The FBI is proposing a program to profile potential terrorists in the United States.
While details of the plan are not yet (and may never be) fully known, it's already coming under some criticism.
The Newark (NJ) Star Ledger editorializes today that the FBI can't be counted on to profile just terrorists. The paper fears that the feds will profile entire groups of people. Read: Muslims.
Of course, one can argue that, while certainly not all Muslims are terrorists, most of the terrorists bent on destroying the way of life in the USA are, indeed, Muslims.
But the Star Ledger makes an important point. If the paper's fears are realized, we run the risk of alienating America's Muslim population. This is something the government can ill-afford to do.
The fact is, the vast vast vast majority of Muslims in the United States are peaceful people, just trying to assimilate into life like everyone else. Fighting a terrible economic situation in an attempt to provide for ensuing generations better life styles.
They are patriotic Americans or good visiting foreign nationals who shudder at the thought of others using their religion as an excuse to terrorize. In short, they are the very individuals best suited to enlist in the war on terror. Because they are more likely to learn of threats long before the general population.
The plot to blow up a Brooklyn subway station is a case in point. It was a Muslim fellow, who caught wind of the impending attack, who flagged down a passing police car and sounded the alarm. The cops burst in just in time to thwart a calamity.
The FBI should employ whatever resources it can to ferret out terrorists on U.S. soil. But it should take care to not trample on the rights of others. To do so is not only wrong. It's counterproductive.