UK: Muslim MP: security profiling at airports is ‘price we have to pay’

A modicum of brains can be very efficacious. From the Telegraph:

A Muslim MP has opened up divisions within the Islamic community by saying it is reasonable for Muslims to be singled out for extra airport security measures following the Detroit bomb attempt.

By Patrick Sawer
Published: 9:00PM GMT 02 Jan 2010

A Muslim MP has opened up divisions within the Islamic community by saying it is reasonable for Muslims to be singled out for extra airport security measures following the Detroit bomb attempt.

Khalid Mahmood Photo: BPM

Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said it had become necessary to ‘profile’ passengers from certain racial and religious groups in order to weed out possible terror suspects.

He said: “I think most people would rather be profiled than blown up. It wouldn’t be victimisation of an entire community.

“I think people will understand that it is only through something like profiling that there will be some kind of safety.

“If people want to fly safely we have to take measures to stop things like the Christmas Day plot. Profiling may have to be the price we have to pay.

“The fact is the majority of people who have carried out or planned these terror attacks have been Muslims.”

Muslim opinion on the subject was split yesterday, with some groups objecting to any such move for fear of alienating large sections of the community.

Massoud Shadjareh, the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: “It’s not true that all terrorists are Muslims.

“Any such measure would not only alienate people, it would also be ineffective in terms of stopping terrorists. What’s to stop them dressing up as orthodox Jews in order to evade profiling-based searches?”

However, many British Muslims now agree with Mr Mahmood.

Dr Shaaz Mahboob, of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, said: “We have seen that certain types of people who fit a certain profile – young men of a particular ethnic background – have been engaged in terror activities, and targeting this sort of passenger would give people a greater sense of security.

“Profiling has to be backed by this type of statistical and intelligence-based evidence. There would be no point in stopping Muslim grandmothers.”

The Airport Operators Association and BAA, the UK’s largest airport operator, are in favour of passenger profiling.

The UK Border Agency says profiling is one of the security measures used in the case of people coming into Britain, but the Department of Transport refuses to say whether it is used on passengers leaving the country.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

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