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Report: NYPD's Surveillance of Muslims 'Harmful'

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#1 scherzo

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:14 PM

Report: NYPD's Surveillance of Muslims 'Harmful'
This story appeared back in March. But with the less than shocking revelation that Muslim radicals were responsible for the Boston murders, it's at the forefront of my mind today.
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Clearly the vast majority of Muslims believe the onerous is on everyone ELSE to insure their religious faith is never called to account. Organizations like CAIR are more concerned about backlash against Muslims, than the toxic strain of evil in their ranks. I don't doubt that terrorists and their sympathizers are in the minority. But just 1% would represent an enormous number of highly motivated would-be mass murders.(and it's clearly more than 1%) My question is, will the religion of political correctness demand we ignore the most consistent thread in terrorist attacks on American people and interests?

It's been reported that one of the bombers was known to the FBI, but was not detained even after posting jihad videos online. This harkens back to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan, whose Muslim extremism was also well documented. In both cases, had common sense trumped political correctness, loss of life(and limb)would have been prevented. It seems to me we're well overdue to stop treating "profiling" like anything other than the most logical response to a clear and present danger.
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#2 offworlder

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:28 PM

yes, but you'd have to profile and harass(and get sued) a million Islam followers and other 'well they looked Mooslem to me' people, and oh heck any brown person you think might be related to Pakistan, Chetchnya, Dagostan, Libya, or any one of other thirty countries: just to catch up to the small private doings of any like these two young yahoos who just get influenced by the global overall stuff going on .............. and beside, these two yahoos don't seem(yet) to be related to any large Mooslem group or official anything like the Brotherhood, just two bent guys teaching themselves(prolly from the web) to make a couple bombs and grenades ; and the older bro(26) prolly got some, I hear they had handguns, Saturday night special auto pistols from the trunk of some guy's car, you can get that sort thing in Mass. for maybe 300 a piece?(no check, no rez, no nothin)
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#3 scherzo

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

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yes, but you'd have to profile and harass(and get sued) a million Islam followers and other 'well they looked Mooslem to me' people, and oh heck any brown person you think might be related to Pakistan, Chetchnya, Dagostan, Libya, or any one of other thirty countries: just to catch up to the small private doings of any like these two young... typing typing...no rez...more random typiness..."prolly"...blah blah blah...
Actually reading my post would reveal that one of these bombers(who didn't necessarily "look Mooslem") managed to get on the FBI's radar without any of those muddled cliches occurring offworlder. Taking down Nidal Hasan wouldn't have involved much in the way of "harassment" either for that matter. But you're probably not alone in the belief that sarcasm is infinitely preferable to violating politically correct dogma. Let's see what blows up next...
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#4 DarthMarley

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 11:11 PM

Surveillance is not harassment.
"It is not who is right, but what is right that is of importance."

#5 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:23 AM

I think the word Scherzo was looking for was "onus" not onerous.

The evidence is that these two kids have never even BEEN to the region in question and there is little or no evidence indicating that they were Muslim radicals.   But hey, who cares about pesky things like facts when bigotry and profiling are so much more fun. When America starts trampling the Constitution in the name of "America the land of the free and the home of the brave"?  THAT'S when terrorism WINS.
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#6 scherzo

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 03:27 AM

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The evidence is that these two kids have never even BEEN to the region in question
Region in question? :dontgetit:

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and there is little or no evidence indicating that they were Muslim radicals.
Yet...one somehow ended up under FBI scrutiny after the feds were tipped off about his ties to Chechen extremists. Somehow I doubt it's because he once left the cap off a tube of toothpaste. But it is useful to know you don't think this maniac should have been subject to any increased scrutiny at all. Hopefully law enforcement will ultimately conclude that preventing Muslim radicals from blowing up sh*t, is a little more important than not hurting their feelings.

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But hey, who cares about pesky things like facts when bigotry and profiling are so much more fun.
Bigotry AND profiling? The superliberal sacred scroll clearly states they're the same thing! I mean, what could possibly be more evil than NOTICING which group of people are committing a certain type of crime? But the problem with leftist dogma is it's, well...stupid. And in our current climate...LETHAL. The time and energy spent scrutinizing everyone, takes enormous resources away from stopping the most likely candidates to commit terror attacks.

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When America starts trampling the Constitution in the name of platitude...rote cliche...bluster...blah...

:think: Hmmm...even the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition's ridiculous report about NYPD surveillance didn't attempt to say it was "unconstitutional". In order to honor the principles of our Founding Fathers, police must ensure their anti-terrorism units target ALL religions with equal time and energy? That's an odd reading of the framers, unless you weren't actually referring to the "American" constitution. Sorry Lil but Smilin' Bill's Do-it-Yourself Constitution Kit™ isn't legally binding in most major cities.

The trajectory of stale diatribes against profiling Muslims inevitably leads to strawman fantasies about internment, attacks on Christians, and Tim McVeigh. So in hopes of heading that particular train off at the pass, I'm going to request practical reasons why the authorities shouldn't profile Muslim groups. Crying "bigotry" may satisfy a reflexive instinct to lash out against a conservative heretic. But it's a piss poor argument(roughly on par with critiquing word usage) that conveniently ignores the problem  being addressed. If you can't do better than that, I suggest starting a different thread.

Edited by scherzo, 20 April 2013 - 03:35 AM.

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#7 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:36 AM

responding based on irrational negative stereotyping is not practical.  Engaging in state sponsored surveillance based on irrational negative stereotyping is impractical.  In any case, the Constitution trumps whatever definition of practicality you appear to operating with.

Edited by Bad Wolf, 20 April 2013 - 06:36 AM.

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#8 Lin731

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 10:41 AM

I have to say, I'm up in the air about how I feel about profiling. Honestly, crazy evil is crazy evil, they can be folks like these two in Boston or Timothy Mcvie or the unibomber. Same holds true for these mass murderers who go on killing sprees at schools and theaters etc... How do we "profile" them when we can't even get universal background checks but apparently THAT'S a risk we should all be willing to take but profiling these "other" types is okay, just not our "own? I understand the thought process behind profiling based on country of origin an religious affiliation because of what some of these folks are being taught and believe in. If you live in a country rife with religious hatred, internal religious violence and a history of blowing up yourself in hopes of randomly killing innocent people from this country or any western country, sadly it WILL cause extra scrutiny. Much as I hate to say it, I think we all profile in our own way, whether it's based on something bad that's happened to us personally or based on appearance etc...I think most people have internal triggers, sometimes with cause, sometimes not but at the end of the day I think most people DO have those judgment calls built in. Whether you're a woman getting on an elevator and deciding you'll catch the next one because you don't like "the look" of the rather large guy already occupying it or crossing the street because a group of kids look kinda rough, we make judgments. Who here honestly can say they looked at the Sandyhook shooter and DIDN'T think...Wow this guy looks wayyyyyyy off? I guess my issue is to me it's hypocritical to complain about the government not having any right to profile you based on the amount of weapons you purchase or the groups you associate with but then cheerlead for profiling other people based on where they come from. It's either justified in BOTH cases or in NEITHER.
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#9 DarthMarley

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:33 AM

View PostBad Wolf, on 20 April 2013 - 01:23 AM, said:

I think the word Scherzo was looking for was "onus" not onerous.

The evidence is that these two kids have never even BEEN to the region in question and there is little or no evidence indicating that they were Muslim radicals.   But hey, who cares about pesky things like facts when bigotry and profiling are so much more fun. When America starts trampling the Constitution in the name of "America the land of the free and the home of the brave"?  THAT'S when terrorism WINS.

If when the facts come out, and these brothers are demonstrated to have been radicalized Muslims, will you retract that statement?
You are essentially calling people bigots without having the facts yourself.
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#10 DarthMarley

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:37 AM

View PostBad Wolf, on 20 April 2013 - 06:36 AM, said:

responding based on irrational negative stereotyping is not practical.  Engaging in state sponsored surveillance based on irrational negative stereotyping is impractical.  In any case, the Constitution trumps whatever definition of practicality you appear to operating with.

These assailants could have been from any emotionally disturbed category of the political and religious spectrum.
The fact that they were seen on video surveillance during the attack was instrumental in their identification and capture.

At this point, I see a few people with ties to Chechen Islamic militancy killing and maiming innocents.
Does something in their actions prompt you to oppose their filming during their crime, or the record of one of them having been contacted by the FBI at the request of a foreign government?
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#11 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

If the facts come out that these brothers were radical Muslims motivated by that in doing what they did then that's what they are.  It doesn't change what's wrong about making the assumptions in the first place.

When this first happened twitter was on fire with things like people saying all arabs are evil and should be killed or deriding the president for allowing arab illegals.  So the first assumption I saw getting made was that these were middle eastern radicals of some sort.  Then there were reports of "brown skinned" suspects (the media really helped out with that one).  Yet another assumption.   Then the fact emerged that these guys are white Russian dudes.  But of course, there's still the anti muslim assumption so, assumptions continue.

Look how absolutely idiotic the press looked the other day.  Because it bought into the whole hysterical ethnic assumption b.s. that has surrounded this.  One newspaper circled a picture of a guy who was just there watching the race but is now terrified to leave his house because of that.  And they circled the picture, because of how he looked.  Not because he fit any witness description of a perpetrator but because he appeared to fit a profile.

Scherzo was talking about practicality.  How on earth is it PRACTICAL to base investigations on these kinds of crazy assumptions?  It's not!  It's more than impractical.  It's irrational.
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#12 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

I have no objection whatever to using surveillance.  But it wasn't surveillance of a particular "type" that led to them being filmed at the event.  It wasn't a surveillance plan that, for example, said, let's identify all people who look middle eastern and keep a special eye on them.  It was just plain surveillance.  Which I support.
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#13 DarthMarley

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 11:48 AM

View PostLin731, on 20 April 2013 - 10:41 AM, said:

I have to say, I'm up in the air about how I feel about profiling. Honestly, crazy evil is crazy evil, they can be folks like these two in Boston or Timothy Mcvie or the unibomber. Same holds true for these mass murderers who go on killing sprees at schools and theaters etc... How do we "profile" them when we can't even get universal background checks but apparently THAT'S a risk we should all be willing to take but profiling these "other" types is okay, just not our "own? I understand the thought process behind profiling based on country of origin an religious affiliation because of what some of these folks are being taught and believe in. If you live in a country rife with religious hatred, internal religious violence and a history of blowing up yourself in hopes of randomly killing innocent people from this country or any western country, sadly it WILL cause extra scrutiny. Much as I hate to say it, I think we all profile in our own way, whether it's based on something bad that's happened to us personally or based on appearance etc...I think most people have internal triggers, sometimes with cause, sometimes not but at the end of the day I think most people DO have those judgment calls built in. Whether you're a woman getting on an elevator and deciding you'll catch the next one because you don't like "the look" of the rather large guy already occupying it or crossing the street because a group of kids look kinda rough, we make judgments. Who here honestly can say they looked at the Sandyhook shooter and DIDN'T think...Wow this guy looks wayyyyyyy off? I guess my issue is to me it's hypocritical to complain about the government not having any right to profile you based on the amount of weapons you purchase or the groups you associate with but then cheerlead for profiling other people based on where they come from. It's either justified in BOTH cases or in NEITHER.

The government has a job to do that effectively requires them to profile.
Yes, based on purchases of weapons, ammunition, chemical precursors,etc. in restricted quantities.
And yes, based on which religious house of worship one attends.
Hell, you can't buy a decongestant without signing because you might make meth with it.
Profiling is a good thing. It identifies agents who are more likely to misbehave in a crowd.
And yes, we all do it when our personal safety matters more than usual.

Privacy is not the same as anonymity, and it seems these qualities are often conflated.

Edited by DarthMarley, 20 April 2013 - 12:18 PM.

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#14 DarthMarley

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 12:16 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on 20 April 2013 - 11:44 AM, said:

If the facts come out that these brothers were radical Muslims motivated by that in doing what they did then that's what they are.  It doesn't change what's wrong about making the assumptions in the first place.

When this first happened twitter was on fire with things like people saying all arabs are evil and should be killed or deriding the president for allowing arab illegals.  So the first assumption I saw getting made was that these were middle eastern radicals of some sort.  Then there were reports of "brown skinned" suspects (the media really helped out with that one).  Yet another assumption.   Then the fact emerged that these guys are white Russian dudes.  But of course, there's still the anti muslim assumption so, assumptions continue.

Look how absolutely idiotic the press looked the other day.  Because it bought into the whole hysterical ethnic assumption b.s. that has surrounded this.  One newspaper circled a picture of a guy who was just there watching the race but is now terrified to leave his house because of that.  And they circled the picture, because of how he looked.  Not because he fit any witness description of a perpetrator but because he appeared to fit a profile.

Scherzo was talking about practicality.  How on earth is it PRACTICAL to base investigations on these kinds of crazy assumptions?  It's not!  It's more than impractical.  It's irrational.

I was out drinking when the news of the blasts aired. Later that day, i am sure I annoyed many with my comments about the apparent weakness of the blast, asserting that these criminals were mercifully inept at making bombs. That is no relief for those dead or maimed, but from my point of view is still true, the bombs could have been easily more deadly, or caused more maiming.
Some immediately leapt to the "Muslim terrorism" conclusion. I assumed that if that were the case, this is a minor league, or home-grown variety of terrorism. My pet hunch was that it was a targeted assassination of some romantic disappointment who was finishing the race near the time of detonation.

However, I don't see any irrationality for law enforcement, in the early moments of this tragedy, to include assumptions that this attack was perpetrated by militia types bitching about tax day. Nothing in that assumption is impractical or bigoted. It makes sense.
Just as it makes sense to assume that there was some element of Muslim extremism involved.

The impulse to assert that all ethnic "profiling" must be bad because it is based on ethnicity is an absurd extreme of political correctness.
If a similar attack happens in Tel Aviv, do we wonder if it might have been "Left Behind" Christian radicals? Or does it make sense that the terrorists were Palestinians?
If someone gets mugged in a sketchy neighborhood, does it make sense to assume it might have been a Wall Street trader?

Someone having their picture put in the media because they were there, and are falsely accused do indeed suffer. but what is unreasonable about putting their picture out for investigation?

Calling these Chechens "white Russians" is a simplification.
Some Bosnians might object to being called "white Europeans."

Edited by DarthMarley, 20 April 2013 - 12:17 PM.

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#15 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:30 PM

I'm on a mobile device and so not really able to fully articulate my antipathy for using "political correctness" as if it were a dirty term in the context of justifying a violation of civil rights.   In the US it actually IS the case that profiling is bad just because of race.  Why?  Because that's the law.  Racism is bad.Period.   If you want to advocate in favor of racism in a given situation then go for it but please at least have the intellectual integrity to admit that's what you're doing instead of using inane phrases like "political correctness" to pretend that you are not in fact advocating in favor of racism.

Edited by Bad Wolf, 20 April 2013 - 01:37 PM.

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#16 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:36 PM

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Calling these Chechens "white Russians" is a simplification.

No it's just a fact.

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Some Bosnians might object to being called "white Europeans."
I'm sure they would.  Unless it was true.
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#17 scherzo

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:20 PM

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Calling these Chechens "white Russians" is a simplification.
And a flailing attempt to distract from their more relevant feature. I'll add...if they belonged to any other race, the religious left would have HUGE problems with someone identifying them that way. For the record, it's the devotion to Islam to gets my spider-sense tingling...not race.  

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If the facts come out that these brothers were radical Muslims motivated by that in doing what they did then that's what they are.  It doesn't change what's wrong about making the assumptions in the first place.
So it's wrong, to know ahead of time that Muslims are infinitely more likely than most citizens to be involved in plotting terrorist attacks.  No matter how many g*dd*mn times Muslims prove it via their actions.  The rest of us are restricted, not just from taking action...but even acknowledging the pattern exists. That...is, utterly...insane.

Witness the surreal spectacle of a liberal criticizing people for thinking the Boston Bombers were Muslim radicals. "Irrational negative stereotyping"...that happened to be entirely accurate.  I can imagine similar outrage occurring on the morning of Sept 11 2001, if someone dared to voice concern about the 4 suspicious looking Saudi men who just boarded their plane.

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I'm on a mobile device and so not really able to fully articulate my antipathy for using "political correctness" as if it were a dirty term in the context of justifying a violation of civil rights.
Which part is the violation of "civil rights"? The part where investigators consider the very strong possibility a terrorist act was committed by Muslims, or the part where they act on that suspicion? Assuming the part where they act on their suspicion is the problem, would it then NOT be a civil rights violation if they spent equal time investigating the Orthodox Jewish community?

Lil THIS is why political correctness annoys those of us who prefer common sense. PC does nothing to help anyone or anything except(in this case)terrorists. Making liberals feel good about their amazing tolerance and sophistication, is a poor excuse for ignoring where terrorism is predominately bred. As soon as this punk Tsarnaev's ties to Chechen extremists was established, he should have been taken off the streets. When Nidal Hasan's emails revealed his support for terrorism, his military superiors should have taken action. Several lives would have been spared in both cases if the threat these men posed had been taken seriously.
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#18 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:50 PM

Speaking of flailing distractions:

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As soon as this punk Tsarnaev's ties to Chechen extremists was established, he should have been taken off the streets. When Nidal Hasan's emails revealed his support for terrorism, his military superiors should have taken action. Several lives would have been spared in both cases if the threat these men posed had been taken seriously.

Let's assume the accuracy of what the events you are describing.  Let us say that ties to Chechen extremests WAS established at some time in the past.  WHAT does this have to do with surveillance directed at a particular group?  NOTHING.   If there was a failure, it was a failure to act on intelligence received.  This has zero to do with whether or not surveillance directed at a particular group just because they're part of that group is appropriate.   Similarly...if Nidal Hasan's emails revealed his support for terrorism and someone failed to do something about it, the failure lies in NOT ACTING on the intelligence and is again IRRELEVANT to the question of whether it is appropriate to target a group for surveillance solely because of membership in that group.

It's perfectly FINE to KNOW (based on properly gathered intelligence) ahead of time that someone is planning something and to take appropriate action.   This has ZERO to do with whether it's okay to single out a particular group of people for extra scrutiny simply because of their ethnicity.  Or religious affiliation.  Or background.

Btw, if the suspects were black Canadians I'd have no trouble saying so.  It just so happens that they're white Russians.
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#19 Orpheus

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 12:24 AM

Yes, most Chechens will dislike being called "Russian -- for excellent reason. The group has been held hostage for the better part of a century

In short strokes: they were declared "an outlaw nationality" for refusing to join Soviet Russia's Union, so most of them were packed to brutal Siberian camps for about 50 years (I don't recall the exact dates). After the Soviet Union broke up, the other states went their own way, but the Chechnya nation was not allowed to, primarily because it was critical to the Trans-Ural Oil Pipeline (Many people can't see past the label "Muslim", but Chechens are more archtypically Caucasian than almost anyone. Their traditional territory and contemporary "Chechnya" is the northern Caucasus.). When they declared ca. 1994 that they wanted to be a free independent nation like the other former Soviet regions, and a Russian tank invasion failed to intimidate them, the Russians shelled/bombed their capital flat with a "no survivors policy" -- they wanted the land and its pipeline, and were perfectly willing to see ALL Chechnyans dead. Without going through the two brutal decades since, it wouldn't be too out of line to say that the Russians have been succeeding: Only about half a million Chechens remain alive.

Oh, I'm sure they wouldn't mind you calling them Russian. just as I'm sure that if some thug raped your wife with a knife to her throat and killed all your kids, neither you or she would mind him claiming her as "his wife" as a result of these horrors

"Muslims are infinitely more likely to commit terrorist acts than most citizens?" Sheesh! I can't even imagine how narrow a knowledge of domestic terrorism one would need to make that statement (from instructing Indian tribes that did not have the practice (as Europeans did) to scalp their enemy to collect a bounty from the British govt, to the burning of Tory or unaffiliated houses by the revolutionary minority before Independence, to the "Indian terror raids" (as they were termed by the "the only good indian is a dead indian" US govt that wanted their lands, as Russia wanted the pipeline area) to the lynchings, home and church burnings of  the Klu Klux Klan and related groups, to the Weather Underground to the example you so try to squirm out of by declaring it off-bounds --Oklahoma City to abortion clinic bombings and gay lynchings to gang terror of neighborhoods...) and I KNOW that's not you, so I'm going to just assume that was a bit of runaway rhetoric/thinking.

Racial profiling simply doesn't work. If you want to monitor people/groups for cause, that's fine by me, but ethnicity is not a cause. Neither is religion

#20 scherzo

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 01:37 AM

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And Muslims are infinitely more likely to commit terrorist acts than most citizens? Sheesh! I can't even imagine how narrow a knowledge of the domestic terrorism one would have to have to make that statement
Yet, a statement that very obviously speaks to present day circumstances, can only be refuted by a weirdly tangential history lesson. *I'm* now trying to imagine how the subject of potential terrorists in 2013, ends up including a lecture on 19th Century Indian tribes? :dontgetit:

Orph I can't be shamed by faux outrage into retracting my original contention. There is swaths of data out there backing me up.(although I'd think just paying attention to the news would prove the point well enough) If you want to refute me with your NOT-narrow knowledge of terror statistics, you're going to have to show me where all this violence by non-Muslims is occurring...then demonstrate how the numbers are roughly on par with Islamic radicals.
Tip: You will fail should you try.

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...to the example you so try to squirm out of by declaring it off-bounds --Oklahoma.
I mentioned Tim McVeigh, because I know liberals can't resist invoking his name whenever Islam comes under fire for terrorism. If there were any item of discussion I thought was necessary to "squirm out of" I certainly wouldn't bring it up myself. But in this case, I thought getting it out of the way early would save me from having to mow down this tedious non-argument for the billionth time. I was interested in hearing intelligent and logical reasons why increased surveillance of Muslims is counter-productive in saving lives. I think I can safely conclude by now that no such reasons exist.

Edited by scherzo, 21 April 2013 - 01:38 AM.

"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."    -Ronald Reagan, October 27 1964
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