Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Put Anyone Who Is A "Known Muslim" In A Separate Line

In the wake of Friday's attempted plane bombing in Detroit,
Crooks and Liars posts on the return of calls for intense racial profiling, specifically those of right-wing radio host Mike Gallagher:

Gallagher: But guys, let's look at the inevitable, the 800-pound gorilla in the room. How about we scrutinize young Middle Eastern men to stop this.

What happens when El Al Airlines, the airline run and operated by the state of Israel, if a Palestinian tries to board that plane? Do you think he goes through an extra degree of security? Well, let's do that with Muslims, let's do that with anybody named Abdul or Mohammad or Ahmed, let's take them and put them in a room and make sure they don't have explosives sewn into their underwear.

here, with video.

Of course, this point of view has always been bullshit, but I think only recently have I been able to articulate exactly why.

Just think about this for half a second. Suppose we did this. Suppose we essentially decide to make Muslims, and anybody who seems to be a Muslim, into a sort of second or third class, under continual deep scrutiny by law enforcement, with fewer rights than non-Muslims. I'm very skeptical that this would make our lives in the least bit more secure, but let's assume that it does, anyway. What happens if there is another attempted or even successful terrorist attack? It's reasonable to assume that we would ramp up the program, intensify the scrutiny, rescind more rights, maybe round up Muslims and put them into detention centers like we did with Japanese-Americans on the West Coast back in WWII.

Never mind that this is all "politically incorrect," which is the term conservatives sarcastically use to dismiss the reasonable fears of civil libertarians on the issue of profiling. Never mind that this would in all probability be counterproductive, enraging Muslims around the world, encouraging even more of them toward the radical terrorist fringe, especially here in the US, where we have already witnessed the horrifying and murderous actions of one of our own citizens, Major Nidal Hasan, at Fort Hood in Texas. Never mind all that, at least for the moment.

What's really disgusting about this renewed call for profiling Muslims is that we're talking about turning our country into a police state. And I just can't stomach that. Anybody who takes being a United States citizen seriously cannot stomach that. Conversely, anybody who calls for profiling Muslims is unworthy of living in this great nation. Let's call this bullshit what it is: the end of America. These right-wing assholes would have us self-destruct in order to save ourselves. Sickening, just sickening.

Like I keep saying, if we really want to get serious about terrorism, we have to stop treating other nations as though they were nothing more than resources to be extracted and labor to be exploited. This is why there are terrorists. And nothing short of treating people like human beings will stop the terrorists' homicidal rage.