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For Pipes, more grouping and less nuance...

Reader comment on item: The Enemy Within [and the Need for Profiling]

Submitted by Amjad M. Khan (United States), Jan 24, 2003 at 11:14

Mr. Pipes:

You lump all American Muslims together into a single cohesive group and then claim that *religious* profiling of them is justifiable. That's a very dangerous proposition. I think many people these days equate *religious* and *racial* profiling, particularly as it relates to Muslims. Arguments for religious profiling are of a far different bent than arguments for racial profiling.

Muslims are not a race of people! Muslims are Arabs, Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangalis, Egyptians, Turks, Americans, and so on. If one is going to argue that *racial* profiling is justified, then one must address the issue of whether profiling Arab-Americans, for instance, is justified. Certainly, most of the 9/11 hijackers were of Arab or Middle Eastern background. You could make a case, although in my view still a tenuous one, that exigent circumstances justify profiling Arab-Americans. But you cannot use the same argument to justify profiling American Muslims as a group. The fact remains that the majority of Muslims in America are *not* Arab--they're South Asians or African-Americans. Moreover, the majority of Arab-Americans are *Christian*, not Muslim.

These distinctions are missing from your analysis.

-Amjad M. Khan
Cambridge, Mass.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

This response completely misses my point. The Muslim community in the United States has no racial or ethnic dimension; Islamists must be sought out by their beliefs and actions, not their skin color or national origin.

DP

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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