King endorses ethnic profiling
BY J. JIONI PALMER
Newsday Washington Bureau
August 17, 2006
Discussing the recent revelation of an alleged plot in England to blow up U.S.-bound airliners, the Seaford Republican said yesterday that, "if the threat is coming from a particular group, I can understand why it would make sense to single them out for further questioning."
King, who has said that all Muslims aren't terrorists but that all recent terrorists are Muslim, favors an ethnic and religious profiling scheme that would include foreign and American-born travelers. "I would give the investigators and screeners a lot of discretion as to where it ends," he said.
Despite King's endorsement of such a process, it is
"I think that, you know, taking action against someone solely because of their race and solely because of their religion I think is ," Gonzales said.
Bob Levy, senior fellow in constitutional studies with the Washington-based Cato Institute, a conservative-libertarian think tank, said racial profiling gradually came into disfavor among law enforcement officials because "they discovered that ."
He said targeting people based on a range of criteria is a more operative and constitutionally legitimate tool to stop wrongdoers than relying on a blanket profile.
"Simply to profile all Muslims with nothing more than that, I think, would be considered ," Levy said. "Besides, if you are using a profile it doesn't follow that a profile is always effective."
, said Ahmed Younis of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
"In many ways, it is allowing the terrorists what they want, which is the betrayal of our constitutional principles and the disenfranchisement of the communities that we need the most in the war against extremism and terrorism," he said. "American Muslims are on the front lines in the war on terrorism and Mr. King's approach deprives America of her strongest weapon."
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.