I address this email to all the members who might be interested in this issue.
The way terrorists act is to destroy the very fabric of social structure, and to instill terror in daily lives. Is life worth living if we live in a constant aura of fear and suspicion? If you read some of the literature portraying the situation during the partition days (in a variety of Indian languages), we see how communities started living in constant fear and suspicion and even age old friends started killing each other often based on sheer suspicion along communal lines. Do we want to go back to those days? We should go back then and elect a monarch who would put us all in a curfew and then we will have peace. But that is what the terrorists want, don't they, to 'stop the heartbeat of India'? And what is that heartbeat?
Have you met and talked with thousands of ordinary people post 9/11 in US who had to face unnecessary suspicion and surveillance based on how they look, whether they have a beard, whether they look foreign? I have. And in those times of xenophobia being a person of color was enough to arouse suspicion in certain non-diverse communities. That means people like you and me, who are Indians would have been immediately be under suspicion, our bags checked, jobs denied, and being stared at and being under greater surveillance based on how we look. Not more than a year back one young man with beard (and hence Muslim looking) was shot at based under suspicion right after the London metro bombing. Later it was found that he was late for his job and hence was just hurrying, as I am sure most of us had done sometime in our lives. He was killed based on how he looked. Screening people on the basis of their ethnic identity, how they dress, whom they worship is racism. Just another point: 1 in every 8 African American males in the US is in jail, as they are more liable to be arrested than any other social group. That has only lead to increased poverty, fragmentation of community life and greater crime rate amongst the African Americans than any structural reform based on informed dialogue would do. And the former email seems to support that the US policing policy is right, and that India should adopt that!
And yes, ordinary Muslims are organizing themselves against terrorism, having community meetings, making independent films, writing books propagating the idea that to be a Muslim is not equivalent to be a terrorist, and that they condemn terrorism. That movement surely is growing.
And it is also the responsibility of other communities to question the reason that has lead to this sense of disaffection and alienation amongst the Muslim communities around the world.
I think it is easy to say that ethnic profiling is okay as long as the person saying is not under the radar.
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