Pro­fil­ing is best way to curb ter­ror­ism

The Star Early Edition - - INSIDE - Muham­mad Omar


IN RE­SPONSE to Themba Dube of Tsh­wane (let­ter pub­lished on De­cem­ber 30), he makes some valid but mis­con­strued ob­ser­va­tions.

His re­li­gious as­ser­tions are best dealt with by Mus­lim cler­ics, but there are some se­ri­ous mis­con­cep­tions.

In all my years of Is­lamic trav­els, lec­tures, lit­er­a­ture and ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion, I am yet to hear any­one say go and kill some­one.

Dube is wel­come to go to any mosque (Tsh­wane has plenty and Laudium is not too far) on a Fri­day around mid­day to see what is dis­cussed first-hand.

In fact, Is­lam sanc­ti­fies and pro­tects all life – hu­man, an­i­mal and plant – re­gard­less of de­nom­i­na­tion.

France has been very ac­com­mo­dat­ing to­wards Mus­lims (de­spite the burka is­sue) and has been a strong de­fender of Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied Pales­tine’s state­hood.

Europe has had acts of ter­ror, and not too long ago, the IRA fought bloody bat­tles too. Th­ese were not Is­lamists.

Let’s look at the “Is­lamist acts and ac­tors of ter­ror” on Euro­pean soil. 1. Madrid train at­tack. 2. Bat­a­clan the­atre and French sta­dium at­tacks. Th­ese were seven in­ci­dents in one go. 3. Ber­lin. See who the ac­tors were and their pro­file.

In acts of ter­ror, more of­ten than not, the foot sol­diers or “use­ful id­iots” are com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the ring­leaders.

Sim­i­lar to the nar­cotics trade, the mules dif­fer from the ring­leaders, and when one mule goes, an­other will be wait­ing.

Such pro­fil­ing is used by in­tel­li­gence, anti-nar­cotics and se­cu­rity agen­cies all over the world. Sin­ga­pore even cat­e­gorised cer­tain Dutch fe­males as pos­si­ble drug mules!

One does not look at or blame a per­son’s re­li­gion for drug mules or deal­ers. Pro­fil­ing is dif­fer­ent from bland ac­cu­sa­tions.

Even the in­sur­ance in­dus­try bases pre­mi­ums on his­tory and pro­files and risk of oc­cur­rence. One may ques­tion the Ber­lin in­ci­dent, and here a the­ory that arises is sim­i­lar to the xeno­pho­bic at­tacks in KwaZulu-Natal.

Is it that in France many sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion de­scen­dants are un­happy with Ger­many’s lib­eral at­ti­tude to­wards refugees, as some of th­ese peo­ple would soon be, or are al­ready, com­pet­ing for lower-end jobs, state re­sources and even so­cial part­ners? In all of this a trend emerges. As for re­cent acts of ter­ror in Europe, most if not all al­leged per­pe­tra­tors had a crim­i­nal con­vic­tion, he­do­nis­tic life­style, sin­gle men (in fact, nei­ther ho­mo­sex­ual nor het­ero­sex­ual), un­em­ployed, dis­grun­tled and so­cially dis­placed.

None of th­ese are or were Is­lamist fun­da­men­tal­ists like the Bin Laden type, and were more likely to be seen in pubs or night lubs than a mosque. So what fu­els this mind­set? The­o­ries can vary, and some say it’s the petrodol­lar Wah­habism ver­sion of Is­lam that gave rise to the fun­da­men­tal­ists.

Some say the Is­rael Pales­tine is­sue, Iraq and sta­tion­ing of US military per­son­nel in Saudi Ara­bia, and now other mini wars.

It’s easy to blame a re­li­gion, just as dur­ing apartheid, cer­tain races rep­re­sented progress and oth­ers crim­i­nal­ity and back­ward­ness.

If we look at Mus­lim im­mi­grants, na­tion­al­i­ties and lan­guages, all vary. East Asia (In­done­sia, Malaysia and the Asean re­gion) has the world’s largest Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion – no per­pe­tra­tors from there).

Pro­fil­ing will def­i­nitely as­sist in re­duc­ing ac­tors and acts of ter­ror on in­no­cent civil­ians or ab­ro­ga­tion of hu­man rights. This is the only way. Dur­ban North

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