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Electronic Tagging of Islamists - The Scarlet Letter

Reader comment on item: Two Germans vs. Islamism

Submitted by Sophia Gates (United States), Jan 3, 2006 at 13:25

First of all, let me say that I'm no fan of Islamism and as a Jew, a modern woman and an American, feel myself to be in their crosshairs.

BUT - I find the idea of putting electronic scarlet letters on people with whom we disagree, frighteningly similar to making Jews wear yellow armbands in Nazi Germany.

Let's not go overboard here and and throw the democratic baby out with the bathwater. If we've learned nothing else from the last 2,000 years, let it be that we have absorbed the lesson of our own persecution: marginalizing and stereotyping and scapegoating are wrong and potentially, very harmful.

I don't find the loyalty questionnaires in the same category. We have a right not to harbor serpents in our bosom. And we have a right to protect the core values of our culture. People aren't forced to live within our nations and if they do, it isn't unreasonable to expect a certain degree of respect for our ideals.

But wholesale shaming? Tagging people as though they are rogue cattle? I think not, except in rare cases. And, if people are THAT dangerous, perhaps they shouldn't be amongst us in the first place. People who do live amongst us should be treated with civility and respect.

We must maintain the balance between living as a free, independent and safe society - which obviously means protecting ourselves - and respecting civil liberties.

Shalom,
Sophia Gates
Submitting....

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