The FBI, in an effort to make up for its lack of coordination between field offices and poor investigation preceding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has now added racial profiling to its growing list of anti-terrorist tactics.
The bureau has ordered its 56 field offices to count the number of mosques in their districts. Officials say this information will be used, along with other demographic and intelligence information, to determine the amount of funding that will go to anti-terrorism efforts in particular communities.
Although America needs to increase its anti-terrorism efforts now more than ever, targeting individuals because they are of a particular faith is not the answer. Yes, the men who hijacked the airliners on Sept. 11 were Muslims, but the FBI is making a dangerous correlation between two related, but not causal, facts. Practicing Islam does not make someone a terrorist, and being a terrorist certainly doesn’t make someone a Muslim.
The bottom line is that Americans are at a far greater risk of being harmed by themselves than by any Muslim, American or foreign. The majority of Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding individuals who have worked tirelessly to separate themselves from the radicals who use Islam as justification for murdering innocent people.
The FBI should target the radicals and not the entire Muslim population. If the bureau wishes to avoid the embarrassment, ridicule and loss of life that occurred as a result of poor intelligence and poor investigation, then the answer lies in re-coordinating communication between the field offices and through communication with other law enforcement agencies, not through racial profiling.
University Wire — Baylor University