Monday, January 14, 2008

Good News: Racial Profiling is being practiced

Between the lines of a recent story out of the UK published on Jihad Watch was wedged almost out of sight some good news: security personnel in the UK (at least some of them) are in fact using racial criteria in their general vigilance to prevent future terrorist attacks.

The main brunt of the story involved the potential danger of a growing trend of “white” terrorists—mostly recruited from UK prisons and mostly converting to Islam.

What struck me was not so much the main headline of the story, but this subtext, quoted from Lord Carlile, the Government's independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation:

“These (converts] are outside the standard type of profile which most police forces would have of a terrorist, which is male, young, and of Middle Eastern or Asian appearance.”

Wow: the standard type of profile, according to Lord Carlile, which most police forces would have of a terrorist—
male, young, and of Middle Eastern or Asian appearance. Not bad! Of course, it is entirely possible that Lord Carlile, of doubtlessly PC MC persuasion, is exaggerating, or even imagining, such behaviors on the part of police forces, in keeping with the near-paranoid hyper-vigilance by which the PC MC Thought Police tend to guard over our societies with an eye to maintaining their correct social engineering. Nevertheless, we may tentatively consider behind his concern a heartening sign of residues of common sense among at least some members of the British police forces.

Nota bene: I am not implying that we should not keep an eye out for Muslim terrorists who do not fit the rational stereotype. My argument is that we should continue to allocate more time, attention and resources to watching out for the stereotype, which is unavoidably racial. The “white” Muslim threat will continue to be a tiny subcategory. It would be foolish to accord it equal time.

Bottom line: The vast majority of Muslims of the world are brown; and the vast majority of non-Muslim Westerners are white. If a significant number of brown non-Muslims become inconvenienced by our rational allocation, so be it. That is a small price to pay for trying to avoid a terrorist dirty bomb (radioactive, chemical, biological) that could mass-murder hundreds of thousands if not millions.

For more on my past arguments about the exigency of racial profiling, see here.

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