Problems with Profiling

Aviation security overreaction is counterproductive

By Tamim Saidi, Engage Minnesota

Tamim Saidi
Originally published in the Saint Paul, Minn., Pioneer Press, January 6, 2010

I fully sympathize with those who are sincerely concerned about terrorist attacks. As I heard of the attempted terrorist attack on the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, I had flashbacks of my recent flight home to the United States from Amsterdam. I could only imagine how worried and frightened our family would have been in that plane.

But as I hear the calls for profiling people like me, an American Muslim with darker skin and an unfamiliar-sounding name, to prevent terrorist attacks, a few names and faces of terrorists come to mind: Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Richard Reid, Jose Padilla, Paul Hill and Adam Gadahn.

These calls for profiling Muslims based on their names and ethnicities are as ridiculous as calls for checking IDs on all Hispanics and stopping all black motorists. If the true reason for profiling is increased security and not harassing American Muslims, racial and religious profiling is counterproductive for two reasons:

First, the law enforcement agencies need the cooperation of American Muslims to prevent attacks. Profiling causes resentment and mistrust. Second, terrorists like those above will be overlooked going through security lines.

I am sure al-Qaida would be delighted to hear that only those with darker skin and Muslim-sounding names are scrutinized and harassed so they can send other operatives who do not match those characteristics, jeopardizing my family’s security and yours.

If al-Qaida could force the United States to discriminate against its own citizens and violate all the principles that make America a great nation, it has already achieved half of its objectives.

Tamim Saidi is an American Muslim and an active member of the Muslim community in Minnesota.

About engagemn

A Voice for Minnesotan Muslims

Posted on January 8, 2010, in Tamim Saidi. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Tamim, Profiling is nor fair but the fact is a group of Muslim men that flew the planes on 9/11. It’s a great waste of everyone’s time and resources. How do we get the millions of non-violent Muslims to put a stop to the fundmentalists who chant Death To America? And those who make continued threats about how America will burn? How is opinion changed when we see on youtube clips of Islamic pages about Muslim Children who are trained in school to grow up hating Jews? Even in St. Paul a group of Somali youth video tape themselves pushing over people passing by and were brave or foolish enough to put their names on the tape. Maybe profiling is not fair, but since 1990 the Muslim population in MN alone has gone from under 5000 to over 150K. Muslims need to take responsibility for their own actions, and have a talk with those causing problems.
    Tim Mcvey paid for his crimes so did ted unibomber kazinsky. We haven’t had another issue like his since.
    When men say they are Christian then calls for burning the Qu’ran. He convicts himself further arrested a pedophile.
    In the book “The Banality of Suicide Terrorism” problems Muslim famlilies face because of how women are treated is similar to Domestic Violence. It’s another cycle of violence. Many young muslim men confessed to being abused by older relatives too. Maybe not in all Muslim cultures, but in some. Like in other cultures it is Macho to hit their women.


  2. Tamim, are you married? If so, I have an important question for you regarding marriage, but I don’t know how to contact you other than to reply to one of your blog posts. So I apologize for this being off topic in this post.


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