Saturday, November 27, 2010

The ethnic physiognomy of Muslims

For those who persist in repeating that one particular mantra popular among many in the (still inchoate) anti-Islam movement -- namely, "Islam is not a race" -- take a look at this photo gallery which columnist Michelle Malkin has put together on her blog:

Photo gallery of Muslim terrorists in America

With one or two (tops, three) exceptions, all those photos depict Muslims who look ethnic. I defy anyone to dispute this elementary conclusion. (The reader may want to supplement Malkin's photo gallery with the one I put together about a year ago.)

A typical refutation points to the existence of certain white Muslim terrorists who have come to light over the years. These fall into two categories: 1) the white convert to Islam; and 2) certain Slavic and central Asian Muslims who derive from ethnographies that produce peoples who seem white (e.g., Bosnians, Georgians, etc.). The counter-refutation to that is simple: From everything I have read and heard, these white Muslim terrorists are the exception that proves the rule.

Within that rogues' gallery linked above (and remember, it is limited to Muslim terrorists who have attacked or plotted to attack the U.S.A.), we see a tiny smattering of faces that seem borderline -- that somewhat (but not sufficiently) blurry borderline where a given Muslim could very well be (at least to the untrained -- i.e., ordinary lay -- eye) an Italian, Greek or Spaniard. For example, look at the Jordanian Muslim terrorist Hosan Smadi: he could practically be an extra on The Sopranos or The Godfather. Or look at Muslim terrorist #4 (going left to right) on the second from the top row of the 9/11 jihadists: he could have been cast as the brother of Greek-American actor John Stamos on Full House, or could be used as Scott Baio's stand-in (that is, if Scott Baio ever got a job again).

Of the 69 faces Malkin has posted, here's my breakdown:

Approximately 10 fit the "could be Mediterranean" physiognomy.

Approximately 3 could be white.

Thus, approximately 19% of Muslim terrorists are iffy in terms of ethnic profile. However, in the interest of our society's safety given the nature of the threat, I would favor profiling the "could be Mediterranean" types, perhaps with the grudging qualification of a somewhat lower degree of suspicion and inconvenience.

That leaves us with the approximately 4% who look white. Obviously, such a small percentage should not be a factor in our profiling. For the white Muslim terrorists that might exist, we should use all the other methods of ferreting them out that we already use -- including, of course, any knowledge ascertained about their Muslim identity.

At any rate, as I have argued here before, until the day the West decides to deport all Muslims, then, in order to protect our societies --

1) we need to profile Muslims,


2) such profiling should integrate racial profiling.

All conceivable objections I believe have been dealt with in the following former essays published here:


Muslim Profiling Revisited

The problem of Islamic terrorism still has a racial component

The Race Factor: Reality, and political reality

A note on the need for racial profiling

White Muslims: Honorary Browns

Racial Islamic Profiling


The photo that headlines my essay today is of Maher Mofeid "Mike" Hawash. Hugh Fitzgerald's wryly pithy
summation of who he was is worth quoting:

..."Mike" Hawash, the Internet engineer earning $360,000 a year, who seemed completely integrated (American wife, Little League for the children, friends among fellow executives at Intel who would swear up and down that he was innocent) -- until one fine day, after the World Trade Center attacks, he made out his will, signed the house over to his wife, and set off to fight alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan (he got as far as China) against his fellow Americans.

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