Profiling is counterproductive

Tam Saidi

As I heard of the attempted terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, I had flashbacks of our family flight back home to the United States from Amsterdam last summer. I could only imagine how frightened our family and the other passengers would have been, so I can fully sympathize with the need for increased security. However, over the past couple of weeks, certain voices have grown louder in calling for the profiling of me and 6 million other American Muslims, based on our religion, names and skin color. If security is truly the goal of such profiling, it would be a flawed strategy. Law enforcement agencies need the cooperation of American Muslims to prevent attacks. Profiling causes resentment and mistrust. Also, many names and faces of terrorists come to mind who are not of darker skin or strange-sounding names, such as Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Richard Reid, Jose Padilla, Adam Gadahn and so on. I am sure al-Qaida would be delighted to hear that only those with darker skins and Muslim-sounding names will be scrutinized, so they can send other operatives who do not match those characteristics, jeopardizing my familyâÄôs security and yours. Tam Saidi University alum