04 Mar Patrol Muslim Neighborhoods
An online survey taking up conscience responses of the people living in the US on the issue reveals that (out of 3,34,313 votes) 30 % say YES while the rest of 70 % say NO. The voters comprising YES percentage support their argument by saying that the scrutiny & guarding should be carried out until the terrorist attacks by Muslim radicals are under control. Instead, this should be carried out on all new immigrants, they say. The people saying NO had to say that such a decision should be based on crime rates and not on race or religion. Some others said that this act would be unconstitutional, racist and would result in a scene of an incendiary. Also, people believe that the police should increase surveillance and patrol of all potentially high- crime neighborhoods.
President Donald Trump, in 2017 had issued an executive order which banned seven (primary) Muslim nations’ entry in the US. These were Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. This was done in the name of national security. Anyhow, none of the assailants since 9/11 or that of 9/11 itself, belonged or emigrated from any of these countries. Patrolling the neighboring Muslims (or any other sole religion) would be a proclamation of racism and bigotry. It should be noted here that nine of the fifteen fatal terrorists of 9/11 were born American citizens. Although an array of citizenship statuses had come forward, every jihadi, who carried out a deadly attack in the country since 9/11 was a citizen or legal resident.
Anders Breivik in 2011 slaughtered 77 people in Norway in Europe. This was done in the light of propagating anti- Muslim, anti-immigrant and pro- Christian agenda as was stated in his manifesto. How much media coverage did it get? Comparatively negligible. At least not that much which could lead us to a different side of the reason/ origin of terrorism. The problem is that the sole pillars which can move all these anti- Muslim ideologies are swayed away by sensationalism. This taste of sentimentality does no good to humanity; instead, it spreads a word of hatred against a religion, Islam in this case.
Following the terrorist attacks in Belgium on March 22nd, 2016, the Republican U.S. Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz had said that “law enforcement should be empowered to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” Cruz had supported his statement by citing the example of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He emphasized on Michael’s aggressive policing efforts. He also mentioned the alleged targeting of Muslim neighborhoods for surveillance. Anyhow, Ted’s proposal was called as ‘foolish’ and ‘incendiary.’
“All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims”, a statement that we are surrounded by, after every fatal terrorist attack. Open but subtle cultivation of this idea is being bored in our minds from almost everywhere around us. What stands as a left-out part here is that a poor condition of racism is getting seeded within our minds. From 1980 to 2005, the FBI said that 94% of terrorist attacks carried out in the US were by Non- Muslims. There was 42 percent of terror attacks which were carried out by Latino-related groups, and another 24 percent were committed by the ones from extreme left- wing.
Last few decades have made it evident that decidedly fewer parts of the country are excluded from being attacked by one or the other form. However, the three prominent cities that witnessed the greatest number of attacks from 2001- 2011 were New York (12), Washington DC (9) and Los Angeles (8). The government being anxious about the security of its native people is a rational thought. Intensifying its security checks- both locally and nationally is also valid. But a counter check on whether the actions are playing the desired role or not is a mandate. Having installed high surveillance against Muslims, there would be an imposition of an unjustified badge of suspicion; astigmatic tag would be attached as well. We ought to have a vigorous security and surveillance system but also strictly avoid racism and hatred.