The Philadelphia Inquirer today quotes police Chief Raymond Fluck of Green Lane, Pennsylvania saying this of federal law enforcement officers: "Before 9/11, if you had a person who was illegal, it was hard to get them picked up. Now, if it's an Arab or Muslim, they come in a heartbeat. But not for the others." This and other evidence in the same article ("U.S. agents limit scrutiny of illegal-immigrant arrests; Local cases are ignored if the person is not from a "high risk" country or a known criminal") point again to the de facto profiling that law enforcement is engaged in, based on nationality, quite contrary to official policy. This brings to mind what I wrote earlier this year:
Muslims are already subjected to added scrutiny; the time has come for politicians to catch up to reality and formally acknowledge what are now quasi-clandestine practices. Doing so places these issues in the public arena, where they can openly be debated.
Such debate will also make it possible to focus on the nature of the enemy, who in my view is not defined by nationality, religion, or appearance but by ideology. (September 9, 2003)