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The New York Police Department, not Muslims, is the victim of profiling.
At least that’s what one op-ed writer at the New York Post wants you to think.
Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a physician in New York and author of In the Land of Invisible Women took to the tabloid’s opinion pages today to explain that cops should not come under fire for spying on entire Muslim neighborhoods.
She writes: “The true wrong here is done by a biased media and a suspicious, maneuvering minority within the Muslim minority. Their distortions have unapologetically cast the NYPD, the CIA, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as bigoted racists violating basic American ideals.”
More: “Make no mistake: If anyone has been profiling, it’s those who have offensively stereotyped New York’s Finest. These are men and women who risk their lives to preserve our freedoms — including the freedoms of speech and press that their critics so shamelessly exploit. The shame is on us all.”
Where to begin?
Broken down, Ahmed’s argument is basically this: racial profiling is not taking place because Muslims are not a race; the Associated Press should not have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation (just like Barack Obama should not have been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize); and law enforcement officials aren’t trying to spy on Muslims per se, but on dangerous ideologies that some Muslims have.
She also writes that Muslims in America are not victims and should not be mad at law enforcement for surveilling them, which is “sound intelligence.” Rather, “if there is an anger Muslim Americans need to express, it would be deservedly directed at these political operators and their funders who seek to move among us.”
Now, a couple of things need to be said about this, whatever this is.
While there is still disagreement among Muslim-Americans about whether profiling should take place, as the Voice detailed here and here, what’s problematic about this piece is the tone toward nonconformity.
Ahmed suggests that people are wrong if they get upset about this type of targeted investigation, and that they should feel “shame” for criticizing these practices. She also implies that journalistic investigations and disagreement are unpatriotic and “shamelessly exploit” free speech.
Regardless of one’s opinion, the real exploitation of free speech is telling people that dissent is wrong and un-American — as Ahmed has done in this column.
(HT City and State)