Nationality, Ethnicity and Security

(Nationality, Ethnicity and Security)

(Coco Douglas, 8, on May 27, 2017, at a memorial in Portland, Ore., for two men who were killed when they confronted a man yelling anti-Muslim insults at two women on a commuter train.)
Most people disavow racial or ethnic prejudice, yet the vast majority of us carry around some prejudices, whether about racial-ethnic groups, men and women, old and young, upper class and lower class, etc. We would all probably agree that prejudice can create negative predispositions or evaluations, and rarely positive ones.
As we consider the impact of the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, there is no way to avoid the fact that the attackers were Muslim males of Middle Eastern origin and that their leaders in Al Qaeda have characterized our conflict as one based on religion. Since September 11, an escalating number of hate crimes have been reported against Americans of Middle Eastern descent. However, it would be negligent for any law enforcement or anti-terrorism effort to ignore the religious and ethnic profile of the “typical” terrorist bomber. Some, such as Daniel Pipes in one of our readings, claims that denying the link between Islamism and terrorism endangers the United States.
Please respond to the following questions:
– How do we balance this awareness with the great risk of creating a society intolerant to a large and growing minority group?
– How does law enforcement aggressively follow up on terrorist leads without appearing to be targeting law-abiding Americans who happen to be of Middle Eastern descent?
– Should citizens subject to such extra attention just get used to it for the greater good?

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