An end to ethnic profiling ?


It doesn’t work, says this new report.

Police forces across Europe regularly use religious and ethnic stereotypes to target potential terrorists, but – according to the Open Society Justice Initiative –  it leaves the public “less safe”

This writer says not only does the policy not work, it alienates whole communities. 

Since the 9/11 attacks, the report argues, 32 per cent of British Muslims have reported to being discrminated against at airports.., German police have used preventative powers to conduct mass identity checks outside mosques , while businesses and Mosques in France and Italy have “targeted” Muslims.

In New York, a “stop and search” policy on the city’s subway system after the Twin Tower attacks caused anger among Muslims.

Tell us – or more precisely- Lindle on Europe Today if it’s happened to you. Do you welcome pressure against it ?

14 Responses to “An end to ethnic profiling ?”

  1. 1 Steve in Boston
    May 26, 2009 at 12:58

    All Muslims are not terrorists, but almost all the terrorists are Muslims, and therefore to not give Muslims an extra bit of scrutiny is nothing short of suicidal. Sure their feelings might be hurt, but better they should cry than I should die.

    I’ve occasionally been called aside by airport security for some extra searching, probably because of my dark beard–and I am thankful that they do. It means they’re doing their job and not risking the lives of me and my family in order to spare the feelings (boo hoo hoo) of those ethnic groups which contain members bent on death, destruction, mayhem and terror.

    Those who cry foul at ethnic profiling are co-conspirators to terrorism. Let’s show a little fortitude and backbone, people, ok? Safety and security must trump feelings every time.

    • 2 Jim Newman
      June 2, 2009 at 13:25

      Hello Steve
      The United States Air Force is certainely not a muslim organisation but they bomb everything that can be bombed: cities, towns , villages, weddings etc etc. If that is not terrorism I don’t know what is.
      But to get to the question of ethnic profiling at the beginning of the twentieth century there was a flurry of theories that claimed to define racial characteristics by measuring noses, mouths, width breadth and depth of heads. Those who were doing the measuring came out on top and at that time negroes came a very poor last. The nazies took the whole thing a step further by accurately pin-pointing harmful traits in certain ethnicities. This led to a purification campaign.
      Ethnic profiling is a pseudo scientific pass time for those who hate everybody and it can only lead to ethnic cleansing and disaster.

  2. 3 Bright Mhango
    May 26, 2009 at 14:49

    Tread careful, o ye plofilers, this is a free world.

  3. 4 Livia Varju
    May 26, 2009 at 14:50

    Excellent message from Steve in Boston, exactly according to my thinking. It would be ridiculous to subject to intensive search and interrogation an old Swiss lady or a young Norwegian. The logical thing is to target individuals of those origins that have committed horrendous attacks. If I were a Muslim, I would hang my head in shame and keep a low profile instead of complaining of being “targeted”.
    Safety first! Livia Varju

  4. 5 Jennifer
    May 26, 2009 at 15:00

    I agree with Steve in Boston.

    We have to face the facts. It’s like saying black people do not contribute significantly to the crime rate. I would much rather face a little “discrimination” so that others would not worry. I think it would be a good opportunity to show that for the Muslims that do bad things; there are good ones as well. Don’t complain just do it and go on.

  5. 6 steve
    May 26, 2009 at 15:06

    So they are going to stop terrorism by going after blond haired blue eyed grandmothers?

  6. 7 T
    May 26, 2009 at 16:07

    People who say ethnic profiling is necessary to protect us from “terrorists” are missing the point.

    What if Caucausian people were stopped instead of people of color? If this happened, the mostly white powers that be would be screaming discrimination. And THEN it would stop. To say if you’ve done nothing wrong then don’t worry about it is just completely daft.

  7. 8 Tom K in Mpls
    May 26, 2009 at 17:19

    Anything is a tool. Care must be taken to not misuse tools and not all tools are equally effective. A blanket statement against stereotyping and profiling is just as wrong, for the exact same reasons, as a blanket belief in the value or lack of value in stereotyping and profiling.

  8. 9 patti in cape coral
    May 26, 2009 at 17:25

    Maybe Caucasians don’t get profiled as much because their crimes (in general) are of a different nature, not involving mass violence? I don’t know…

    It’s kind of funny, whenever me and my children have gotten on a plane, my son gets searched. He does have a very middle eastern look, but he is obviously autistic and developmentally disabled, although I have heard stories about terrorists taking advantage of the mentally challenged population to do their dirty work. In any case, I’m not offended or bothered by the long lines or searches. As far as I’m concerned, they can search everybody, after all, it’s me and my family getting on that plane.

  9. 10 Robert in Indiana
    May 26, 2009 at 19:06

    The problem with profiling is oversight. As far as I know there’s no small group within security controling it and no group to report on them. Profiling missed people like the shoe bomber and unibomber. Flat out security also catches those drug mule moms and forgetfully armed grannies. Nobody can go into an airport expecting NOT to be searched. This is far better than being distracted by verybody that “looks muslim”.

  10. May 26, 2009 at 20:01

    Exactly how do you profile a ‘Muslim’? Is brown skin a proxy for Muslim? It maybe a proxy of an Arab, but all imbeciles here have yet to grasp the that that most Arabs in America are well, Christian. You want to profile American Muslims? Which ones? The white? African Americans? The South central Asians? It’s not only practically impossible but it creates an unfair stigma on not just a single group (be it the less-privileged African Americans, or the middle class Hispanic American Muslims), but an entire religion of people that has been very much successful at being ‘American’.

    Then there is the issue of mistaken profiling. Many Sikhs were beaten, killed, attacked, robbed, and discriminated against because the general population knows just about nothing of who they’re fighting, they’ve been completely spoon fed from the offset.

    Besides, it seems to me that a few cretins on this website love to continually abuse Ann Coulters quote as if it’s a special one-liner or a follow-up that can trounce any opposition to their argument. If all terrorist are Muslim, then I’d love to know how and when Richard Reid, John Walker, and Timothy McVeigh became Muslim.

    People who are for it are generally conditioned that way, they’ve never experienced it. These are the same people who will affirm the consequent, be it if there is a criminal, then he must be black or latino. This, like racial profiling, is fallacious because it fails to recognize the same tragedy can be attempted and carried out by so many different people.

  11. 12 Delphic Oracle of Oz
    May 26, 2009 at 22:55

    Just close all borders for a month! No pig flu, no new terrorists – just the ones already in the country! Safety first rather than last and remember, sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you physically.

  12. 13 patrick Odadi
    May 27, 2009 at 09:56

    The Task of the police force or service or any law enforcing agency is to protect the of citizen and their properties and well being, we can afford to loose more lives any more.

    The police and anybody mandated by the law to do so should continue for safety of our world. We can not afford to loose lives qt expenses of any religion idiology,mores or folkways.

    If ethinic profiling is done to protect our world and cities and it is viewed as the viable and detterent and preventive and proactive security measure I fully support it.

    It only become descriminqtive if it done will ill motive to target particular sector of the society, when and it is done qs normal security procecure then it a worthwhile endevour
    The western mentally sometime pusses fqr individual right as opposed to common good the profiling is done to protect the common good so let forget individual paradigms, community first and individual second

  13. 14 Steve in Boston
    May 27, 2009 at 13:05

    @ David:

    As you may have figured out from the other posts on this blog, many of us are tired of the specious arguments and name-calling (“imbecile”, “cretin”) that come from proponents of your side of the issue. You can’t confuse us or insult us out of recognizing the common sense position that safety comes before political correctness and hurt feelings.

    Racial profiling, ethnic profiling–whatever you want to call it–an extra search at the airport of anyone whom the authorities deem suspicious never hurt anyone who had nothing to hide, and may save the lives of you and your family. Maybe you’re willing to sacrifice your children in an attempt to appease the “feelings” of various ethnic groups, but most of us are not. It’s time we set aside our faux anger and realize that a little inconvenience for the sake of the safety of all is simply the price of living in today’s world.

    And please don’t give us that antiquated Benjamin Franklin quote. He wasn’t right about everything, you know.

    Have a great day!

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