The only difference between us is we speak a different language. We have no right to be racist towards them. This needs to stop! Why is it that everytime we're in an airport, security guards think (oh, my gosh, an Afghan) they're going to blow the plane up. This is ridiculous. If you agree with me, please reply back, we need to stop this racism. Sure, we have to be careful of Bin Laden, but we shouldn't be racist towards all Afghans!

yours truly,
B.U.C.
1 2
Racial profiling is a huge debate everywhere. How should we deal with this problem in the general population? How can we avoid alienating Afghans and others while still protecting innocent civilians? Random checks are, in my opinion, completely ineffective.
I will let the following often forwarded email message make its statement. I would like to hear commentary about the statement this quote is making.

------

In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and
massacred by:
(a) Olga Corbutt
(b) Sitting Bull
(c) Arnold Schwartzeneger
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:
(a) Lost Norwegians
(b) Elvis
(c) A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

During the 1980s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
(a) John Dillinger
(b) The King of Sweden
(c) The Boy Scouts
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
(a) A pizza delivery boy
(b) Pee Wee Herman
(c) Geraldo Rivera making up for a slow news day
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by:
(a) The Smurfs
(b) Davy Jones
(c) The Little Mermaid
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a U.S. Navy
diver was murdered by:
(a) Captain Kid
(b) Charles Lindberg
(c) Mother Teresa
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
(a) Scooby Doo
(b) The Tooth Fairy
(c) Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid who had a few sticks of
dynamite left over from the train job.
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
(a) Richard Simmons
(b) Grandma Moses
(c) Michael Jordan
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
(a) Mr. Rogers
(b) Hillary, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
(c) The World Wrestling Federation to promote its next villain: "Mustapha the Merciless"
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked and destroyed and
thousands of people were killed by:
(a) Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd
(b) The Supreme Court of Florida
(c) Mr. Bean
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
(a) Enron
(b) The Lutheran Church
(c) The NFL
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
(a) Bonny and Clyde
(b) Captain Kangaroo
(c) Billy Graham
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40
On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked and destroyed and
thousands of people were killed by:
(a) Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd
(b) The Supreme Court of Florida
(c) Mr. Bean
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

I think you'll find WAY more than just Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40 were killed in that war.

I have way more to say about this, however i'll keep my mouth shut.
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I fail to see how that is relevant to the topic of racial profiling.

In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
(a) Enron
(b) The Lutheran Church
(c) The NFL
(d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40


My variant is
(e) Everyone who resmebled people responsible for the crimes listed above.

It seemed just like that. Who in the Western hemisphere cared about Afganistan before 9/11? You, Chameleon, indirectly stated that the Afgani war had your support (remember, "except Iraq"?). This makes me remember an assertion like "We should roll all these Chechens/Basques/Muslims/etc under tanks together with children and women and everyone, pour napalm over these lands - and this is the only reliable way to get rid of terrorism". It is a real oppinion of a Russian person after 6 Feb blast in the Moscow subway. When I read something like this, I see that these people who have nothing to do with Chechens/Basques/Muslims have acheived their goals.

Now you say
How can we avoid alienating Afghans and others while still protecting innocent civilians? Random checks are, in my opinion, completely ineffective.
Yes, you are caught, too, Chameleon! That is the only thing they want to believe you in - that your anger is fair, that you (after all they had done) have the right to and even have to hate everyone who resembles them.

Stop!
So racial profiling is the same as covering children in napalm? Sorry, I think you're getting a little too emotional. Maybe you should focus on what we should do to prevent terrorism when the answer to every question above is d), and suggest a way we can do it without violating anyone's civil rights. I think that would be a lot more productive than comparing me to some bigot with whom I have no association.

On your point, do you think you or I can tell the difference between a Taliban soldier and a northern alliance soldier? I don't mean to be culturally insensitive, but I can't tell the difference. Yet, we were fighting one group and allies with the other. There is more to being enemies and allies than simple appearance.

And say what you like, random checks examine 10% of the people boarding airplanes. Should the pentagon or scotland yard only ask for id on 10% of people trying to get in? It makes absolutely no sense!
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I am in no position to judge the way how airports security operate. Neither can I suggest anything constructive or productive for preventing terrorism on the global scale.

I am only talking about us, mere mortals, and what we are thinking about the group d) and similar groups specific for each country. Look inside yourself. If you find yourself stainlessly free of prejudices about the "group d) ", I take off my hat for you are the winner in fighting with terrorism.
I never made the claim that EVERY Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40 was responsible for the acts of terrorism listed above (although, for fun, list me a few positive social contributions that ANY group of violent extremists have made to the human condition). I made the claim that a SINGLE Muslim male extremist or a small group of the same were responsible. I am not making the following leap of logic:

More men commit violent crimes than women. (True) -> It is statistically safer to walk next to a woman than a man in public. (True) -> All men should be strip searched for weapons when they leave the house. (Ridiculous)

The fact that #3 is not an appropriate course of action doesn't make #1 and #2 any less true. The question is, "what can we do about this situation without violating civil liberties?" And on the contrary, as a thinking human being, you absolutely have every right to question how airport security works. I would hope everyone would question it ... their lives could depend on airport security and how effective it is (or is not)!

The solution to the racial profiling problem, for me, is to put research money into developing fast and effective ways to search everyone instead of giving terrorists a 90% chance of success if they are "clever" enough to get past a metal detector and a sleeping rent-a-cop.
The acrimony that exists between some western countries, America in particular, and some countries in the Middle East and indeed part of the Eastern Block should never be simplified to only language, may I also add race and religion here. If we do that, then we'll be missing the whole point hence we may fail as human beings to address this situation.
The history of that region might help us in resolving the situation obtaining. This for sure demands for courage to accept the truth and the political will to solve the problem otherwise piecemeal approaches will never work.
The problem is actually Israel and Palestine and this has trickled down to antagonize the symphathizers of these two countries as well. This to me is the root cause of all the troubles that are there between America and the Middle East. I must hasten to mention that there could be other factors at play but the Israel/Palestine issue tops the list. So, without putting the Israel/ Palestine issue to rest, we'll have just to wait for God to come and sort out that impasse.
Simply put, its not only Afghanistanians that the US is against but all perceived enemies from anywhere in the world. The difficult part has been to identify who actually is their enemy and who isn't. In the end nearly everybody has been affected in terms of scruitiny at their borders and indeed anyway in their territory.

I only hope I've been as objective as objective can possibly be. I'll also want to get other people's comments and views.

Kennedy MT Chisanga.
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