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I'm an Arab; Profile Me By: Oubai Mohammad Shahbandar
FrontPageMagazine.com | Saturday, July 05, 2003


Leftist groups from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee have zealously campaigned against "racial profiling" by federal law enforcement agencies, especially when it  comes to individuals of the same ethnic and racial backgrounds as the 9/11 terrorists. In doing so, the ACLU and ADC have couched their arguments with language that invokes the specter of blacks being unjustly pulled by redneck highway patrolmen for “Driving While Black.”  Racial profiling, we are told, is the last vestige of Jim Crow and has no place in pluralistic, diverse America. Leftists argue that ending racial profiling will only serve to protect innocent Americans from the heavy hand of overzealous police officers, in keeping accordance with the far-left’s general anti-police, “Free-Mumia” mentality.

Following 9/11, the ADC and the ACLU formed a close alliance, sharing resources and synchronizing media and political outreach efforts. Both organizations took great pains to their abiding concerned for our national security; after all, they are just as patriotic as the rest of us. In fact, it is precisely their patriotic duty to question and hamper the U.S government's efforts to fight terrorism, through litigation and propaganda.

Of course, national security and patriotism are not the true motivators behind these groups’ actions. And the ADC/ACLU front, having been taken at their word, made proving their own intransigence that much simpler.

On June 17th, President Bush declared the first ever comprehensive prohibition of the use of "generalized stereotypes" based on race or ethnicity by federal and local law enforcement agencies. This merely followed through on a pledge the President had made in his first address to Congress that racial profiling was "wrong, and we will end it in America."

But were these so called civil liberties organizations satisfied? Was their thirst for justice satiated by the actions of this open-minded President, dedicated to improving race relations within his nation?

Naturally, the answer was no. Their outrage? The president's pledge came with the sensical caveat that the ban would not cover the use of race and ethnicity to combat potential terror attacks.

ACLU legislative counsel LaShawn Warren, went on record as saying that making this exception would "legitimize and encourage the use of racial profiling at our borders, in our airports and anywhere else federal agents can apply vague  and hollow justifications of national security."

Apparently, Warren must have missed the "vague" warning sent to us by the destruction of 3,000 American lives at the hands of Arab terrorists, who were able to manipulate their way past INS scrutiny and into this country due to the pervasiveness of just such over-sensitivity.

Just how "hollow" a justification is national security when it  comes to racial profiling? All one has to do is to take a look at the list of individuals apprehended by the FBI for al-Qaeda connections. Let's see if we can find one of them who celebrates St. Patrick's day:

  • Patrice Lumumba Ford. (How interesting that an Islamist radical would be named after a former Communist African dictator, and incidentally the  name of the famous Soviet school for international students where many  future terrorists like Carlos the Jackal happened to first cut their terror teeth).
  • Martinique Lewis Jeffrey Leon Battle, Muhammad Ibrahim Bilal, Ahmed  Ibrahim Bilal, and Habis Abdulla Al-Saoub, all Islamist radicals legally residing in the U.S, all wearing traditional Muslim garb, apprehended in Portland this March for  attempting to join the Taliban. Three were Arabs and the other three were African-American.
  • Dr. Ahmed Javed  Khawaja, an American citizen of Pakistani decent, who was apprehended by Pakistani police for financially supporting  al-Qaeda and an associate of wanted al-Qaeda operatives - Sheikh Said al-Misri and  Abu Faraj.
  • On March 4th of this year, the U.S. Justice Department announced that two Yemeni citizens have been charged with conspiring to provide material support to the al-Qaeda and HAMAS terrorist groups.
  • Mohammed Al Hasan Al-Moayad and Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed were arrested January 10 in Frankfurt, Germany, after a year-long investigation and undercover operation by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
  • As I have reported on FrontPage Magazine, a Saudi student at Arizona State University, Muhammad Al-Gurashi was arrested May 9th for direct connections to terror. He stands accused of driving convicted terrorist supporter Faisal Al-Salmi on numerous occasions to President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch apparently on a pre-terror reconnaissance mission. This April, the home of Hassan Alrafea, president of the ASU Muslim students' association was raided by the FBI for suspected terror-links, confiscating their computers.
  • Sami Al Hussayen, another Saudi student and a former president of the Muslim Students Association in his college in Idaho, was also arrested by federal officials for  his role in raising funds for al-Qaeda's terror network. 
  • On December 19, 2002, the department of justice indicted a leader of an Islamic militant group, his wife, and five brothers who worked at a Texas computer  on charges of trafficking with terrorist states Libya and Syria. Four of the brothers were arrested in Texas by federal anti-terrorism agents. The indictments named Mousa Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader and his wife, both believed to be in the Middle East. One of those who were arrested was company Vice President Ghassan Elashi, 48, who was also identified as a director of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which was shut down in December 2001 after the Treasury Department accused the self-described charity of being a Hamas front and seized its assets.  Also arrested were Bayan Elashi, 47, Basman Elashi and Hazim Elashi, 41.
  • The Buffalo Six: Sahim Alwan, 29; Yahya Goba, 25; Yasein Taher, 25; Faysal Galab, 26;  Shafal Mosed, 24; and Mukhtar al-Bakri, 22; were indicted on October  22, 2002, on charges of training at an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. All were Americans of Yemeni descent from a Buffalo, NY, suburb.
  • And of course, the infamous "dirty" bomb plotter Jose Padilla. Following his conversion to Islam, Jose changed his name to Abdullah al Muhajir. Apparently, this terrorist changed his name, making it easier for the FBI to categorize him as a plausible terror suspect.

But even when confronted with the breadth of evidence before them, the ACLU and the ADC would have federal officials exhaust all possible involvement of the IRA, Basque separatists, and disgruntled postal employees in plotting terror attacks against this country before getting around to investigating any of the aforementioned Arab terrorists.

The ACLU/ADC's war of attrition against President Bush's war on terror is no laughing matter. On June 5th of this year, ABC news reported how federal officials failed to arrest Mohammad Salah, 53, who was put on a U.S. list in of what are called "specially designated terrorists" for his role in planning suicide bombings in Israel.  Salah is a naturalized American citizen who taught at local community colleges in the Chicago area. He is accused of funneling money to the militant group Hamas for terrorist attacks. Even after he was arrested in Israel on Jan. 25, 1993, for membership in Hamas (and spent five years incarcerated), Salah walks free in this country today. One wonders if such trepidation on part of the FBI to deport this man is at all based on fear of bad PR and costly litigation battles launched by the ADC and ACLU.

Chiming in, the ADC sent out a press release claiming that they were "disappointed with the racial profiling guidelines issued by the Department of Justice" since they "permit the ethnic/racial profiling and discrimination based on physical appearance of criminal suspects in certain cases."

The ADC went on to declare that these new guidelines were "problematic for Arab Muslim, and South Asian communities." One would think that a terrorist threat following the deaths of thousands of fellow their countrymen (including Arab Muslims and South Asians) would be problematic, but evidently not as troublesome to the ADC as getting frisked at JFK.

The ADC ends its press release by saying, "As a civil rights organization, ADC is committed to enhancing our nation's national security."  But if this were so, why have they launched a media critique of a President who has adopted a conciliatory policy on racial profiling? How can the ADC and ACLU possibly lay any claim to legitimacy when they hysterically attack the President’s moderate and sensible policies, which serve to protect both our civil liberties and our national security?  What's next, will they next criticize the U.S. military for using race as a factor in our pursuit of Saddam and Sons?

The ADC/ACLU continue to call upon the president to "fully repeal" racial profiling in the United States. In effect, what they are really asking for is the complete dismantling of our efforts to aggressively pursue terrorists longing for the destruction of the American way of life.

If I, an Arab immigrant, can come to terms with the fact that a limited use of racial profiling is necessary for the security of this country, then surely there is room in the national dialogue for those who stand up for our government’s right to effectively protect its citizens.

The ACLU and ADC’s rejection of any sort of middle-ground on the issue points to their partisan, leftist agenda, which they apparently place above the national security of this nation. Ironically, were it not for these very officers, protecting the pampered leftist activists from the hostile forces of extreme Islam, the activists would not have the freedom to attack their own government.

Without life, there can be no liberty and pursuit of happiness. I pray the government will continue to take all steps necessary to safeguard us all. Mr. President, profile the terrorists.




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