Profiling doesn’t solve terrorism

Daily Editorial Board

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s recent suggestion to “patrol” Muslim communities following last week’s terrorist attacks in Brussels is not only unconstitutional but would also serve to further isolate vulnerable populations. 
 
 
If Cruz’s idea were to become reality, one could imagine armed guards stationed in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, which is home to a large Muslim population and already a major terrorism recruitment site. 
 
 
But this is a possibility we all have the responsibility to resist. 
 
 
Although Cruz’s comments about patrolling neighborhoods are perhaps the most extreme suggestion any political candidate has made thus far in the election, many Muslim communities in the United States already experience surveillance. 
 
 
For example, in 2015, Minneapolis Public Schools hired staff specifically to monitor Somali youth. Additionally, a “Countering Violent Extremism” initiative in Minneapolis, funded in part by the Department of Justice, launched in 2014. It has drawn criticism from some local Muslims for what they say is its lack of support for local input and involvement. They have reported these programs make them feel targeted. 
 
 
In Belgium, terrorism experts cite the isolation of migrant communities as one reason why terrorism was able to flourish. We can’t allow Muslim communities in Minneapolis to become similarly isolated. 
 
 
Moving forward, local leaders must work in conjunction with Muslim communities to develop programs which address both terrorist recruitment and racial profiling. We believe community-based strategies focused on the integration and support of Muslim youth — not alienation and surveillance — are the most successful way to counter terrorism.