Barack Obama in his response to the failed Detroit bombing episode has directed the country's transport authorities to enhance screening procedures for US bound passengers traveling through "state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest". What it means is, if you are a passenger belonging to or flying via countries mentioned in the list i.e. Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen, then an additional screening of yours is inevitable.
The bold step taken by the coerced US President has certainly raised a few eyebrows. The fact that all passengers belonging to the cited countries irrespective of who they are, will be treated as terror suspects is bound to trigger discontentment, specially in the Arab world. There are no two ways about the issue that security is one of the key priorities of any country and steps have to be taken to undertake the safety of innocent people. In this case however, Obama seems to have overreacted as many would opine.
It always has to be first things first. The US authorities could and should find out the loopholes in their security issues in the first place. By Obama's own admission, it was a potentially disastrous 'screw up' by the intelligence. Reports quoted him as saying "the US government had sufficient information to have uncovered this plot and potentially disrupt the Christmas Day attack, but our intelligence community failed to connect those dots which would have placed the suspect on the no-fly list". It was revealed that the father of the Nigerian terror suspect had informed the US officials about his son. In spite of the warning, if US could not avert what happened, then it really should be blaming itself.
The United States has, off late been criticized of holding up innocent people for interrogations related to terrorism. The latest move might well add to that distasteful reputation. Besides, the countries mentioned in the list are predominantly Muslim. Yes, countries such as Indonesia and even India that have a great deal of Muslim populace, do not figure in the list but individuals from such countries may well be pulled aside for the screenings. In August 2009, none other than Shahrukh Khan was detained at one of the airports of US since his surname Khan flashed at the alert screens!
Besides, countries such as North Korea do not find a place in the list. It is no secret that the US is suspicious about North Korea and their relations are not quite healthy thanks to nuclear issues. North Korea too figures in notorious terrorist activities. In November 1987, North Korean agents had set a time bomb on board Korean Airlines Flight 858 flying from Baghdad via Bangkok and Abu Dhabi, en route to Seoul in their attempt to "bomb the Korean Airline aircraft to obstruct the Seoul Olympics"as per the Overseas Intelligence Division of the KWP. In 1988 the US State Department had designated North Korea as "a state sponsor of terrorism." It could also be recalled that in December 2002, Spanish troops boarded and detained a shipment of Scud missiles from North Korea destined for Yemen, at the United States' request.
The so called 'Islamic terrorism' is primarily seen as a vengeance phenomenon caused as a result of the treatment meted out to the Muslim world be it Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and the like. In such a case, the racial profiling that the US has now come up with, will only aggravate that fury and may well result in the creation of some more terrorists.
The racial profiling by US now alters the famous notion 'All Muslims are not Al-Qaeda, but all Al-Qaeda are Muslims' into 'All Muslims ARE Al-Qaeda'. Disheartening, indeed.
Abrar Khan is a media student from Karnataka, India. His blog: http://ishuz.wordpress.com/
If the moderate Muslims of the world would condemn each and every terrorist attack, then the rest of the world could eliminate racial profiling.
My Comment: It is unfortunate people cannot see whole events happennig across the world. It is was in the near past one mad man wanted to liberate the people from themselves and bring his own superior 'democracy'. Everyone understands it was 'greedocracy' that led to it. Politicians exploited and abused certain disasters to create even more disasters. People are getting killed by weapons dropped from the sky. Poeple are getting killed for the sake of preaparing the land for the second coming of the 'Lord' - to mention a few. To stop terrorism which every civilized humanbeing hates, first needs to identify and recognize what is it. Terror is terror even if it comes dressed in suite and ties, and not with a beard and turban. World will be a better place when everyone has atleast almost equal rights to live. Let us stop writing down lesser humanbeings and let us condemn all forms of terror.
If there is to be any kind of racial profiling...it must be aimed at white males from North American and Western Europe who are the vast majority of the world's terrorists.