firmly attached to your neck.

  • yatim99

    I’m afraid that this topic requires the same kind of bone-crushing honesty that many other aspects of life in America (credit card usage, quality and commitment to education, driving habits, etc.) require, and instead it is clear by most responses that there is a knee-jerk reaction to it. I wrestle with the question of whether or not we should profile, but the reality of the numbers clearly indicates that, while not all Muslims want to perpetrate terrorist acts against the US, an unsettling percentage of those who want to perpetrate terrorist acts against the US are Muslims. Muslims in America like ‘Adamahmed’, the sooner they agree to this, the sooner that they will be able to engage in more productive ways to relate with the (non-Muslim) rest of America, whose perceptions on Muslims and Islam are greatly impaired by this reality. As for ‘Adamahmed’s comment that the interviewee is a ‘self-loathing’ Muslim, or one that ‘conservatives love’, I have to disagree with you: I believe she is one sane Muslim. The more like her that can take a common-sense approach to issues like this, the more that the (non-Muslim) rest of America will be able to relate to (some form of) Islam.

  • garmic

    What’s next? Here is one to ponder, why not get rid of all screening except for religious screening then load all planes according to religious affiliations. Christians with christians, jews with jews, muslims with muslims etc….personnaly I’ll fly with the atheists. This is getting ridiculous.

  • fishcrow

    to BIGBROTHER1:Replace “Christians” with “Jews” and you sound like Hitler.

  • JoStalin

    Should we profile?Let’s review the facts:Feb 1993 – Four Muslim males aged 20-45 attempt to blow up the WTC with a truck bombSep 2001 – 20 Muslim males aged 20-45 blew up the WTC with hijacked aircraftDec 2001 – a Muslim male aged 20-45 attempted to detonate a shoe bomb on an international flightDec 2009 – A Muslim male aged 20-45 attempted to detonate a bomb in his underwear on a international flightMay 2010 – A Muslim male aged 20-45 attempted to blow up a car bomb in Times Square in NYCOct 2010 – An unknown number of Muslims attempted to send bombs disguised as printers to various locations within the USNov 2010 – A Muslim male aged 20-45 attempted to blow up a car bomb at a Portland, OR Christmas tree lighting.Is anyone beginning to sense a pattern that Grannies might not be involved in terrorism?

  • kingpigeon

    The weakness in Ms. Nomani’s Daily Beast piece is that she doesn’t address what “profiling” means specifically–she’s all for it, but spends almost all her time in the article explaining “why” without saying “what.” I presume it’s along the lines of pulling more Muslims standing in airport lines off to the side for further gropings. I am already skeptical of the effectiveness of our current airport strategy, especially when it would be far simpler to conceal bombs in, say, printers shipped as cargo anyway.But if we’re going to be groped and pretend that we’re much safer as a result, random searches still seem a reasonable deterrent to would-be terrorists. A concerted focus on Muslim people would obviously lead terrorist groups to recruit people who don’t fit the profile, and who would then, in a racial-profiling scenario, have a much greater chance of getting through airport security than such individuals would have under the current, more randomized system.I am certain that the OHS, the CIA, and the FBI have long used “racial profiling” to identify and track potential terrorist subjects. If those groups are doing their jobs behind the scenes, and if sensible software were deployed in the body scanning equipment (along the lines of the body-warping proposal the Washington Post wrote about recently), then I would feel that, in a situation where of course nothing is ever enough…well…that would do.And thus, little Ahmad won’t have to see his mommy groped at Washington Reagan Airport each time he flies, and reflect with anger later in life about what it was like to grow up Muslim in America.

  • ThomasBaum

    dangreen3 You wrote, “This violent element of Muslims has been around before christ.”It was around 600 years after Jesus that Mohammed came around so there were absolutely no Muslims before Christ.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • sassafrasnewport

    The problem is, whose race are we talking about here? The 9 perpetrators of 9/11 were Egyptians primarily; ok, so we profile Egyptians — as if TSA knows the difference between Egyptians and, say, Jordanians. Let’s assume all Muslims come from the Middle East. Can we safely assume that for these purposes? No! Let’s refresh. Since 9/11, there has been the shoe bomber (a British citizen who was half Jamaican, half English), the Detroit bomber (Nigerian), the Time Square bomber (Pakistan) and now the tree lighting bomber (a Somali who was also a U.S. citizen). None of these guys had anything in common from which one could profile. Then, there’s Jihad Jane, a convert to Islam from Pennsylvania, and others like her, who are white, of various age groups, and as American as apple pie in feature. Who would you profile?

  • AlvinYork

    You people who disagree with this woman are idiots. I would explain to you why that is, but it would be like explaining quantom physics to my pet rock.

  • vertigt

    Typical US media, inviting and popularizing “unconventional” (translate, Uncle Toms) Muslims. How about giving voice to Muslims who represent the majority? It’s good to have contrarians but giving voice only to one side is biased.Speaking of “unconventional” thinkers, why wouldn’t the Post give Chomsky a voice in its Op/Ed. Or the column is only for those who repeat State’s propaganda and tow the official line. Back to British press. Shame on you Post.

  • gamiller1

    Ask everyone in the airport line if they are Christian. If they answer yes, pull them out of line into a separate room. Then ask them if they think the Bible overrides the Constitution. If they answer yes, throw them in a cell and see if their god rescues them. If he doesn’t, throw their bones in the garbage.And how many Christians or Jews flew planes into buildings in the name of God, BigBrother1?

  • mckenna7

    It astonishes me that some of the posters here defend the terrorists and want security measures designed to identify them stopped.The suggestion that the arrest of the Somali terrorist is entrapment is illogical and does not hold water.The FBI became aware that this person was interested in harming Americans and they took action. Throughout the sting they gave the terrorist every chance to back out. They told the the terrorist that he would be killing woman and children but the terrorist was determined to carry on. When the terrorist dialled the number on his mobile he clearly had intent to kill Americans celebrating the lights being illuminated on a Christmas tree. Intent to commit mass murder is indefensible and this terrorist will rightly spend the rest of his life behind bars.Those who suggest that we profile are also wrong as this would play into the hands of the terrorists and expose Americans to great danger. Terrorists come in all shapes and sizes. Should we not profile Asians although the Uighur terrorists looked asian. Should we not profile women and babies although there was a plot devised in Britain where terrorist women were willing to take their babies on board with explosives in the babys bottle. Should we not profile white men although many terrorists found after Afghanistan was freed were white men who had converted to Islam. Are our security forces well enough equipped to distinguish a Pakistani form an Indian, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan?The current security measures are necessary and people should just get over it. Instead of playing catch up, we should be increasing our security measures, as should countries world wide. If this means that we have to perform stings against wannabe terrorists then all the better.

  • Desertdiva1

    It’s a shame we can’t have more open discussions like this one in the video. Profiling for criminals blowing up planes certainly beats groping children and women. Get real no where has any female been used in an attempt to blow up a plane. Especially a middle aged Caucasian female who some how appears to be the TSA’s favorite target for further harassment. I’ll be d*mned if I’m going to be groped just to fly while they don’t bother to profile the high risks next to me in line.

  • antispy

    Yeah let’s profile on religion. Because I, like all other rational thinking people, can tell what religion someone is just by looking at them.

  • bamaboy1

    What is profiling? It’s taking statistics of historic events, finding a common denominator or trend, then using that information on current and future events.I’m an American born caucasion male and I’ve been PROFILED before as my son’s are now. I did, and they have to currently…pay more for auto insurance than a female of the same age or than an older male. WHY? Because statistics of historic events show that young males cause a disproportionate number of auto accidents. Thus, young males pay higher auto insurance. Does that mean that automatically my son’s will definitely cause more accidents? NO. But it does mean that my son’s have to pay the consequences (ie. fork over more money) because they fall into a category that has an historic trend.If history shows that Arabs are the predominant guilty party when it comes to terrorist acts, how is using common sense and statistics to focus screening them (instead of the 80 year old lady) any different than what industry and business does today?Profiling happens ALL THE TIME. It’s only the victims who only care about themselves who want to scream “not fair”. I’d feel safer flying if TSA would use resources wisely and target the more likely candidates to commit a terrorist act.

  • skins91r

    Remember folks, offending any minority group about anything is the highest crime we can commit in this country. Murdering innocent people is a distant second.

  • jess90069

    Sadly, the USA has had a very liberal policy to allow every Tom Dick or Harry into our land without keeping track of their whereabouts! People come for a visit and never leave. Come come to go to school, and either [a] never go to school, or [b] never leave once they have completed school. The Immigration folks that issue the visa’s should require every person with a visa to ‘check in’ every 30-60-90 days or so! Not just let them arrive and “Oh Well” I wonder where they are now? Unfortunately “good people” that play by the rules have damaged creditability because of the “bad seeds”. ILLEGAL people, and their children should be deported, and made to apply for citizenship through normal channels. When ILLEGALS happen to have a run in with law enforcement, they should be deported immediately! No if and’s or butts! If it is a serious crime, then either put them in prison, AND then deport them when they serve their sentence. I understand about 40 million people in America are unemployed. I understand that about 40 million illegal immigrants are in the USA. MOST of them are working! This does not take a Harvard Economist folks! Deport all illegal immigrants, and their children, because by their very nature of being born to illegals they too are illegal. “People” say unemployed folks would not do those jobs! Excuse me, you will do the job or lose your unemployment benefits. I have been unemployed for over two years, but every illegal immigrant I know has a job! Have the INS go into every restaurant in America and send the illegals home to their country, AND fine the people who hired them. That crap would stop! I would be happy to have their job!

  • rentianxiang

    Profiling is essential to law enforcement. However, we should use appropriate types of profiling. It is not useful to profile simply based on race or even on religion (which we can’t always know by looking at someone anyway.) What should be profiled is behavior. All experienced law enforcement professionals can tell you that it is the behavior of people that gives them away, not the color of their skin. If we trained our TSA screeners how to read people’s behavior, they could detect would-be terrorists more quickly and efficiently than the current technology allows. What we should be doing is hiring some experienced, maybe retired, police officers who are already proficient at behavioral profiling and start training new people how to detect deceptive behavior, not just looking for “things”.

  • AKafir

    AdamAhmed writes:”I think that it is a slippery slope that we go down when we state that 99% or 90% of terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims. It depends on who is doing the framing of the word terrorist. In the minds of many around the world being killed by the US military or US supported authoritarian regimes,”Let those around the world take care of those who want to kill them. An american muslim is writing to other americans here and is simply stating that religion is obviously a very important component of the profiling that needs to be done to make Americans safer. It has nothing to do with “self loathing”. Asra is a clear that she is a muslim and an American. You on the other hand declare yourself to be a muslim but not an american. You may think of yourself as part of Muhammad’s Ummah and not an American.

  • MrBethesda

    Right now at airports we affront every passenger with these security intrusions. If we used profiling we would affront maybe only 1% of passengers. Combined with the TSA’s now checking everyone against their no-fly list, profiling would be far more effective than what we have now. Current methods are a waste of resoursces.

  • dweezil22

    At this point in time profiling is not only necessary but also just plain common sense. The Israeli’s do it right and their expense is minimal.

  • raihanshafiq

    Hi DangGreen, how did the violent Muslims exixt before Christ?

  • sokolowskidavid

    “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”This should absolutely not be used as the leading example for a case demonstrating the validity of profiling Muslims. The recent Times article on Mohamed Mohamud demonstrates that the FBI was responsible for coordinating, plotting and encouraging this act of violence that never actually existed. The FBI had been communicating with him for years, reinforcing his erratic and violent tendencies – then told him if he called a phone number that the Christmas tree would blow up along with 25,000 spectators. He did call, numerous times. He has the desire to see people killed as an enemy of Allah. Yes, the generality that religious violence is plotted mostly by individuals of the Muslim faith is supported by many Americans. This would likely not be the case if American relied upon factual research. In this particular case, there was no connection between Mohamud and “extremist” groups, only the FBI. Mohamud did not make bombs, place bombs or plan for bombs – again, the FBI. Would Mohamud really have gone this far without the constant negative reinforcement on behalf of the FBI?Portland is reputable for being a progressive and liberal city in comparison to many other major US cities. Perhaps this FBI-driven plot was used as a political charade to reinforce the diminishing local and international support for the “War on Terror” and invasive technologies.I believe that Mohamud is a deranged fanatic, although I understand that deranged fanatics come from various backgrounds, religions and ethnicity. I also understand that most deranged fanatics are made by the media and not always with ongoing assistance and encouragement from the FBI.

  • raihanshafiq

    Asra, you are dead wrong. I will give you one simple practical reason: it will create a culture in the law enforcement communities, which eventually will blind them and make them susceptibale to grave mistakes.

  • chaemoondriver

    Liberals idealistic thinking does not work when the terrorist bomb and blow up buildings and airplanes killing thousands of innocent people. We all know where these people are coming Pakistan,Iraq, Syria,Algeria,Somalia,Afghanistan,etcs. It is not that difficult to screen all those people and also people going to Mulsim temples. Why are we so afraid of profiling in this country. It has nothing to do with civil rights it has all to do with national security.

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  • acrami

    First, don’t forget Tim McVeigh, blond and Christian, who still remains the person who took the greatest number of American lives, per capita, in a terrorist attack. The Unabomber and Eric Rudolf (Atlanta Olympics bomber) are both Caucasians.Second, while TSA is busy profiling people who look like Muslims or Arabs, the terrorists will send in killers whose identification show Christian names and who have a white skin.Third, profiling has been used on suspected drug mules entering the United States for years, and yet, drugs are still brought in through our airports. Some success, this profiling stuff!Finally, there is that inconvenient document called the U.S. Constitution. Pity the poor fools who are so scared of “terrorists” that they are willing to ditch this country’s greatest document.

  • Kingofkings1

    I am beginning to see a pattern here:

  • mohammadakhan

    Israeli system of profiling,marginalzing,barrierizing,blockading,terrorizing, is a good system to sustain an apartheid state.Do we want to head in that direction?

  • krankyman

    These acts of terrorism and attempted terrorism are the work of disaffected Muslim males aged 18 to 35 years old who have connections to predominately Muslim countries so yes we should “profile” any one who meets this demographic identity.Only the dullest among us and the insane believe liberty is served by the groping of blue haired grannies and the rupturing of a cancer victims urine bag.We know who the enemy is; stop pretending “any citizen” “could be” the enemy.

  • maggots

    What has religion got to do with it? Why can’t we just profile arabs and let the rest take their chances. Then, maybe we can stop groping little old ladies.Posted by: sameolddoc | December 1, 2010 2:32 PM##########################################

  • yasseryousufi1

    Asra Nomani should really be questioned for getting Daniel Pearl killed. Other than that this former member of the discredited and defunct Muslim Progressive Union With regards to all terrorists being muslim, I have posted this research article before as well that is based on FBI records and it says all terrorists in America are muslims except the 94% that aren’t.

  • ClandestineBlaze

    Asra, if you wish to volunteer to profiling, then so be it. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us. I’m an American with a Persian ancestry. So of course I do not look like a typical white American as I have dark colored hair and eyes. I have never committed a crime, and up until this year, have not even had a traffic ticket.So why should I be profiled if I have done nothing wrong? I am an Atheist, but neither my passport nor my ID state my religion. Should I wear a shirt that says “I am not an Arab Muslim, even though I can pass as one to the untrained eye” ?Sorry, but profiling is disgusting. For those of you that are sick of being groped even though you’re white as a ghost – tough. You’re no more of a terrorist than I am. If I start acting or behaving suspiciously at the airport, then I’m fair game. If the TSA guy has a hunch or a gut feeling about me and wants to do secondary screening, then I am fine with that and respect that. He’s doing his job.But if you simply look at my dark hair and dark eyes, and my foreign-sounding name and tell me that I’m guilty-until-proven-innocent, then I have a problem with that, as these are not the principles that this country was founded upon.

  • DesiHungama

    Disgusting. What if Muslim countries who think US is formenting trouble in their backyard start to profile all Christians? Say, profile Christians from Malaysia, Middle East or South America?

  • DesiHungama

    Disgusting. What if Muslim countries who think US is formenting trouble in their backyard start to profile all Christians? Say, profile Christians from Malaysia, Middle East or South America?

  • AKafir

    “Disgusting. What if Muslim countries who think US is formenting trouble in their backyard start to profile all Christians? Say, profile Christians from Malaysia, Middle East or South America?”They already do. Have you seen the laws under which the non-muslims are forced to live under in the muslim countries? Have you seen the discrimination and hate towards the non-muslims in “moderate” countries like Malaysia? Why don’t you or other muslims like KoK1, Yasseryousufi, mohammadakhan, jihadist, or any one of the others sitting in the marvelous ummah answer some of the questions I posed in the comments section of one of eboo’s columns:

  • rmathe10

    In general, profiling is bad. But with the current situation profiling to a certain extent seems to be the right thing to do. Just because some muslims committed terrorism, it is not advisable to profile the entire muslim community where majority are innocent.

  • Arif2

    Only one religion in the world that advocates killing “non-believers”; Islam. Islam is not even vague, anyone who blasphemes, false gods, Jews, women dressed scantily… all are legitimate targets. Only the muslim terrorist is capable of mass murder of civilian lives. This type of terrorism will not end anytime soon. From islams prophet to his imams, killing non-believers is not a crime but a muslims duty. Many muslims are not capable of mass murder but they are very aware of the teachings of their faith/prophet (ya, the last guy). In the Muslims eyes the non-believer has no place on the planet, allah has many enemies and allah’s enemies are a Muslims enemy.US and Europe should hire minorities from Islamic countries to do the profiling of muslim travelers. They are simply the best in understanding the mind of a terrorist. To ensure better security the US should do the right thing; hire and train religious minorities from OIC countries to profile Muslim travelers.

  • GabrielRockman

    “You want to do profiling? OK, here’s how we should do it.Ask everyone in the airport line if they are Christian. If they answer yes, pull them out of line into a separate room. Then ask them if they think the Bible overrides the Constitution. If they answer yes, throw them in a cell and see if their god rescues them. If he doesn’t, throw their bones in the garbage.It’s harsh, I know. But if we want to protect our country from the people who would destroy our government and freedoms, we need to take harsh measures.In other words, you want to disobey the constitution and imprison people without charging them with a crime? And thats how you would “defend” the constitution? I think you need to go back to elementary school and learn that “defend” and “destroy” are not synonyms.

  • asizk

    Nomani no longer schok me:Any thing can be expected be from a woman who took her out of woodlock child to Hajj in Mecca-and yet claims to be a “Muslim.”Essentailly this lunatic woman must beleive that all eight million American Muslims are suspects and should be profiled!!! Nomani’s rAnd how does a Muslim look to choose fro profiling? So a law abiding American Muslim like me should be humilaited and profiled because I was born a Muslim.For example: There are at least two million African-American Muslims:how does nomani suggest they are identified and seperated for racial profiling!!! Or the hundreds of thousands of ethnically white/blonde American Muslims-men and women???Nomani dose not even understand the simple logic of cause and effect for the emergence of a radical minority in the Muslim world: accumualted grievances:US forign policy controlled by AIPAC and its octobous influnce which resulted in total bias to the jewish occupation of all Arab historic Palestine-and many other grivenaces such as the unjustified war of choice that destroyed Iraq-and the jewish occupation and apartheid regime imposed on the Palestinain People on the one hand and on the other the US support for Arab/Muslim dicatators-so Muslims are oppressed from within and from without. Nomani is either incoherent or infamy seeking…more likely the latter..

  • asizk

    like hirsi ali, nomani enjoys publicity and a pat on the back from newt gingrich,danial pipes,krauthy hamamer…etc…

  • Arif2

    I can bet you AdamAhmed lies about his profiling. Most muslims lie about the suposid humiliation they experience. I have a muslim name, background and travel to an back from Pakistan very often. I have never been harassed, in fact I fly so much that everywhere I fly security has been good and kind to me… always. They are polite and only once I was questioned in length but they asked basic questions and I gave them straight answers, overall a very good experience. Security rocks!

  • AdamAhmed

    I can bet you AdamAhmed lies about his profiling. Most muslims lie about the suposid humiliation they experience. I have a muslim name, background and travel to an back from Pakistan very often. I have never been harassed, in fact I fly so much that everywhere I fly security has been good and kind to me… always. They are polite and only once I was questioned in length but they asked basic questions and I gave them straight answers, overall a very good experience. Security rocks!

  • Kingofkings1

    CorrectedI am beginning to see a pattern here:Addendum:——————————-It’s a lucrative market these days, similar to the way spies and turncoats were recruited in the cold war and the current Israel. Just put out a feeler saying your faith is on sale. You will be sure to get a call back from the CIA, Ayaan Ali from the American Enterprise, and the Mossad. You will be thrown some material goodies depending on the scum you produce, and if you’re lucky, you might even be given a chance to go on an assignment to Iran to kill some more nuclear scientists

  • Secular

    AdamAhmed, I asked you if you have ever protested the inhumane treatment of non-muslims in any of your 57 dar-ul-islams. Do you think the kafirs in those places do not deserve respect? you are whiner and a cry baby.

  • AdamAhmed

    AdamAhmed writes:”I think that it is a slippery slope that we go down when we state that 99% or 90% of terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims. It depends on who is doing the framing of the word terrorist. In the minds of many around the world being killed by the US military or US supported authoritarian regimes,”

  • stanassc

    There is a large difference between “profiling” and “racial profiling”. Behavior, age, gender, family presence, frequent flier, flight origin, etc could and should be used. The profiling should be evidenced based, though I know that “they” will exploit the holes in the system. The profiling should should not exclude, but only increase the odds of a more extensive search.

  • AKafir

    Akbar Ahmed says that looking at the theology of Islam is the wrong thing to do. Should one listen to those who actually want to kill Americans or not? They justify their violence using the scriptures of Islam. They quote the koran and the hadith and give examples from Muhammads sunnah. Why? Why is it so hard for Akbar to accept that there are muslims who take the message of hate for the non-Muslims in the Koran to heart? From Akbar’s home country’s newspaper:RAWALPINDI, Dec 1: ‘Peace’ returned to Ratta Amral graveyard on Tuesday night after the body of a little Hindu girl buried there a year ago was exhumed by her family and reburied in the adjacent Christian graveyard.Their act of assuaging ‘Muslim sensitivities’ took place in the dark of the night and under tight security.There are many graves of lower caste Hindus in the Christian graveyard which had been separated from the Muslim cemetery, he said.It is against Sharia (Islamic law) for a non-muslim to be buried in a Muslim cemetery!! A filthy nine year old hindu girl has to be dug up and reburied in a Christian graveyard so the muslim cemetry is not polluted. Think about that for a second. Allah calls the Kafirs filthy and unclean. Kafirs cannot be cremated or buried in Saudi Arabia all because of the theology of Islam that Akbar does not want the Americans to consider. Is there any American Muslim standing up and speaking against the hate for non-Muslims in the Koran? Is there any American Muslim who has ever spoken against the hate expressed for the Kafirs in the annual Hajj ritual of Islam where tens of thousands of American Muslims go every year to participate in the Apartheid ritual? Is there any American Muslim who will express the simple truth that Islamic theology is filled with hate towards the non-Muslims?

  • rrpopseal

    Walid Phares, Fouad Ajami, Andrew McCarthy, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Bernard Lewis, Wheatcroft’s History of Conflict Between Christians and Muslims, and the Oxford History of Islam all bring the student to the conclusion that Islam is a violent and primitive superstition, founded by a known killer.

  • AKafir

    AdamAhmed writes: “Maybe Asra has never had to go through profiling as a young Muslim or Arab male, but I have and I dont like it. I just dont want it to be law, because then it shows that this country I was born and raised in really does not consider me an equal. I have been pulled aside coming back into the country by CBP and detained while on offical gov passports while traveling with co-workers, and it is humiliating. Until you have experienced institutional discrimination please do not tell me how I should feel.”How the hell do you know what kind of discrimination and hate have I lived through? So you consider being pulled out of a line to be checked, discrimination? Institutional discrimination? You have not even begun to understand what institutional discrimination is all about?

  • AKafir

    Jihadist writes: “You don’t get to hear much in the US of Muslims being detained for months or not allowed in the States and other countries due to “mistaken” detention.”Playing the victim again. Your prophet used to play the victim all the time. Everybody was out to kill him except his invisible friend always used to tell him in advance. No wonder playing the victim is so deeply embedded in the Islamic psychology. Care to produce some actual statistics or this is just some dog droppings pulled out of a mullah’s brain? Don’t you feel the slightest shame that you as a racist Malaya complain about this when your Malaya have institutionalised hate for the non-muslims in your laws?

  • shewholives

    AKAFIR, these people play the victim faster than Muhammad could conjure up another revelation.

  • AKafir

    AdamAhmed:Arif2 is of Pakistani origin. So am I. Here in the words of another Pakistani in a Pakistani Newspaper:********************Humayun Akhtar says:Bravo to Anjum Niaz and agree with Mr. Imtiaz.Asra Nomani is correct. If profiling helps the security of all Americans then I welcome it. You say you travel often and have been pulled aside once or couple of times? And that is evidence of discrimination for you? You are free to practice your Islam, but a Kafir like me is free to question and examine Islam as well. My experience with security has been along the lines of Arif2. I have never experienced any discrimination because of my name, or my color here. No one has ever asked me to which religion I belonged, and even the maligned evangelical Christians were polite and left me alone when I asked them. I cannot say that of my experience in the Muslim countries and especially Pakistan.

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