With the country up in arms over new TSA screening measures at airports, some American Muslims are making the case for limited security profiling.
“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,” Asra Q. Nomani wrote this week in The Daily Beast, explaining why she would be comfortable with profiling as a security measure.
Though seemingly counter-intuitive, other Muslim leaders contend that many in their community hold the same view.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told The Daily Caller that most American Muslims would be amenable to some form of limited profiling.
“I think ultimately we as a community need to understand, it is one thing to be profiled and questioned — I’d be proud of that,” Jasser said. “Hopefully that doesn’t become a slippery slope where we have our rights infringed for no reason and I think those are two different things. Good police work and good investigation is very different from changing our innocent until proven guilty system.”
Jasser did not hesitate to add that profiling alone will not thwart the smart terrorists who are able to obscure their identity and intentions.
“Remember we are dealing with an ideology, not anything that you can profile so if they are smart they will manifest alternative ideologies and conceal those things,” he said.
Stephen Schwartz, the executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, said that while he does not really understand what the big deal is about the new TSA X-ray machines, he believes that most moderate Muslims would understand and allow for limited profiling.
“I should think that most moderate Muslims understand the situation and would not object to a reasonable form of security check which would be called profiling,” Schwartz said. “The majority of American Muslims right now see that it is a bad situation, its not getting any better — in terms of the abatement of domestic terrorism, stuff like this Portland affair, and most moderate Muslims want to go along with the law.”
Despite Schwartz’s contention that most Muslims would comply with whatever the law dictates, he stressed that profiling is not fool-proof, noting that radical Islam is an ideology, not an ethnicity or race.
“There is a threat because… a lot of these young, especially white people, white kids, who are drawn to Islam right now, or radical Islam because they see it as the ultimate way of rebelling against American society,” Schwartz said, noting that Zachary Chesser, the 20-year old Virginia man who threatened to kill the South Park creators over their supposed defamation of Muhammad, would have flown under the proverbial profiling radar.