Jump to content
IGNORED

Why Sam Harris is wrong on Muslim profiling


2xx1xy1JD

Recommended Posts

Sam Harris thinks that we should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be a Muslim, at airport security. He sets out his position here: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/in-d ... -profiling, and further defends it here: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/to-p ... to-profile.

 

Among other things, he writes:

 

[quoteFor this reason, I have argued that we should profile for Muslims, or anyone who could conceivably be Muslim, at airport security. More specifically, I argue that we should anti-profile—paying less attention to people who, based on the totality of their characteristics, could not conceivably be jihadists. Once again, I would not put you or myself in this category, but many people one sees at the airport would fall into it.

 

I think you overestimate the ability of jihadists to recruit people who do not fit the profile, and you seriously underestimate the talent that neurologically intact observers (not to mention trained screeners, like those who work for El Al) have for spotting high-risk individuals. While it is clearly prudent to scan everyone’s bags, doing a secondary screening of low-risk travelers, purely for the sake of fairness, seems like a dangerous waste of time.

 

Please remember, we are talking about recruiting people who want to die for the privilege of waging jihad against infidels. Just how deep a recruiting pool could this be among people born as non-Muslims? Not very. How easy can it be to recruit an old rancher and his wife from Texas to be suicide bombers? What about a pretty blonde from San Diego who once had a walk-on part on Battlestar Galactica? If it were easy to recruit such people—people about whom you would say, “Are you kidding me? They are members of al-Qaeda?â€â€”then we would not be seeing young middle-eastern men show upon on the news, again and again. ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We mostly see the, um....."Muslim looking" ones (???????)(Does he mean "Middle-Eastern looking"? I think that's what he means...)....because that's what the national news chooses to air. There are, of course, many more we DON'T hear about.

Like the original poster pointed out, Muslims come in all shapes and forms - there are 2 billion of them on the planet! Boston Bombers? Russian. And they looked Russian. Not to mention the plethora of Middle-Eastern people who are NOT Muslim, let alone "jihadists".

Also, he seems to be completely ignorant of the fact that TSA is there to NOT ONLY look for terrorists but anyone with a weapon, drug smugglers, human traffickers, etc. Which can be anyone from anywhere looking like anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's like these people can simultaneously believe that jihadists are comic-book supervillains AND the Circus Clowns' Liberation Front. They're going to destroy errthing, but it would never occur to them to send a blonde, blue-eyed Chechen operative with a fake Polish passport...or a Nigerian operative with a fake South African passport...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sam Harris is such an ass. He's also a misogynist who seems to think that being an atheist makes him the world's smartest man

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He does realize that there are literally millions of Muslims who are ethnically indistinguishable from him, right? I mean, if we profile anyone who could conceivably be Muslim - he's definitely in that category. Ass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

better off profiling fundies. Jesus a sure sign of SOTDRT graduate this one is.

Was he homeschooled? His wiki page says he went to UCLA and Stanford and has a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. Not that that makes him any less wrong on profiling, but I don't think you can blame SOTDRT for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sam Harris is such an ass. He's also a misogynist who seems to think that being an atheist makes him the world's smartest man

I'm actually quite a Sam Harris fan, although I agree he's wrong on profiling at airport security. What makes you say he's a misogynist? I'm genuinely asking; I may have to stop being a fan if that is the case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was Sam Harris the one that said if he could get rid of either religion or rape he would pick religion because rape is just a natural thing that happens?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sam Harris thinks that we should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be a Muslim, at airport security

...

Muslims are a mult-ethnic, multi-racial group, for starters, so I'm not really sure how you identify one by looks.

I'm from the Midwest. None of the Muslims I know would fit his 'Muslim-looking' profile. Only one would be identified as a 'foreigner,' (meaning he has a 'non-American' accent), and another could be considered a 'redneck'- who is actually a member of the Tea Party! (Still trying to figure that one out!)

*I'm not trying to insult anyone with a 'foreign' accent or those who consider themselves rednecks, just trying to look at it the way most people who want to profile would.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sam Harris is such an ass. He's also a misogynist who seems to think that being an atheist makes him the world's smartest man

I didn't know about the misogynist part, but I did a bit of googling and found this quote:

In his second book, "Letter to a Christian Nation," published in September 2006, Harris continues his assault on religion, even drawing parallels between organized religion and rape. "If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion," Harris explains, "I would not hesitate to get rid of religion."

from here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/spi ... 787-2.html

ETA: Here's an interview where he makes that rape comment:

http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/369/th ... son?page=2

So yes, I'd agree on the misogynist description.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fuck. I really wish he hadn't said that. Dawkins is an ass and Hitchens is dead. What's an athiest fan girl to do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is not the first time I hear this kind of BS. As if there weren't blond and blue eyed Muslims, or people who look Middle Eastern but aren't remotely Muslim. Or indeed, I think Al Qaeda and the likes are smart enough to use terrorists who aren't Bin Laden look alikes (weren't the 9/11 terrorists clean shaven, and bought alcohol and perfume so as not be look suspicious)?

I can't see any other reason for this sort of position than racism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How is Dawkins an ass?

Dawkins comes across as condescending and arrogant when dealing with believers. It's one thing to be right and to know it, but he has the unfortunate tendency to belittle believers who ask him non-confrontational questions. I really like his books, but I find his manner off-putting. I do like the video of him responding to hate mail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to add that someone needs to tell Harris that the largest Muslim country is Indonesia. FWIW, the Bali bombers looked Asian.

The "Underwear Bomber" was a black Nigerian.

The terrorists behind the Mumbai bombings and murders were Pakistani. Pakistan is the second largest Muslim country in the world - but the people look Indian, not Arab.

Only 20% of Muslims live in Arab countries.

Muslims make up close to a quarter of the world's population. That's around 1.62 billion people. Not exactly a precise way to profile, esp. if you are relying on identifying "anyone who looks like they could be Muslim".

He's just dead wrong with this idea that people who weren't born into Islam wouldn't be recruited as suicide bombers. Being radicalized to that degree is a relatively recent phenomenon in the Muslim world. No, that's not to say that everything in the Muslim world was perfect before, but there was less craziness and more tolerance. The Ottoman empire, for example, was fairly cosmopolitan, and there was a considerable amount of variation in religious practice from one place to another. We can examine who the known bombers or attempted bombers are, and we see a clear pattern that in many cases, they are NOT simply following the traditional beliefs of their families. Instead, we often see a pattern of rejection of western values, and in some cases there is also a rejection of the values of their families and/or older generation. The "shallow pool of recruits" comment gets even more ridiculous when you consider the role of conversion and radicalization in prisons. That was the background of Shoe Bomber Richard Reid, and it may also be the background behind the recently foiled terror plot in British Columbia. Violent losers may be attracted to radical Islam precisely because its, well, radical and violent.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013 ... alkom.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.



  • Recent Status Updates

    • Bluebirdbluebell

      Bluebirdbluebell

      I highly recommend Not the Good Girl's Youtube channel. She is making great documentaries about cults.
      · 0 replies
    • BlackberryGirl

      BlackberryGirl

      Ohh jeeze, GrandBerry6 just came to me, snuggled his face in my neck and barfed, all over me. In my neck, in my hair, on my face, down inside my nightie all over the front of my nightie. Ohh FUCK! Bath, washed hair, cleaned sofa. Good times, good times.
      · 2 replies
    • Scrabblemaster

      Scrabblemaster

      I danced through my living room feeling awesome. From time to time I do this. Maybe wine is involved. Good music is definitely involved. It is awesome. I recommend it to you. With or without wine.
      · 2 replies
    • Hazelbunny

      Hazelbunny

      After a few months of trying to decide what kind of new computer to get and my brother telling me a Mac would be the best decision I could ever make and my sister telling me that would be the worst and I ought to stick to Windows.... I now have a used Mac. I am trying to get used to it. Not easy, but the Magnifying program is a lot better than the Windows one (that was the ultimate reason for my decision) and FJ works a lot better than on my 10-year old Laptop, too!!  
      · 0 replies
    • WannabeHistorian

      WannabeHistorian

      Y'all, holter monitors suck. And naturally the palpitations that caused this test to be ordered are remarkably absent today. 
      I'm off to go work out in the hopes that triggers it. T minus 10 hours till I get this thing off. 
      · 4 replies
    • 47of74

      47of74

      Fuck Fornicate.  Glad I got in to see this place before the world went to shit.
       
      · 0 replies
    • PreciousPantsofDoom

      PreciousPantsofDoom

      I frigging hate the toilets at this worksite. Specifically the door locks. Stupid little knoblet that isn't clear if it is locked or not. Door opens right off the main hallway and the toilet is just far enough from the door that I can't just hold the door shut in case I've got the lock wrong. I mean really people, how hard is it to design this? I just want to pee in private with no anxiety. Apparently that is too much to ask for. 
      · 1 reply
    • 47of74

      47of74

      First thing I'm doing when I get to the hereafter is finding the ancestors who moved to the US in the first place and asking them what the fuck they were thinking moving here in the first place.  Along with giving them an epic the reason you suck speech hopefully in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself to all of them for condemning their descendants to living in a shithole.
      · 0 replies
    • feministxtian

      feministxtian

      Its STILL snowing. Its not like I don't have a million things to do and need to take crap to the dumpster. 
      · 2 replies
    • Chocolate Lover

      Chocolate Lover

      Do any of you play Dyson Sphere Program?   For those who don't know what it is I'd suggest Googling it, because there's no way I could do it justice. 
      There's always just one more thing to do before I turn off.  Blink!  And it's 2 hours later.  
      · 0 replies
  • Recent Blog Entries

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.