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I don't buy this

Reader comment on item: Why the Japanese Internment Still Matters

Submitted by Irfan Khawaja (United States), Dec 29, 2004 at 19:31

That some profiling is in order is indeed close to self-evident. That the government has the right to force "Muslims" en masse "to register their whereabouts" is definitely not. And the hint dropped to the effect that internment camps for M:uslims are a legitimate "defensive" measure is way over the line.

I see that there is a lot of mindless support for this proposal here, so let me simply ask: If "Muslims" (however that is to be defined and determined) are obliged to register their whereabouts, would a person who travels a lot be obliged to inform the equivalent of a parole officer of his travel plans? Would he be required to divulge his daily routine, and then be expected to account for divergences from that routine? It seems to me that the answer is "yes," and if so, we've simply gotten rid of all procedural safeguards between "being Muslim" and being on parole. It's not very far from that to the claim that you can arrest and detain a Muslim without probable cause of a crime (or equate "being Muslim" with probable cause). And once you're there, you've just abdicated any principle that Muslims actually have rights. That is essentially the beginning of dhimmitude for Muslims. (Oh, the irony.)

Before we travel down this path, it seems to me that have to define what civil rights standards are going to be upheld on principle and will not simply be dropped on a whim or out of fear. When it comes to anything resembling arrest and detention, I don't see what's wrong with the old probable cause standard. It is remarkable easy to meet. If you can't meet that standard, you're really not employing any standard. You're just throwing out the rule of law.

As for registries, I don't see the point. If there is a terrorist attack, what good is it to know that there are 20,000 registered Muslims in the neighborhood? Will the terrorists register as "Muslim terrorists"? Or are you going to interview all 20,000 Muslims at the local PD every time an incident takes place?

And the compliance problems are a nightmare. Compare gun registries (where there is a physical object to register) with registries pertaining to someone's internal beliefs. The idea of getting full compliance on a gun registry is bad enough. But getting compliance on whether somebody believes in Islam? How is non-compliance going to be discerned? Is a judge going to sit there and say, "OK, now tell us the truth, do you believe in Allah and Muhammad, or not? You better tell us, or we'll have to use the paddles again..." I mean come on!
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Daniel Pipes replies:

Please see my clarification in the Dec. 29 update at http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/391.

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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