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Green Tree City: The Day of the Bomb

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A Coordinator could be appointed from each agency, whose job would be to stay on top of emerging information and suspicions, and to represent the agency at the daily meeting. The truth is, people do not wave terrorist identity cards to announce their nonmainstream social status. Law enforcement must rely on stereotypes in order to have a method to follow. Profiling, however, can have unfortunate consequences, including: violation of innocent people’s trust, human rights, privacy rights. It can cause humiliation, social embarrassment, increased anger and suspicion in families and communities, and can lead to hate crimes, unwarranted police violence, insecure children, and retribution, particularly if it is not done discretely. I was profiled twice on airline flights. The first time was because I was traveling a long distance, with no checked baggage. I was detained and officially questioned about this, and my carry-on luggage was searched again, more thoroughly. It was inconvenient and I felt embarrassed in front of other passengers. The second time I was profiled was when I was recovering from an injured foot and walking funny because of it. I noticed the airline security intensely staring at my foot, as I walked. I was waved aside, out of the line, while my shoes were taken apart and inspected well. They did not apologize and I felt offended and embarrassed. I think racial profiling would feel similar but worse, because race is who you are, and cannot be changed or recovered from, the way a sore foot can be. Local law enforcement officers should meet local imams and other religious leaders (pastors, priests, swamis) under less threatening circumstances first, perhaps at an annual get-together or a tour of mosques and churches in the area. Local law enforcement should explain the rationale of their actions to the Imam, rather than being discourteous in a house of worship. They should be respectful and discrete. They should try to have their facts straight so that misidentifications and mistakes are minimized. They should avoid frightening people. It is critical to educate parents to not fear Muslim families at the school, so I would suggest discussing the issue at a parent teacher association meeting. Maybe the library (school and community) could have some non-threatening books about the lives and adventures of Muslim children and their
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