Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now? Good!

Preacher Moss, a muslim comedian who appeared on Comedy Network and at Yuk Yuk's, starts his comedy routine with "Welcome to America! Land of the freedom and opportunity, where I can be anything I want - except a pilot!"

Add cellphone businessmen to that list of jobs that Arab Americans can now no longer participate.

As Shabina from Moz Boondoggle writes,
In a nutshell, some 20-year-old Dearborn guys were held on terrorism charges because they bought a ton of cell phones and had a security guidebook for Royal Jordanian Airlines in their car (oh, and they were Arab). The bros from Texas were held on terrorism charges because they bought a ton of cell phones and snapped pictures of the Mackinac Bridge (oh, and they were Arab).

Both cases crumbled pretty fast (Texas boys free first, then Dearborn dudes). After hours-long interviews, the FBI conceded that the guys were innocent. Their families and lawyers said they were just being good businessmen, buying cheap phones and selling them at a markup. The guys will most likely sue, and I sure hope they make a buttload of money.
Liberal Catnip has more of that as well.

The good thing about the affair was that the investigation agencies approached the cases with an open mind. The bad thing was that we are now encouraged to snitch on our neighbours and fellow citizens. While that may not be a bad thing, as the British airplane plot was foiled by a Pakistani-British muslim reporting suspicious behaviour, I do wonder where as a society we are heading off to, as Britain discusses profiling.

UPDATE: Thanks to knb, here's the CSIS head's attitude to profiling.
The director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said Tuesday that the spy agency avoids racial profiling because it is "fundamentally stupid'' and does not knowingly use information gleaned under torture offshore because the practice is "morally repugnant.''

1 comment:

knb said...

With respect to profiling, here's here's the head of CSIS's attitude.