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Racial profiling

19/04/2013 A.D 9/6/1434 H

By: Fatema Makki

A twenty-year-old man, attending the Boston Marathon had his body torn into by the force of a bomb. The twin bombs left a hundred and seventy-six people injured and three killed. However, the young man was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in “a startling show of force.” His belongings were carried out in paper bags.

His roommate, who was questioned for five hours, ended up saying: “My friend is a nice guy who happened to like sports. I don’t think he is someone who would plant a bomb.”

One might question, as mentioned by the Huffington Post, “Why the search, the interrogation, the dogs, the bomb squad, and the injured man’s name tweeted out, attached to the word “suspect”?

The police reported that the young man smelled like explosives; so did everyone else who was at the scene. Perhaps what he said about thinking there would be a second bomb made him a suspect. But that is the way it is in attacks as a second bomb is designed to target responders.

Muneer Awad, the executive director of New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (Cair), said: “There is no reason for why he was a suspect, other than he was a Saudi Arabian.” So here is where the story starts making sense. Awad continues: “Americans have been conditioned to assume that any act of terror on our land has been perpetrated by a Muslim. That's why it was so easy for people to jump on to reports that a Saudi national had been a person of interest.”

The F.B.I went to the extreme of questioning whether he was a real student, or was it a front despite the declaration made by Governor Deval Patrick about being careful not to treat “categories of people in uncharitable ways.”

“The range of suspects and motives remains wide open,” Richard Deslauriers of the F.B.I. said. Ironically, the suspect happened to be a Muslim.

Two days after the bombing, a Muslim woman wearing a hijab was attacked in the Boston area by a man who shouted that Muslims had committed the Boston crime that killed three people and wounded about 170.

HebaAbolaban, a Palestinian doctor who immigrated to the United States from Syria, was punched in the shoulder in Malden, Mass., on Wednesday by a man who shouted  “You, Muslims, are involved in the Boston explosions,” according to the Malden Patch.

Media outlets also propagated such anti-Islamic notion as Erik Rush, a conservative columnist and Fox News guest tweeted “Muslims are evil. Let's kill them all” after the attacks.

“If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil-that’s it. Selflessly.Compassionately. Unafraid,” President Obama said.

However, facts and events have proved that the policy conducted by the U.S. is that of racial profiling. Despite being an illegal jurisdiction, racial profiling has been used in the case of the Saudi young man. The policy proposes the use of an individual’s race or cultural background as the primary reason to suspect that the individual has broken the law. 

If the bomber turns out to be of a white ethnicity, the attack would be labeled as a separate incident; and that is what is called “White privilege.” “White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening or threatened with deportation,” writes author Tim Wise.

The atrocity committed by Timothy James "Tim", during which hedetonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The bombing remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in United States history; however, James was classified as paranoid, schizophrenic, who suffered from delusions and hallucinations. His crime was categorized as a result of mental illness.

What we are dealing with here is not only an Islamophobic system, but one that is willing to dismiss facts, and tailor new ones to fit an anti-Islamic conspiracy theory in which Muslims, typically belonging to the third world, are automatically labeled as terrorists. Not to mention the fact that an individual case of law breaking is cited by the American system as a proof that an entire demographic group must be targeted.

In a nutshell, Boston attack, whose perpetrators are still anonymous, is an excuse for the American system to withhold the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, block immigration reform defense spending cuts, expand surveillance, and encroach on civil liberties, that of U.S Muslims of course.

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