If you're a non-Muslim male, we recommend you don't spew offensive stereotypes about Muslims on national television. That is, if you're keen on keeping your job as a left-wing journalist.
If you're a Muslim woman, though — in this case, Asra Nomani of the Daily Beast — you have a somewhat better shot at getting the world to listen to your non-PC views on Muslim profiling. Nomani wrote yesterday that she thinks racial and religious profiling — which help lead to “rational profiling” — are necessary at a time when terrorist trends are so glaring.
She gingerly breaches the nation's most sensitive matter-at-hand:
We have to talk about the taboo topic of profiling because terrorism experts are increasingly recognizing that religious ideology makes terrorist organizations and terrorists more likely to commit heinous crimes against civilians, such as blowing an airliner out of the sky. Certainly, it's not an easy or comfortable conversation but it's one, I believe, we must have.
Nomani goes on to say that she wouldn't mind if TSA officers profiled her and her family (thus subjecting them to more intensive security checkouts), because it's a necessary precaution after “we in the Muslim community have failed to police ourselves.”
She then provides a summary of terrorist attacks at the hands of Muslims over the last decade:
[Since 9/11], we've had the “Torrance Plotters,” the “JFK Airport Plotters,” the Glasgow, Scotland, bombers, and the “Transatlantic bombers,” all targeting airlines and airports. More recently, there was the attempt by the “underwear bomber,” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who last Christmas attempted to blow up explosives in his underwear–a foiled attack that brought the pat-downs of today. In addition to the Portland plot, most recently, we had the package bomb attempt out of Yemen last month.
Nomani worked at the Wall Street Journal for 15 years, and, most ironically, is a regular contributer to NPR — the same station who fired Juan Williams last month for saying, “If I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous,” to FOX News' Bill O'Reilly.
Back in October, Nomani showed her support for Williams, telling NPR host Michel Martin that “we are a nation that still doesn't know how to talk about Islam.” She even admitted she had similar tendencies as Williams:
“I got to tell you, when I went to Great Falls Park the other day, and I saw a woman in an full-face veil and her husband had a little leather bag that wasn't looking like the picnic basket, I felt a little nervous. And there was a park ranger behind me who clearly, was on their tail.
What Juan Williams expressed, I believe, is the sentiment of many people and -including Muslims. Muslims profile each other all the time. When you walk into a mosque and you see other Muslims, you say, oh look, he looks like a jihadi. Or, that's a niqab, a woman who wears a full-face veil. It doesn't mean, you know, that we need to go to the point of civil liberties – you know – offenses, or anything like that.
But Juan Williams was basically, I think, having a commentary that is very true in America today. And I believe, unfortunately, that NPR short- circuited a conversation that we really need to be having.”
(Oddly, an NPR piece from yesterday featuring Nomani's commentary on racial profiling appears to have been removed from the NPR website. Glitch, or controversy?)
What do you think: Is Nomani out of line? Are her remarks given any more weight or legitimacy by the fact that she herself is Muslim?
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