Dr. K says “Give Grandma a Pass”
Read Charles Krauthammer’s article, Give Grandma a Pass. Politically Correct Screening Won’t Catch Jihadists
The fact is that jihadist terrorism has been carried out from Bali to Casablanca to Madrid to London to New York to Washington by young Muslim men of North African, Middle Eastern and South Asian origin.
This is not a stereotype. It is a simple statistical fact. Yes, you have your shoe-bomber, a mixed-race Muslim convert, who would not fit the profile. But the overwhelming odds are that the guy bent on blowing up your train traces his origins to the Islamic belt stretching from Mauritania to Indonesia.
Yet we recoil from concentrating bag checks on men who might fit this description.
While Dr. Krauthammer is partially correct (he says “Then we could exempt whole ethnic populations, a list that could immediately start with Hispanics, Scandinavians and East Asians”, but there is at least one Hispanic jihadist: José Padilla, who’s being defended by — you guessed it! — the ACLU), the fact remains that profiling is justified.
Victor Davis Hanson looks at the larger issue of the war in his article, Reformation or Civil War? The jihadists cannot be reasoned with, only defeated.
The father of Mohammed Atta is emblematic of this crazy war, and we can learn various lessons from his sad saga.
First, for all their braggadocio, the Islamists are cowardly, fickle, and attuned to the current political pulse.
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The other lesson is that the war the Arab autocracies thought was waged against the West by their own zealots has now turned on them.
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Quite simply, Islam is not in need of a reformation, but of a civil war in the Middle East, since the jihadists cannot be reasoned with, only defeated. Only with their humiliation, will come a climate of tolerance and reform, when berated and beaten-down moderates can come out of the shadows.
Hanson also looks at history, both in this article, and in The past as today’s politics: When references to history totally confuse the point. While profiling might raise complaints of racism, and all sorts of historical references, Tunku Varadarajan of the WSJ That Feeling Of Being Under Suspicion: What of “profiling” as an anti-terrorism forensic tool? explains,
But what of “profiling” as a forensic tool? Here, one must be satisfied either that profiling ought to be done or at least–per Bentham–that it isn’t something that “ought not to be done.” I am satisfied on the second count. The practice cannot be rejected with the old moral clarity. The profiling process is not precisely racial but broadly physical according to “Muslim type.” (Does that make it worse or better?) The process under way now does not constitute racial profiling in the classic sense–Muslims, after all, come in flavors other than Pakistani, including white Chechens and black Somalis.
But there is no getting around profiling, surely, because of the life-or-death, instant decisions involved. So we have to ask one section of society to bear up under heightened scrutiny, asking them also to work extra hard–visibly so–to expunge the threat. Meanwhile, and just as important, we must ask the rest of society not to stigmatize those who conform to the broad physical category while also not allowing feelings of racial and moral guilt to slow our society’s response to danger.
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Do I like being profiled? Of course not. But my displeasure is yet another manifestation of the extraordinary power of terrorism. I am not being profiled because of racism but rather because Islamist fanatics have declared war on my society. They are the dark power that leads me to an experience in which my individuality is corroded. This is tragic; but it strengthens my resolve to support the war that seeks to destroy terrorism.
It is war, after all.
Update Wake up, folks — it’s war!