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The U.S. in Catch-22

Reader comment on item: [Mosque Mischief and] Counting Mosques

Submitted by Susan Bradford (United States), Feb 4, 2003 at 09:55

Samuel Huntington warned of a "clash of civilizations" between Islam and Christianity, and the federal government has long been aware of the looming threats of rogue states, etc. However, never before did we expect an assault on U.S. soil of the magnitude of 9/11. While intelligence reports were pointing in this direction, America believed itself invulnerable from such attacks.

If American policy seems contradictory now, it reflects, in part, the fact that the U.S. is still trying to find its bearings. It is trying to fight a war on terror effectively while not compromising the democratic tradition which the terrorists sought to extinguish.
On the one hand, it wishes to celebrate diversity. On the other, terrorism is more likely to stem from some mosques than from churches. The war is not against Islam, but against certain extremists. Yet how can the U.S. launch intelligence work without seeming racist and engaging in racial profiling? It ends up being a Catch-22.

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