Profiling A Muslim-American

August 14, 2006 § 11 Comments

muslim-americaI have been searching through many Muslim and non-Muslim blogs just to read the overall thoughts about Muslims in light of current events. I have also been going to Nielsen Buzz-metrics (BlogPulse) to analyze current trends and buzz words in the blogosphere. I have concluded that Muslims are coming dangerously close to a position that many (Muslims) have never experienced here in the US.

Muslims, are nearing the conditions in the US and other Western countries that inspired the kind of prejudice of the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, that of anti-communism. Muslim leadership fails to gain leverage with the political systems of the West and as a result, the only thing that is protecting Muslims from real oppression are the inherent laws concerning Human Rights.

After recent events in Britain the question of profiling has been discussed without end. Ideas suggesting to discard a certain degree of Human Rights to preserve innocent lives from an imminent threat, this is the argument backing racial profiling. My greatest fear is that the poor Muslims who live in small tight-knit communities will be the target of this profiling and its focus on the young Muslim-Male as suggested in an article from NPR,

“The men who live in these Muslim enclaves are keenly aware that they’ve become the prime targets of police scrutiny. According to a report issued last week by the Open Society Institute, young Muslim men are increasingly at risk of social exclusion; many feel they are ‘under siege’.” (D. Amos, NPR)

The argument in support of profiling is coming hard and strong from the Media-Super Powers like, WSJ and The Examiner. In contrast, recently on a blog entitled ProfessorBainBridge.com, the issue of profiling was discussed and seemingly opposed profiling Muslims due to the unethical nature of the practice as he claims,

“If we sacrifice our principles in the name of expediency, aren’t we betraying what makes us different from our opponents?”

In addition the Professor fears that the same problem occurring in Britain will eventually happen in the US if profiling and other pressures are applied to the Muslim population when he writes,

“My concern is that if American Muslims start to experience “flying while Muslim,” that will promote precisely the sort of alienation and rage we say in too many European Muslims.”

marriageIn conclusion, I’m not sure where this places the American-Muslim in the overall picture. I must agree if I were a typical Anglo-American, profiling Muslims and taking certain extreme measures, compromising certain social-equalities would seem like a viable possibility. Yet as a Muslim, I can’t say that I would not be prepared, if they unjustly harass and mistreat me.

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§ 11 Responses to Profiling A Muslim-American

  • TWL says:

    It is good to get the American-Muslim perspective. It is obvious that terrorism is a threat to our civilization and it is something that we must deal with. The question I would like to ask is: what is your feelings on terrorism and what do you think peace loving American Muslims can do to help stop terrorism in the West?

    I would also like to add that I dont think violence is ever the proper retaliation to the profiling. It may be worth noting that sometimes peaceful protests are the best way to get your voice heard. To “bash someone’s head in” for what you precieve to be an unjust treatment is not going to get your cause anywhere. After all you should want to be a part of changing the image of what most Americans think of Muslims and not add to the stereotype. At least that is how I would be.

  • hairybeast says:

    A blogger (I forget whom) commented recently that he was chosen for a random security check at an aiport. While he waited in the room, two more random passengers came in. One was a uniformed General and the other was Dan Rather.

    Considering the fact that all the bombers nabbed in Britain last week were young males of middle-eastern/muslim extraction, does it make ANY sense to be checking old ladies, media stars and generals? Everybody knows this is an utter waste of time, so why do we have to keep up the farce? What do we gain?

  • Saifuddin says:

    It is good to get the American-Muslim perspective.

    Thank you, I happy to share my views to further the development of a common ground between Muslims and non-Muslims in my home country.

    I would also like to add that I dont think violence is ever the proper retaliation to the profiling. It may be worth noting that sometimes peaceful protests are the best way to get your voice heard. To “bash someone’s head in” for what you precieve to be an unjust treatment is not going to get your cause anywhere.

    Firstly, I would like to say that I am an American, I am NOT an immigrant. I was born in the US, as were both of my parents. I am a third generation immigrant which gives me as much right to the liberties of this country as anyone else who shares that status (third generation immigrant).

    Therefore, I see no need to have to put on a “pony-show” everyday just because our elected officials are imposing “political imperialism” on a people who are just not gonna take it anymore. I’m beginning to fear the kind of treatment in this country which eventually led to my ancestors immigration from their home country.

    And I would be damn-well justified to defend my wife and children from the kinds of mistreatment that I have seen occur to Muslims in Israel/Occupied Palestine. If you think for one second that I would let that happen to my family in this country without a bitter revolt you are gravely mistaken.

    After all you should want to be a part of changing the image of what most Americans think of Muslims and not add to the stereotype.

    Profiling is one thing… mistreatment is something else… I mean no disrespect to black people and their struggles here in the US but… this in not the same. Please do not try to make it so, you will be sorely disappointed.

  • Saifuddin says:

    Considering the fact that all the bombers nabbed in Britain last week were young males of middle-eastern/muslim extraction, does it make ANY sense to be checking old ladies, media stars and generals?

    I have said that I understand the rationale, and I agree if I were an Anglo-American… it seems like a viable solution. However, I am not and I am opposed to mistreatment if it so occurs with this profiling. Profiling is one thing… mistreatment is something else.

    wasalaam

  • FreeThought says:

    The simple fact is that there is a group of people in this world who identify themselves as Muslims and they preach the killing of ALL non-Muslims. I am waiting for the majority of decent, reasonable Muslims to speak out against these hate mongers. You will find that the majority of Christians speak out and condemn Christian White Supremicist groups as well as Anti Gay Christian groups. Why is it so hard for the Muslim community to speak out against those who murder innocent men, women and children?

  • Saifuddin says:

    The simple fact is that there is a group of people in this world who identify themselves as Muslims and they preach the killing of ALL non-Muslims.

    If you point out these groups I will condemn them… please make a list and include it in this conversation… and I will promptly condemn them…

    However, you must prove, that their agenda is as you say to, “preach the killing of ALL non-Muslims”. Is that fair?

  • me2 says:

    he simple fact is that there is a group of people in this world who identify themselves as Muslims and they preach the killing of ALL non-Muslims.

    This (group of people) didn’t went that far except cuz nobody is ready to hear them & give them,,, some (human rights),, not because islam approves that
    & it’s not a secret that those ones were equiped well by the united states government & then (as usual) when their mission is complete,, (destroying USSR), the united states wants to get rid of them!!!!
    also some were trying to ask for justice for the people who get killed everyday,, we all know where & whom ,, palesttinans & more other muslims around the world,,, but when they found that nobody really cares,,, they started to feel angry & usually anger leads to stupid reaction,,, just trying to get their rights back as long as the world ignored them
    I repeat that the two standards is the reason of all the problems & I doubt that all what’s happened & what’s happening wasn’t a secret for the west specially the united stated,, but as the united states works with the prenciple: Whatever it takes,, they let all that mess to help their benifits …..
    all what I wrote above doesn’t mean that I support violence or terror,,, but it’s totally unfair,, that your media doesn’t really tell the truth,,,
    how do I know,, simply I speak two language,,, arabic & english ,,, but you don’t,, you only read and watch (american) media

  • […] Fox News recently aired conservative talk-radiohost Mike Gallagher’s call for ‘Muslim-only’ lines at airports. He did this during a discussion about racial profiling and I saw the unmaterialized concerns of my last few posts come to fruition right before my eyes. I found it hard to be surprised as I thought to myself, “my countrymen are so predictable”. News Hounds quickly jumped on the case publishing an article saying, “A Fox News guest proposed having a “Muslims only” line for airport travelers, an idea that “Dayside” co-host Mike Jerrick called attention to it so that viewers did not overlook the proposal.” (News Hounds) […]

  • Having known many Muslims over the years I think that I have at least a bit of objectivity towards them, as a group. The first being that there are different divisions in Islam.

    It looks to me, an outsider, that those that follow the Wahabbi beliefs are the ones that are causing most of the problems in the world today. The Sunni and Shia groups appear like they are being sucked into a conflict that niether group really want to be involved in. There is a fourth sect that I cannot recall the name of right now that is even more extreme.

    I do have a problem with a statement/inferance made above. My father died in Korea so that all Americans could enjoy the rights of being an American. There is no place in America whatsoever for hyphenated Americans. Just call yourself an American and leave it at that. It doesn’t matter one iota how many generations someone’s family has been here, or if that person just took the oath of citizanship.

  • Saifuddin says:

    Ahlan,

    Thank you for you comment and your objectivity, though there are a few points I would like to address in them.

    Having known many Muslims over the years I think that I have at least a bit of objectivity towards them, as a group. The first being that there are different divisions in Islam.

    There is no division in the “Submission to the Will of Allah”, which is the meaning of Islam and not “Peace” as many Westerners might think. What you are referring to is division in School of Islamic thought.

    You might ask, well what is the difference… its division. There is a great significance here to which the term madhhab is given; this should be understood by the Westerner.

    These differences are not like Christian denominations at all. The differences are more refined and concerning the details of practice and certain concentrations with respect to historical references and traditions; not theology is most cases.

    also…

    “There is no place in America whatsoever for hyphenated Americans. Just call yourself an American and leave it at that.”

    This is your opinion and bismillah you have the right to it, however that does not mean that because you are inspired with an idea, it is guaranteed to be a good one. The United States of America is made of immigrants, everyone here with the exception of the Native-American and the African-American (the Black People) are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Therefore in a melting-pot such as this it is necessary to identify ones-self with your ethnic origin and nation (this is an honor for many who have become naturalized). Please consider these points…

    wasalaam

  • Black Looks says:

    […] Wa Salaam: A Muslim American Journal questions the proposals being discussed in the Western media suggesting the profiling of Muslims. Muslims, are nearing the conditions in the US and other Western countries that inspired the kind of prejudice of the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, that of anti-communism. Muslim leadership fails to gain leverage with the political systems of the West and as a result, the only thing that is protecting Muslims from real oppression are the inherent laws concerning Human Rights. […]

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