» Heh! RT @AdamBienkov: RT @duncanborrowman Michael Howard came last in Mastermind. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? 2 hrs ago

» Phrase coined! RT @LDNCalling: We mustn't condemn troubled individuals. We must reach out & Hug a Hilton. 2 hrs ago

» BBC making it sound like Tories admitted it RT @bbcpolitics: The Conservatives say a key aide to Cameron was arrested http://bit.ly/4I68k7 4 hrs ago

» Damn, what an exclusive by @cathynewman on Channel 4 News. And she's been sitting on it all afternoon: http://bit.ly/4O23qD 5 hrs ago

» Glorious! Spectator editor admits that Cameron's Tories add up to nothing: http://bit.ly/7G2SLJ 6 hrs ago

More updates...

  • Family

    • Ala Abbas
    • Clairwil
    • Daily Rhino
    • Leon Green
    • Liberal Conspiracy
    • Sonia Afroz
  • Comrades

    • Andy Worthington
    • Angela Saini
    • Aqoul
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Blairwatch
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Butterflies & Wheels
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Cath Elliott
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Clive Davis
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr StrangeLove
    • Dr. Mitu Khurana
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • Liberal England
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • MT and friends
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Humanist Editor
    • New Statesman blogs
    • open Democracy
    • Operation Black Vote
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The F Word
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
    • Women Uncovered
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Ariane Sherine
    • Desi Pundit
    • Douglas Clark's saloon
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Real man’s fraternity
    • Route 79
    • Sajini W
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown

  • Technorati: graph / links

    Another case against profiling

    by Sunny on 5th January, 2010 at 8:47 AM    

    This time more philosophical, by Alex Massie:

    Ultimately, however, the biggest problem with profiling is not that it won’t be 100% effective; rather it’s that one can easily have adverse consequences in other areas. When you stigmatise the innocent and treat them, implicitly, as guilty until proved otherwise you create problems that strike at the essence of the open, liberal society itself and quite possibly increase the number of young men who might be attracted to violence and terrorism.

    Our experience with internment in Northern Ireland suggests that this can be the case. Now, granted, profiling at airports is not as severe a sanction as internment was, but internment in Ulster helped radicalise nationalists and republicans who were neither interned themselves nor related to those who were detained.

    We all, I think, know that we have problems with some muslim malcontents who reject the ideas underpinning a modern, western, liberal society and who will not be dissuaded by profiling. It doesn’t effect them very much. They might almost expect it or even welcome it. After all, it would, from their perspective, demonstrate that the islamic and christian worlds must and almost by necessity be at war with one another. From that it follows that introducing policies that confirm or potentially strengthen your enemies worldview may not be the wisest thing we could do.

    Bloody spot on. Although I fear it’s perhaps too intelligent for some people.

            Post to del.icio.us

    Filed in: Civil liberties, Race politics, Religion

    11 Comments below   |   Add your own

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 5th January, 2010 at 10:37 AM  

      I agree it does not work.


      There is no set profile for a terrorist so how could it.
      I looked for some argument for its use and can find none that hold up.

      and if you look at all attacks for the last 10 years alone … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents
      how many involved planes? very few. so if this would be used as airport security why wouldnt you screen everyone the same? as they have been. and really, whats the obsession with planes and airports … not very creative terrorists.

    2. cjcjc — on 5th January, 2010 at 10:42 AM  

      This should read “another case against crude racial/religious profiling” with which I suspect most people would agree.
      The Salon article headline reads
      “Terrorist attacks have been carried out by people of all ethnicities. What police need to look for is strange behavior, not dark skin.”
      Which sounds right.
      So sophisticated profiling please.
      Though the issue Massie raises cuts both ways…if someone’s granny is searched but an (apparent) Muslim ahead in the queue is not that might lead to resentment too….

    3. asquith — on 5th January, 2010 at 10:47 AM  

      You ain’t provided no link- it also seems as though you’ve somehow cut off your article half way through.

      I will go & hunt down the original- I usually miss what’s on the Spectator as the majority of it is such utter shite that I can’t be arsed to trawl through for what little is worthwhile.


    4. marvin — on 5th January, 2010 at 5:08 PM  

      Should 80 year old grandmothers be treated as if they be are a potential terrorist?

      What about common sense? Because that goes out of the window with the current situation. Airline pilots have been stopped and their toothpaste removed.

      So sophisticated profiling please.

      Exactly. Crude profiling based simply on being asian, being a Muslim, or flying from Pakistan will be entirely counter-productive. Profiling including information about recent flight patterns etc. And generally excluding 80 year old grandmothers unless something is obviously awry.

    5. Effendi — on 5th January, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

      Bloody spot on. Although I fear it’s perhaps too intelligent for some people.

      I wonder what Alex Massie thinks about State spying on Muslims. Perhaps you should ask him to formulate that for “intelligent people” like you.

    6. Sunny — on 5th January, 2010 at 8:10 PM  

      Oh dear Effendi - getting your knickers in a twist again.

    7. Daria — on 5th January, 2010 at 8:56 PM  

      nothing is 100% effective… 90% effective is an amazing result! does anyone knows anything 100% right and correct, applucable for every unique case?

      exceptions just prove the rules… at least the exceptions should be carefully examined, studied and taken into consideration for the future… exceptions just reveal the weakest points of the theory, help to make it more precise - it doesn’t mean that you have to give up the theory

    8. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 5th January, 2010 at 11:44 PM  

      This is an article on gov profiling from 2006.


      Of course they already have some profiling in use! - the VERY sophistocated type.
      and this christmas someone used a loop hole to get on a US plane even though he was already not allowed “inside” the US. How do you think he was on the list to begin with without profiling? (but I have to look into that part more)

      I think a question we should ask is as Daria says @7
      Nothing is 100% forever and always … 90% is amazing! so 1 got in, do we panic now and go mental over muslims and bring racist methods of profiling into play. Or do we take a deep breath, thank god all that got burnt up this time is the idiots own balls, and use the whole experience to learn from.

      should 80 year old grandmas and piolts be the only ones allowed to have tooth paste on a plane?
      I agree its a bit ridiculous but its for a reason…

      Marvin I know you know of plots around the world involving babies, children, mentaly ill, handicap etc .. so what is the profile to use exactly? With devices or what not hidden in pants, baby bottles, shoes … next thing you know someone will either swollow, or stick it up their own ***, like they used to do with drugs …
      The only truly safe thing the gov can do is treat EVERYONE exactly the same.

    9. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 6th January, 2010 at 12:21 AM  

      wow I spoke too soon with statement of him being on any US list , and can’t believe how messed up our news reporting is over this .. they just say what ever they want don’t they

    10. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 6th January, 2010 at 1:57 AM  

      sorry to keep going with this but-
      First, I’m glad Im not alone in remembering inital reports claiming he was on the US no fly list ….
      Then these people were everywhere (even on fox)
      and I can ignore them …

      Then there is this guy … Webster Tarpley - I can ignore him too

      but we have been bombing yeman before this christmas -

      So I do NOT concider myself “left” I still stand dead center, but how can we even talk about if profiling is good or bad when WE (the US) seem to be bombing everyone? and then get surprised when there are terrorists?

    11. Daria — on 7th January, 2010 at 4:53 AM  

      none is surprised at the existance of muslim terrorists - hello? people get surprise at total absense of prevention strategy due to … hm… what? lack of desire to notice it?

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2009. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.