The rationale for the cogency and exigency of racial profiling as one tool in our self-defense against Islamic Jihad has been argued here before in the following essays:
White Muslims: Honorary Browns (in three parts: see particularly the comments to Part 3, where I articulate in greater detail in response to a critic the rationale behind racial profiling of Muslims)
Racial Profiling and the Problem of Islam (in two parts)
There is, on some levels, considerable overlap and repetition distributed among these several essays. Certain elementary points have been reiterated in different ways, but to my knowledge have never been effectively refuted. At the same time, I have noticed on the part of critics a curious obstinacy based upon a stubborn denial of those points, in all cases but one in my experience without backing that denial up with even an attempt at an argument, let alone evidentiary refutation.
The one exception is documented (as noted above) in Part 3 of the essay White Muslims: Honorary Browns. The overarching flaw of that critic turned out to be amusingly amazing, because astonishingly self-contradictory: He chided me for my apparent inability to appreciate the physiognomically determinable distinctions by which one could visibly spot the difference between a Cypriot and a Greek, while at the same time he quibbled indignantly over my central thesis on the need for our security personnel throughout the West to implement discrimination of Muslims based on physiognomic criteria founded in the facts of demographic preponderances in Muslim populations worldwide (a preponderance that seems closely—if not fairly exactly—paralleled in the subpopulation of Muslim terrorists, both actual and potential). The problem with this critic’s odd paradox is self-evident: If according to him we can (with sufficient training and/or expertise) viably spot the difference between two populations to the normal untrained eye as exceedingly similar in appearance as Cypriot and Greek, then surely—his indignantly ethical protestations notwithstanding—it would be not appreciably more difficult (and therefore not impossible nor impracticable) to tell the difference between, say—to pick one example out of dozens from a fez—an Italian and a Moroccan. (For a more detailed analysis of my responses to this critic, see this two-part essay.)
My inclination has always been to be prepared to accept the “collateral damage” of an Italian being mistaken for a Moroccan—on the premise, of course, that we would be aggressively pursuing a methodology that targets the Moroccan in the first place (because, obviously, he is more likely to be a Muslim); but also based on the apparently unavoidable limitation imposed upon us by our insufficient ability to perfectly, at all times, distinguish the Italian from the Moroccan. But if, according to my critic, it is possible to spot such fine distinctions (and what could be finer than the distinctions that distinguish the Cypriot from the Greek!), then perhaps it would be possible to train our security personnel to do so—not to achieve a perfect “color-blind” screening process, but only, realistically, in order to minimize, at least, the inevitable collateral damage. The practical efficacy of this, of course, would have to be rigorously tested before being applied willy-nilly, or in the vain conviction that, being more “ethical” (because less “racist”), it is also ipso facto the more pragmatic (a curious linkage that seems to predominate in the more Leftish brain). We would have to be prepared as a society for the likelihood that only a relatively few of our security personnel in all the public (and less public high-security) areas throughout the West—including airports, bus stations, train stations, shopping centers, synagogues, etc.—would be sufficiently talented and/or trained to spot such fine distinctions, and that therefore, for the purposes of our general safety, our screening process would perforce err on the side of incurring collateral damage.
In the above-linked essays, I have also taken to task the oft-repeated mantra of the still incoherent Anti-Islam Movement—“Islam is not a race”—a mantra that is waved around like a magic wand every time Muslims feigning aggrievement complain of “racism” whenever their Islamic behavior, or their Islamic religion, is being criticized. The problem with that mantra is that it ignores a massive and complex phenomenon, as well as one monumental, plain fact: The phenomenon is the mainstream dominance of PC MC throughout the West and its central twin axiom of irrational elevation of non-white non-Westerners coupled with irrational denigration of the white West. The plain fact is the demographic complexion of global Islam, which is overwhelmingly non-white and non-Western. The mere truism that “Islam is not a race”—because, of course, it embraces any and all races within the membership of its totalitarian army (notwithstanding that Muslims indulge in far more racism than the white West does)—is largely irrelevant to the plain fact just noted since, as it has worked out historically right into our own present (due in large part to how and geographically where Islam spread), the demographic complexion of Islam is not evenly distributed among the races of the world, but has a remarkable dearth of whites compared with non-whites (and closely related to that, a dearth of Westerners compared with non-Westerners).
I was provisionally heartened, therefore, to notice that three recent postings on Jihad Watch (one of the major sources of harping on the mantra) concerning a recent profiling incident on an American airline (AirTran Airways) made no mention of the mantra, and even implied the cogency and exigency of racial profiling. This time, three Jihad Watch luminaries weighed in: Spencer, Ibrahim, and Fitzgerald—and all three kept their flaws with respect to this particular issue to a bearable minimum (with only the last of the three tending to beg the question when he argued for the cogency and exigency of the concern on the part of non-Muslims for “easily identifiable” Muslims—leaving unanswered the more important problem of the less “easily identifiable” Muslims, which begins to verge on the hairy difficulty, and inevitability, of collateral damage). Spencer and Ibrahim, more pertinently, strongly implied the unavoidable necessity of collateral damage—raising the issue of their own personal experience at having been collateral damage themselves at airports, because of their appearance (though Spencer with his “black beard” to my untrained eye looks more like a Jewish accountant than an Arab or Turk). At any rate, whether this augurs more rationality on this issue from within the Anti-Islam Movement, or whether it represents merely the odd appearance of one horn of a characteristically incoherent paradox typical of Jihad Watch analysis, only time will tell.
To view the photo gallery, click this link. (I did not want to encumber this site with the 30 photographs chosen, some of them quite large.)
The photo gallery is not presented as infallible proof of my thesis, only as an indicative illustration of its cogency. Definitive proof defending the cogency and exigency of racial profiling to help protect us from Islamic terrorism is probably impossible. When dangers are as broad-based, complex, unpredictable and uniquely fanatical as the danger of Islamic terrorism, and when the phenomenon is itself complex, amorphous and resistant to scientific perfection—as racial physiognomy is—then measures of self-defense in which such a phenomenon factors in will likely involve collateral damage of one sort or another, and will be unable to avoid various imperfections.
The photo gallery has been taken from photos of Muslim terror suspects and/or fanatics of various flavors, chosen from a breezy browsing of the archives at Jihad Watch spanning the current month as well as December and November of 2008.
The faces represented in this rogue’s gallery run the gamut from actual terrorists, to various categories of enablers and/or fanatics who could easily become direct supporters of terrorism or even terrorists themselves.
I have deliberately left the photos unmarked and the faces unidentified, since one major point of racial profiling is precisely the setting up of a primary “firewall” to filter out suspects about whom one does not have sufficient knowledge of their connection to terrorism. If we had sufficient knowledge about all the individuals pullulating in and out of a complex, nearly chaotic public space like an airport or a shopping mall, we wouldn’t need to engage in profiling at all, much less racial profiling. The more democratic a society is, the less able is its government to keep totalitarian tabs on everybody under its rule. The porousness and relative freedom of anonymity—coupled with the complex dynamism of public centers—makes it imperative that we profile and that our profiling be comprehensively prejudicial enough to err on the side of protecting the public, which will likely entail collateral damage of one sort or another.
Look at the faces of this photo gallery and tell me that we should be giving equal attention, in our profiling at public places and sensitive security locations, to white people. To my untrained eye (I certainly am not as experienced and talented as the above-mentioned commenter who claims he can spot the difference between Cypriots and Greeks who live in Cyprus), some of them could very well be, for example, Italians or Spaniards or Greeks. The better trained our security personnel can be, the better we can minimize collateral damage. We should not, however, delude ourselves into thinking that we can avoid collateral damage altogether, or even minimize it to a satisfactory degree. In fact, we have to wrap our collective, societal heads around the likelihood that the profiling necessary for our self-defense from Islamic terrorism will entail degrees of collateral damage that will seem to be too much. What defines “too much”, of course, is to an extent subjective and relative. Our current PC MC paradigm, which is dominant throughout the West, would define “too much” in a reckless and perilous manner. We need to err on the side of actually pursuing excessive collateral damage—that is to say, of proceeding with being ruthlessly concerned about our self-defense, even if it results in profiling that seems excessively prone to collateral damage.
Specific commentary about the photos:
I will here only comment specifically about one photo in the gallery—the very first one. It is a poster of the six Muslims who plotted to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey (and also had ambitions to kill more Americans—civilians—in various unknown places). Yes, three of these six Islamic terrorists look white (because they are Bosnians and likely have racial background reflecting non-Arabic, non-Turkish Slavic, if not also southern European, ancestry). But the ratio out there in the real world of Islamic terrorists (both guilty and suspected) is, unlike this poster of six faces, nowhere close to being 50/50. It is more like 98/2. Our profiling methodologies therefore should reflect that, obviously. (It amazes and amuses me how persistently otherwise intelligent people, even from within the anti-Islam movement, think that a 98/2 ratio (or even, to be exceedingly generous, a 70/30 ratio) should be handled like a 50/50 ratio.)