We are a civilized society. One of our cardinal rules of coexistence is that we (try always to) judge people only by their actions and not by their identity, whether racial, religious or sexual. This is our great strength as a society, and also, in the present circumstances, our great weakness: How to address the threat posed by the fact that, of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims in our midst, there are a few (perhaps many more than a few) who are so radicalized that they would kill their fellow Americans? Must we continue to be neutral in handling all people from different groups even though we know that there are differential risks posed by people of one group? The problem here is a heightened version of the airport security problem, where we check all people–including Chinese grandmothers–regardless of risk profiles. But can we afford that on a grand, national scale? (And I mean that question not merely in a financial sense, but also in terms of the price we’d pay in failing to detect a threat in time.)
Brilliant thinking in a Forbes.com article by Tunku Varadarajan.
Later, in regards to that idiot Hasan who committed the Ft. Hood terrorist attack, Mr. Varadarajan had this to say:
I will end on a practical note. The PC–political correctness–problem is an obvious and thorny issue that the U.S. Army, at least, has to tackle. The Army had a self-identified Islamic fundamentalist in its midst, blogging about suicide bombings and telling everyone he hated the Army’s mission; and yet, they did, or could do, nothing about it. In effect, the “don’t-jump-to-conclusions” mentality was underway long before this man killed his colleagues.
I had a conversation at one point with a bunch of family and friends regarding that Muslim family who was put off a plane for talking bombs some time last year.
One of my sisters insisted that it was all super ridiculous, the couple was just talking about where the best place to sit was in case someone else bombed the plane.
My point was three-fold. a) You do not talk bombs/hijacking/etc. once you walk into the airport no matter what you look like. Period. b) You ESPECIALLY don’t talk bombs/hijacking/ etc. if you look slightly Middle Eastern. c) The airline was right to kick them off the plane.
My sister asked if I was saying that I am for racial profiling.
Yes. In this case, yes. I also pointed out to her that the couple was vastly and profoundly stupid to discuss anything like that on the plane knowing they looked Middle Eastern.
My sister was pissed at me and walked off.
It is utterly futile and ridiculous to say that we shouldn’t look more carefully at Muslim men and women who are posting suicide bomber love letters on radical Islamic sites. That isn’t just ridiculous, it is dangerous, as was proved by the events at Ft. Hood.
Political correctness be damned.
And like I said that night to my sister; if ANYONE makes comments like that, we need to investigate and take action. HELLO!!!! If a white soldier was posting crap on the internet about how much he fantasizes about Timothy McVeigh’s work and thinks he was brilliant, do you really think for a moment that Janet Napolitano’s DHS would not have scooped him up in a second? Of course they would have, and rightly so. It is just as absurd and dangerous to let men like Hasan breathe free air.
The Ft. Hood terrorist attack was as much a product of political correctness that prevented action as it was of Muslim fervor gone shooty.