In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Doing more to stop terrorists

In London, police killed a suspected suicide bomber. They shot the man in the back after seeing wires from a backpack. When I first learned of this incident, I was proud of the English for being brash enough to shoot a terrorist on the open street. Then, after it was reported the man was innocent, it made me think.

Turns out, the man did indeed have wires dangling from his backpack, but he was an electrician. Although he didn’t physically meet the search criteria from the broadcast APB, the man looked suspicious. So the police asked him to stop and the suspected man with wires dangling from his bag took off running. I ask you… if your city had just been bombed, what would you have done in this situation? I know I would have shot him, too. He took off running! If you’re innocent, you stop and clear things up.

Now, the British Muslim community is saying no Muslim is safe. First, to my knowledge, there has not been a government that has come out and said “if you are Muslim, you will be sent to jail, searched and interrogated for terrorist activity.” Both the British and U.S. governments have been very lenient to Muslims in their country, not intruding on their religious rights.

Rather than publicly questioning authorities in their respective countries, I suggest Muslims begin questioning the extremists who are giving their peaceful religion a bad name. I certainly feel for the good Muslims who simply live a peaceful life just as Allah intended, but they must be more proactive in policing the extremists. You have to believe that the good Muslims can get through to the bad guys. After all, they both believe in the Koran and it’s just the interpretation that is skewed.

As for the police, there is no easy way to spot a terrorist. At every ball game, every political event and on every subway or airport, men in uniform scan for suspicious backpacks and abandoned cars. They have a difficult job in this age of suicide bombs and Islamic extremists. And let’s not forget the English still have issues with the IRA and we have anti-government militants, like Timothy McVeigh, plotting to overthrow Congress.

There are many threats within our own countries. But how do you stop them?

Racial profiling? While I could think of dozens of reasons why profiling would be appropriate, I believe this is inappropriate for the simple reason this tactic breeds hate. Statistically, suicide bombers are of Middle Eastern descent, and without a doubt, Islamic extremists are the world’s biggest threat. But I believe that good Muslims or Arabs would turn against authorities. Maybe that’s what is happening now and is the reason why Muslims are not doing more to quell their evil counterparts.

Random searches of Muslim communities and militia compounds? This, too, could easily be favored and would probably lead to the arrests of dozens of terrorists. But again, it would also breed hate among good Muslims.

It’s not a simple fix. And I don’t know the answers. I just know that there are people in this world who could play a bigger role in squashing the problem. We should work together to rid the land of terrorists instead of blaming one another.


At 4:20 PM, Anonymous kbug said...

You're right, Casanova, if good muslims stepped up to the plate and became more vocal about their opposition to terrorist actions, I think it would make a big and in Iraq and all around the world. I believe that most muslims are just as appalled by the terrorists actions as you are and I am, and they must be frustrated that some people think they support the actions of those crazies.

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Not Kidding said...

I only believe that racial profiling is wrong when the INTENT is wrong, e.g., profiling all white middle aged women because you have issues with your ownmother...

and I believe profiling of young men of Middle Eastern descent is warranted under the circumstances -- and has been made necessary BECAUSE moderate, right-thinking Muslims have been unable and/or unwilling to cast out the evil from amongst their own.

When their efforts to defeat those who murder in the name of religion match the rest of the world's efforts THEN racial profiling will be unnecessary.

At 9:15 PM, Blogger strykeraunt said...

I am getting a stron feeling that the good or moderate Muslims are starting to stand up and say, "Not in My Name." Below are a couple of blogs that are doing just that...

These two sites above have always been pretty vocal in their disdain for the terrorist, but now they are strongly encouraging other Muslims to do the same. I also read on another site about some Muslims in America who held a protest against terrorism just the other day.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger strykeraunt said...

I have concerns about the idea of racial profiling because it too narrowly defines who a terrorist might be. If we are only checking young middle eastern men, then all they have to do is get a non-middle eastern man to do the dirty work. I am an all white middle aged woman and I don't mind if I too am picked out to be searched. Actually I have been picked out to be searched twice in the last year while entering military bases (and I have only been on base about 10 times). I found it to be well worth the minor inconvenience.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Household6 said...

It is a hard decision to make. It makes you safe but if there is one and ONLY one person with bad intentions it turns into the person's revenge against a race.

Does anyone remember when 9/11 first happened and a Seik (I didn't check the spelling) was killed because of the colour of his skin and the turban he wore? They are non-violent people and mostly form India. The American's that did it, didn't even know who they were beating up.

So I am torn, because I know I have tolerance of others but I even catch myself judging a stranger at times.

It's a hard, hard question to answer.

AKA Miss Stella

At 1:44 PM, Blogger remoteman said...

Who is the moderate Muslim and what does this mean? Do they not take the Koran literally as Islam dictates? If they do not have this interpretation are they apostates or not "real" Muslims? This is a real issue within the Muslim community. I think that there has to be far more than just talking out against terror. There has to be a reformation movement within Islam that calls for revised attitudes towards women and non-muslims, drops the desire to have Islam rule the world and eliminates Sharia as the rule of law. Islam has serious issues, IMO, and it is going to be very for Muslims to change it, although they are the only ones who can do so.

At 3:56 AM, Blogger RobC said...

The muslim religion does not have a safety valve or escape clause, to be a true muslim you should follow the letter of the law or otherwise you are not true. You can change religion or even be an unbeliever but then another muslim can kill you for that... sick and twisted catch 22 situation for them.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Even given the circumstances, shooting someone who is running away was a mistake. True the guy could have stopped and cleared things up with the police. And true the police could have been better prepared for the incident. Either way it's looked at, it's a bad situation.

To create a situation, an atmosphere where innocent people along with the police are constantly in a state of fear and panic is exactly what the terrorists want to do. If anyone with a backpack runs away from the police can be shot and chalked up to terrorism, or the threat thereof, then society must be ready to accept such or be ready to overcome. And I don't have a clue how to do either one.

Now if I place myself in the position of the police then I would have probably shot him too. And then regretted it the rest of my life.

What a messed up world this is.

At 12:50 AM, Blogger devildog6771 said...

I agree about the racial profiling. The biggest problem in the states are the number of people who still have their head in the sand and don't realize these terrorists want to destroy us and our way of life. Then you have that bunch that can't work with you if you aren't in their party. So everything that could be done at a higher level is constantly tied up in meetings, and investigative committees. They don't have sense enough to realize they are practically handing their party over to the socialists. Then there are the peace at all costs people. They need to go to Iraq for a month and live as civilians to see what happens when you don't fight for your rights. There s another consideration. Many of the Muslim religious leaders say one thing publically in English and something totally different in Arabic that is anything but flattering to us and very inciting. Either Airborne Vet or Assumption of Command has a good bit on this. There is also factual media coverage world wide and especially in the Arabic and Muslim countries about Saddam's ties to Osama. Mr. Busg was right about their ties. Actually it's a link to another site. Very much an eye opener. One recent news cast by a Iman supporting and praising UK and the US in English, had the part left out that said what he really hoped happened to us. it was anything but flattering. But a newsman interpeted the Arabic and put out the whole article, instead of what they had in their English veresion for us to read. Check it out. It is very interesting.

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