The release of two innocent Indian Muslims after a long detention in U.S. jails on suspicion of being part of Al-Qaeda prompted me to note that their "tribulation brings to attention the single-most delicate and agonizing issue in prosecuting the War on Terror. Does singling out Muslims for additional scrutiny serve a purpose? And if so, is it legally and morally acceptable?" I went on to reply in the affirmative.
This issue is not going away. Zakaria Mustapha Soubra, a Lebanese member of Al Muhajiroun (an Al-Qaeda affiliate in the United Kingdom) and aeronautical safety student in Arizona, spent more than a year in federal detention, without every being charged with a crime. On release (and deportation), he complained that the police "suspect everybody. Believe me, they are trained to suspect Muslims and Arabs. That's the issue. My whole life was destroyed. My future. They just destroyed everything." There is no question that a double standard is at work. Again, I say that we would all be better off to admit it.
As a humorous aside, here is his 19-year-old convert wife's take on the man she knows as Zak, as paraphrased by the Arizona Republic: he "is no terrorist, just a soft-spoken sentimentalist who feeds hummingbird chicks by hand, laughs himself silly watching Jim Carey movies and devoutly adheres to his Islamic faith." In her own words, she says that "He couldn't be dangerous if he tried. He's such a pushover." (June 22, 2003)