Profile me, please

By Joseph Farah

Airport security in the United States is a joke.

Every time I go through security checks I am shocked and dismayed to see elderly women pulled from lines for extra security checks. I see little kids getting scanned for metal on their persons. In short, I see the least likely “terrorists” getting the most scrutiny from security personnel.

I don’t get it.

Meanwhile, I never seem to get checked.

Why am I complaining? Because I fit the profile of the very people who are most likely to hijack an airplane or blow it up in a suicide attack.

I am an Arab-American. I have an Arabic surname. I look Arabic.

I know what you are going to say: “Farah, pulling you out of line would be profiling. It’s not American to discriminate against people because of their national origin or racial characteristics.”

Need I remind my fellow Americans that we are at war? I personally would much prefer to see our country use its precious security resources more wisely. Not everyone is a security risk. Common sense needs to be employed if we are to make this country safer. Isn’t it preferable to inconvenience me and people who look like me than to turn our entire country into a virtual police state?

Indeed that is what’s happening in America today.

More and more laws are being passed to give government sweeping powers to snoop on every American.

We have the USA Patriot Act. We have Total Information Awareness. We have Big Brother on the rise.

Meanwhile, we have Colin Powell suggesting what America needs is more Muslims. We have President Bush and others in government attacking anyone who dares warn about the dangers of Islamism. We have federal officials sucking up to Saudi Arabia, which finances terrorism around the globe and the nation we have to thank for most of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers.

This is not the way to fight the war on terrorism. This is not the way to make our country safer. This is not the way we will beat our enemies.

There is a way to make our airliners safe. We should follow the El Al model. I have flown El Al often. On El Al, I am treated with suspicion. All Arabs are. And that is why El Al had not witnessed a hijacking in 20 years until last week when an Arab secreted a knife on board a flight with a plan to commandeer the plane into an Israeli skyscraper. Sky marshals wrestled him to the ground and averted a disaster.

Why would I want to see a security system that would cause me more hassle? Because I want to see my flights land at airports – not in buildings. A few moments of irritation are well worth it. When I fly El Al, it gives me peace of mind to have my bags searched, to go through extra security checks, to be interrogated longer than non-Arabs.

Are my rights violated when I fly El Al? Absolutely not. El Al follows sensible security precautions because it is the national airline of a country under siege by terrorists – a nation that understood the threat of Arab airline hijackings 25 years before Sept. 11.

In short, El Al procedures make perfect sense – if the objective is making the skies safer and preventing terrorism.

But if the objective is non-discrimination, then we are in big trouble. This “diversity” madness will be our undoing as a nation. This “tolerance” obsession will be used as a weapon against us. This “multicultural” preoccupation should not be a higher calling than national or personal security. This “pluralism” desire needs to be kept in perspective and checked at the gate along with the terrorists.

Our enemy understands our weaknesses. And, believe me, our infatuation with anti-discrimination policies can be a lethal weakness.

That’s why I am begging America to get a clue: Profile me, please. It’s not because I am a threat, but because I am not. I have nothing to fear from an extra baggage check, a few extra questions or one extra scan of my person. But people who look like me – Middle Eastern men – pose a much higher security risk.

Not to acknowledge that fact after the carnage of Sept. 11 would be nothing short of insanity.

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