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    Khalid Mahmood MP makes no sense

    by guest on 7th January, 2010 at 3:20 PM    

    This a guest post by the Drive-by Snowballer

    Since the Christmas Day attempted attack on an airliner bound for Detroit, no voice has been more vocal in support of profiling passengers than that of Khalid Mahmood MP. In a cringe-worthy display, he appeared on Monday night’s Newsnight against Maajid Nawaz of Quilliam to defend profiling.

    Khalid’s performance starts off inauspiciously. His opening gambit is to argue that extremist recruiters themselves profile targets for radicalisation. [08:35]

    They target people, they specifically look at people. They look at the weakness of the people, they draw them into that and then they suck ‘em off… [incomprehensible].

    Without descending into puerility and delving into his rather strange closing remark (do radicalisers really “suck off” their recruits?), this is still a remarkably rubbish argument. If terrorist recruiters are able to focus their radicalising efforts then they are just as able to make sure that they are focusing on people whose ethnicity, age and gender would suggest that they are less likely to match the “profile” of a terrorist. To profile is to institutionalise security services always being a step behind terrorists’ recruitment efforts.

    And what does this have to do with people’s “weaknesses” – please Khalid, I hope you’re not suggesting that brown people are “weaker” than their non-brown compatriots. Right? And you are not suggesting that people from Nigeria, for example, are any weaker than people from Saudi Arabia? Because that is what profiling means; the US is now choosing to make Syrians undergo more intense security searches than Saudis, Germans or Britons.

    Then Nawaz makes a series of points about major terrorists (Muriel Degauque, for example) that profiling would have been unlikely to identify. Khalid’s only response is to blather about the Quilliam Foundation being apologists for terrorism [09:42 onwards]. Even Paxo steps in to defend Nawaz against this astonishing attack which Khalid launches, it seems, to disguise a complete incomprehension of what profiling is.

    Khalid is unable to answer Nawaz’s simple question about what profilers should be looking for and what should be done differently in the future to identify potential terrorists. Instead he just lists things that are already being done, like studying passenger behaviour. Profiling is about identifying people of a certain race, sex, age or geographical origin as being more likely to be a terrorist – Khalid doesn’t seem to understand this.

    Even more astonishing is that Khalid Mahmood MP’s accusation that Nawaz is an apologist for terrorism is not the stupidest thing he says during the debate. At 09:29 he appears to say “Muslims are across all races and in all religions, we accept that.

    I’ve listened to it a few times and checked with a couple of friends too – that really does seem to be what he says.

    What an embarrassing display from Khalid Mahmood MP. His only redeeming feature seems to be a willingness to speak out for Labour “as a Muslim” on issues too controversial for his more high flying colleagues to touch.

    Perhaps they’ll re-think that too after this performance, and send him back to Brum to prepare for life after taxpayer funded lovenests. A time when he will no longer be able to embarrass himself and his party on flagship news programmes.

            Post to del.icio.us

    Filed in: Civil liberties, Party politics, Race politics

    11 Comments below   |   Add your own

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Markj — on 7th January, 2010 at 3:49 PM  

      What an absolute tit, why is this incoherent prat even allowed on TV? Why does Labour wheel him out every time there is a Muslim debate? What on earth were the people of Birmingham thinking when they voted for him?

    2. Simon Penfound — on 7th January, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

      Delighted to read the above comments!

      Khalid Mahmood’s persistent interruptions when Maajid Nawaz was trying to present his point of view will not endear him to those Muslims who expect more ‘adab’ (manners) from their Muslim MPs.

      A disgrace to label Br Nawaz / Quilliam Foundation as apologists for terrorism! Surely we have enough media lies and bias without a fellow Muslim contributing to unsubstantiated drivel in a pathetic attempt to make a point. What on earth was his point?

      Br Khalid Mahmood, engage brain before opening mouth and consider yourself lucky you weren’t more thoroughly Paxo’d as you deserved to be.

    3. Hassan — on 8th January, 2010 at 2:10 AM  

      Wow. Is Khalid Mahmood really an MP? My opinion of the Birmingham electorate has taken a huge nosedive.

      Also, and please correct me if I am wrong, But I’m sure I heard him say “Muslims come from all religions and backgrounds”. No, Khalid. Muslims tend to come from one religion.

      Good job by Nawaz.

    4. Sunny — on 8th January, 2010 at 3:59 AM  

      Wait, where’s Effendi? I was expecting him to come here and tell us how great Khalid Mahmood was. I’m disappointed.

    5. MiriamBinder — on 8th January, 2010 at 5:13 AM  

      Hassan, he was probably referring to the fact that there are converts which is an undeniable fact.

    6. platinum786 — on 8th January, 2010 at 8:42 AM  

      Another Brown Sahib tool of a mainstream political party. Wheeled out when it suits the government.

    7. Faria Khatun — on 8th January, 2010 at 8:45 AM  

      Quilliam is slowly beginning to impress me…

    8. damon — on 8th January, 2010 at 9:05 AM  

      And you are not suggesting that people from Nigeria, for example, are any weaker than people from Saudi Arabia? Because that is what profiling means; the US is now choosing to make Syrians undergo more intense security searches than Saudis, Germans or Britons

      I’m trying to make sense of this argument.
      I’m wondering if it’s being pushed through under a PC point of view, and that no one will challenge it (in the UK) for fear of falling foul of some liberal concensus.

      ”People from Saudi Arabia”.

      Hopefully I’ve got this wrong and the writer of this piece wasn’t suggesting that Saudi Arabian citizens were just the same as Brits.

      If he was, that’s just silly. Saudi Arabia is a seriously screwed up place.

      It’s not really got anything to do with ”brown people” - but got everything to do with politics and local issues.

      I’ve just arrived in the southern Thai Town of Hat Yai this afternoon. The policing on the train up from Yala (100km to the south where I was yesterday) was quite extreme.
      Armed soldiers walking up and down every 15 minutes, and every small station in between swarming with army.

      It’s got nothing to do with ”brown people” though.
      Apart from the women wearing hijabs, I’d have no clue to who was a buddhist or who was a muslim.

      It’s all to do with the violent political situation in these southern provinces.

    9. Lazenbee — on 8th January, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

      Oh look, a piece written against Khaled Mahmood MP. I’ll bet folding money that it was authored by someone at the Quilliam Foundation and “Guested” on Pickled Politics.

    10. Mangles — on 8th January, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

      Khalid Mahmood is a joke. He will say enyting to endere him to what he thinks the voters want. The jackass should realise that what the voters want is for him to be profiled next time he returns from a visit abroad and he be subjected to non-entry to our shores.

      Rab rakha!

    11. douglas clark — on 8th January, 2010 at 8:33 PM  


      I watched the link given in the op-ed. I thought that, to be charitable, Khaled Mahmood wasn’t completely in command of his brief. I also thought that Maajid Nawaz came across extremely well.

      I really thought the derogatory bit about the Quillam Foundation being in favour of terrorism was mind numbingly stupid.

      Do you disagree with that?

      If so, why?

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