Time to Bite the Bullet and Screen Muslims

Refusing to profile is 'civilizational incompetence,' writes Bret Stephens
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2010 7:02 AM CST
A passenger walks after passing through security at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago yesterday.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

(Newser) – America's failure to single Muslim passengers out for extra screening at airports is a sign of an incompetent civilization, according to Bret Stephens. Yes, profiling has been misused in the past—say, the WWII internment of Japanese-Americans—but in the current reality it would be much more appropriate and effective than screening by nation of origin, since "not one non-Muslim from any of these countries (or others such as Egypt or Jordan, which were oddly excluded from the list) will ever become a suicide bomber," Stephens writes in the Wall Street Journal.

The Obama administration's step targets Muslims "via the euphemism of nationality instead of religion. Insofar as actual security is concerned, it would be both more honest and effective if it dropped the remaining pretense," he writes. America needs to recognize the limits to its virtues and realize that all abstaining from a choice between evils achieves is to allow evil to make the choice, he argues. "One of life's paradoxes is that we are as often undone by our virtues as by our vices."

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