"Round Up the Usual Suspects"

By Damien Cave

By Salon Staff

Published September 20, 2001 10:38PM (EDT)

Read the original story.

This otherwise excellent article does not accurately convey my views on the question of racial profiling in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 hijacking attacks. I'm quoted as saying that "Given the circumstances, profiling is warranted." I do not believe this and this is not the position of my organization. I am accurately quoted as stating that "We in the Arab community need to have a little bit of forbearance, a little bit of patience. We should be slightly more tolerant than usual." I have never argued that there can be any excuse for profiling or any other egregious civil rights violation. We should give the authorities our fullest and enthusiastic cooperation, as well as the benefit of the doubt, in the wake of these attacks, but there is no condoning racial profiling, which ADC opposes in all its forms. It is both unfair and a bad law enforcement technique, and will not enhance security.

-- Hussein Ibish
Communications Director
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

If crimes were being committed by a guy who looked just like me, I would expect some inconvenience, although not to be sent up the river, due to the resemblance.

-- Tom Drumm

Damien Cave's column, "Round Up the Usual Suspects," contains this remarkable paragraph:

"The sweep largely failed. Officials, who pulled passengers from several planes, ended up with at least 12 detainees, but only one of them, apparently, could be related to Tuesday's horrific attacks on New York and Washington -- the FBI released everyone except the man with the pilot's license."

It seems to me that the sweep was a success. Twelve people are detained, because they appear to be Arabs, when Arab terrorists have stunned the country with a ferocious attack. One turns out to have ties to the killers. The other eleven, having been held temporarily for questioning, are released.

Eleven innocent people are inconvenienced. A murderer is caught. Seems like a good tradeoff to me.

-- Gould Hagler

Salon Staff

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