According to article 1 of the Belgian “Anti-Racism Act”, discrimination is “each form of distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference, which has or may have as its aim or consequence that the recognition, the enjoyment or exercise on an equal footing of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social or cultural sphere or in other areas of social life, is destroyed, affected or restricted.” Advocating discrimination “on the grounds of someone’s so-called race [so-called, because races do not exist according to the politically-correct politicians in Brussels], colour, descent or national or ethnic origin” is a criminal offence.
Consequently the following observations could not be made in the Belgian press, or in any country with similar laws or attitudes. The first quote is from Jonah Goldberg in The Chicago Tribune, 18 August 2006:
[R]oughly 99 percent of jihadi terrorists are of either Middle Eastern or South Asian descent and 100 percent of them are Muslim. Critics of racial profiling say that it wouldn’t have stopped Richard Reid (the shoe bomber) or Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber). This is a red herring. Nobody ever proposed that race should be the only factor [in scrutinizing airline passingers], or even the most important factor. But why can’t it be one of those 30-plus factors? [...]
The terrorists we’re looking for are overwhelmingly young male Muslims from places such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Why is it morally superior to inconvenience old Mormon women of Swedish descent – for no reason at all – as much as young men from Pakistan?
Two alleged members of the British liquid explosives plot were young men of British descent who converted to Islam, and one was a woman with a child. Only a fool would advocate a system that, as a rule, deliberately excludes such people from scrutiny. But isn’t it equally foolish to spend vast sums on machines designed to interpret the facial twitches and sweat glands of millions of passengers out of an irrational phobia of racial profiling?
And here is Daniel Pipes in The New York Sun, 22 August 2006:
The sad fact is, through inertia, denial, cowardice, and political correctness, Western airport security services [...] search primarily for the implements of terrorism, while largely ignoring passengers. Although there has been some progress since the attacks of September 11, 2001, most involves the scrutiny of all travelers’ actions. [...]
The airport disruptions following the thwarted London plot prompted much discussion about the need to focus on the source of Islamist terrorism and to profile Muslims. In the words of a Wall Street Journal editorial, ‘a return to any kind of normalcy in travel is going to require that airport security do a better job of separating high-risk passengers from unlikely threats.’ [...]
[T]he chances of Muslim-focused profiling being widely implemented remain negligible. As the same Wall Street Journal editorial notes, ‘the fact that we may have come within a whisker of losing 3,000 lives over the Atlantic still isn't preventing political correctness from getting in the way of smarter security.’ [...] I predict that effective profiling will only come into effect when many more Western lives, say 100,000, have been lost.
Some argue that it is only fair that the authorities should scrutinize Muslims, even if the vast majority of Muslims are moderate. The problem of Islamists is primarily a problem of the whole Muslim community, they claim, and cannot be adequately countered if the Muslim moderates do not speak out against the extremists in their midst, which they have not sufficiently done so far. Perhaps, they say, racial profiling might convince the moderate Muslims that they urgently need to eradicate the extremists in their midst if they want to save the good reputation of their community.