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UK: Muslims face extra checks in new travel crackdown

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Desertdog, Aug 14, 2006.

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  1. Desertdog

    Desertdog Member

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    To me it sounds like the right thing to do.

    Muslims face extra checks in new travel crackdown
    By Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2313135,00.html



    THE Government is discussing with airport operators plans to introduce a screening system that allows security staff to focus on those passengers who pose the greatest risk.



    The passenger-profiling technique involves selecting people who are behaving suspiciously, have an unusual travel pattern or, most controversially, have a certain ethnic or religious background.

    The system would be much more sophisticated than simply picking out young men of Asian appearance. But it would cause outrage in the Muslim community because its members would be far more likely to be selected for extra checks.

    Officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) have discussed the practicalities of introducing such a system with airport operators, including BAA. They believe that it would be more effective at identifying potential terrorists than the existing random searches.

    They also say that it would greatly reduce queues at secur-ity gates, which caused lengthy delays at London airports yesterday for the fifth day running. Heathrow and Gatwick were worst affected, cancelling 69 and 27 flights respectively. BAA gave warning yesterday that the disruption would continue for the rest of the week.

    Passengers are now allowed to take one small piece of hand luggage on board but security staff are still having to search 50 per cent of travellers. Airports have also been ordered to search twice as many hand luggage items as a week ago.

    BAA was criticised yesterday for failing to commit itself to recruiting more security staff and for claiming that its existing 6,000 staff at seven airports would be able to handle the extra searches. Tony Douglas, the chief executive of Heathrow, said that X-ray screening of hand luggage would be much faster under the new rules on size and contents, leaving staff free to carry out more searches.

    The new measures, which include a ban on taking any liquids through checkpoints, are expected to remain in place for months. A DfT source said it was difficult to see how the restrictions could be relaxed if terrorists now had the capabil-ity to make liquid bombs.

    The DfT has been considering passenger profiling for a year but, until last week, the disadvantages were thought to outweigh the advantages. A senior aviation industry source said: “The DfT is ultra-sensitive about this and won’t say anything publicly because of political concerns about being accused of racial stereotyping.”

    Three days before last week’s arrests, the highest-ranking Muslim police officer in Britain gave warning that profiling techniques based on physical appearance were already causing anger and mistrust among young Muslims. Tarique Ghaffur, an assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said: “We must think long and hard about the causal factors of anger and resentment.

    “There is a very real danger that the counter-terrorism label is also being used by other law-enforcement agencies to the effect that there is a real risk of criminalising minority communities.”

    Sir Rod Eddington, former chief executive of British Airways, criticised the random nature of security searches. He said that it was irrational to subject a 75-year-old grandmother to the same checks as a 25-year-old man who had just paid for his ticket with cash.

    Philip Baum, an aviation security consultant, said that profiling should focus on ruling out people who obviously posed no risk rather than picking out Asian or Arabs.

    A DfT spokesman refused to make any comment or answer any questions on profiling.

    AIRPORT UPDATE

    British Airways plans to cancel forty short-haul and four long-haul flights from Heathrow today as well as eleven domestic flights from Gatwick. Other airlines expect to operate near-normal schedules.

    All airports will allow passengers to carry one small piece of hand luggage, but no liquids are allowed through the security search point other than prescribed medicines and baby food.
     
  2. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    third thread i've asked this question in,

    how do you determine someones religion by looking. i know of one government that did it before. end of the story didn't work out well
     
  3. oldfart

    oldfart Member

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    I don't know, cassandrasdaddy, but something has to be done. The well worn adage that 'all Muslims aren't terrorists but all terrorists are Muslim' is still true and ignoring that fact to avoid hurting somebody's feelings could leave a lot of other 'somebodys' very dead. I'm sure the security people would welcome a viable alternative but I don't have one. Do you?
    FranklY, I'm more worried that this whole mess will degenerate into some sort of bloodbath where Christians and Jews declare open season on any and all Muslims. It's happened before...
     
  4. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    Food for thought

    These friends of mine are Muslim:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These aren't:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Even if you wanted to ID people by headdress or other overt characteristics, don't you think that anyone on the warpath might omit those items for the expediency?
     
  5. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    damned if i got one

    i wish i had a decent answer. i have a couple visceral ones that are effective but not really viable in real life. and i fear that the wrong responses will hasten rather than prevent that blood bath.play their cards riht the chines can sit back let the round eyes do most of the work and inherit.i'd rather see no carryons on flights and real serious security. but i find it odd that folks would fight to keep the convience of carryon luggage rather than embrace something that would help save their bacon.

    you count muslims recently? short of some real serious options open season could turn into the bear hunting us.
    the closest idea i can come up with is hunt leaders. i mean really hunt em. no quarter . i am a guy with a kid and i would be willing to do a lot to keep her safe. and if i thought jacking folks up at security based on how they look i'd be all over it. i just don't see it doing much for real security.it might assuage the uglier side of somefolks nature but long term it just allows em a free shot when they use some blue eyed blond "believer to rack us up.
     
  6. Desertdog

    Desertdog Member

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    I think the airlines should not allow carry on luggage unless it is essential for health welfare and personals such as purses.

    Health and welfare examples would be baby supplies, including formula and medical necessities.

    Let everything else be sent in checked luggage or shipped ahead of time.

    Something I would like to see is an express line for anyone that is not carrying anything or just a small item such as a purse.
     
  7. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    I am all for profiling.

    I'm not saying round them up or put them through hell, not by a long shot. But it comes down to odds.

    A 25 year old arab here on a student visa with a one way plane ticket is more likly numbers wise to be planning to bring down the plane then an 80 year old grandmother with knitting needles. The same is more likly to have a bomb in his shoes then is the four year old child.

    White black orange green or yellow with red polka dots people shouldn't be given a pass. But when it comes down to the odds game arabs are more likly to be the threat. Always is? No. Is a person automatically more likly to go crazy and blow himself up then another of a different race? No. But members who share his race might be more likly to.

    In a neighborhood with a high amount of black gang activity has a robbery, it might be a good idea to look at the black kids in their late teens early 20s with gang tats. Same for hispanic or white gangs. Focused? No. Logical starting point? Yes. And when a plane is in danger of being blown up keeping an extra eye on Arabs over 80 year old grandmothers is logical too.
     
  8. tellner

    tellner member

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    As pointed out earlier, 40% of Americans in the latest Gallup poll wanted special ID cards for Muslims. When we get to the point of yellow stars we've destroyed whatever was worth protecting, and America is lost forever. If anyone wants to make my wife carry a special "enemy alien" ID or deny her her civil rights because of her Faith this Jew will be standing there ready to defend her rights to the death if necessary.
     
  9. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    "All terrorists are muslim"
    Well I suppose Ireland has cooled off for now. And the Basques confine their actions to Spain. They are talking independence again. I suppose world events may have made the association with Muslims through bombing unpalatable for both. Well, until they decide it is time for action.
    And those guerillas in South America tend to limit their field of activity.
    And certainly there are no off-kilter Caucasians that have an ax to grind that can be manipulated or used for such a purpose.

    The tip for this binary explosive case and I would bet those other two dozen cases being investigated in the UK came from Muslims also.
     
  10. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Member

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    Funny how people are more worried about being a victim of a terrorist act than being a victim of a robbery which is much more likely to occur.

    If you support profiling of one sort, then you support any type of profiling.

    Most child molesters/killers are middle aged white.
    If a child dissapeared in your area, would you support the police stopping, retaining and searching every middle aged white guy?

    How many people got upset when it was discovered that a Bushmaster was used in the beltway shootings and how law enforcement went after and confiscated Bushmaster rifles in a search for the killers?

    Profiling of any sort won't work and never ends on a good note.

    I'm sure everyone remembers the statement about sacrificing freedom for security.
    Well it goes for everyone.


    Border security and visa limitations are the answer.
    But as usual, that old decrepid Uncle Sam keeps trying to fix the barn door after the animals get out.
     
  11. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    This is stupid for two reasons.

    Firstly, it's completely impractical and will not work. If there is a black man who murders some people and he escapes from prison, until he is caught, black people are likely to be checked more than white people, and quite rightly. You're looking for a specific person of that description and it's a pruident thing to do. In this case, there is no specific target however. So what will be the result? Extremists who are old, female, black as opposed to asian or who look (or indeed are) caucassian will become a valuable commodity for terrorist cells. Why risk sending a young asian man who will get searched when you can send his girlfriend who won't?

    Secondly, if it serves no practical purpose then it smacks of racism. Combine this with ID cards and soon they'll be asking Muslims to put their religion on their ID cards...then on their shirts...
     
  12. Pushrod

    Pushrod Member

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    Desert Dog, With the way the airlines treat our luggage at this time, I would not support a policy that didn't allow us to carry on luggage. Some of my dive gear is expensive and fragile, and to trust it to get through the TSA screeners and baggage handlers without getting stolen or broken is playing agains the odds.
     
  13. agricola

    agricola Member

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    Racial profiling is an utterly flawed policy, as many have noted; it doesnt take into account terrorist groups like the IRA (who of course have killed far more British civilians than the jihadists), it doesnt take into account of people who look similar to the "target" population (Britain of course has a large Hindu and Sikh population), and it doesnt take into account the numbers (Jermaine Lindsay, one of the July 7th bombers was one) of non-Asian converts to Islam who might be used for attacks.
     
  14. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Generally, racial profiling is a bad idea.

    As a practical matter, I would prefer to see a list of risk factors drawn up and weigh each passenger on his/her risk factors.

    It is unquestionably true that people from certain countries and certain religions are more of a risk than an 80 year old white, Christian grandmother from rural Illinois, and to pretend otherwise is foolish and will get more innocent people killed.

    The fact that 100% of all terrorists involved in the current problems are Islamic ought to tell someone what one of the risk factors is.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  15. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    That last sentence made no sense :confused:
     
  16. tellner

    tellner member

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    ilbob, that is quite simply not true. Operation Rescue, the Klan, Army of God, ETA, and the whole raft of Reconstructionist groups are terrorists by any definition. They are also entirely Christian.
     
  17. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    None of them are trying to blow up aircraft. We are talking about airport security measures. Nothing wrong with adding membership in these groups as a serious risk factor. Although I think calling Operation Rescue a terrorist group is a very serious stretch. I don't recall they ever killed anyone or blew up anything.
     
  18. shootinstudent

    shootinstudent Member

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    100 percent of shootings are committed by people with guns.

    Therefore, it's simply natural to go around checking every gun owner when a crime is committed
     
  19. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    How do you know their religion? Simple. Worshiper registration. The First Amendment is not unlimited, you know. It doesn't infringe your rights just to have registration ... and it would help solve or prevent so many violent crimes. Or so goes the argument from those who dislike the Second Amendment. :rolleyes:

    Coming next: Limits on high capacity churches/mosques/synagogues; 5 prayers a day limit (what honest person needs to pray more than that?); etc.
     
  20. Fosbery

    Fosbery Member

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    Evil black assault-Mosques :D
     
  21. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    It would be a lot easier if muslims were required to wear an identifying badge of some sort. Maybe an armband or patch on their clothing with a red letter "I" or a representation of the crescent and star.

    Wouldn't that make everyone feel safer?
     
  22. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    You can profile "out" as well as "in", can't you?

    That is, some old white guy with a southern drawl or a Noo Joisey accent isn't likely to be a bomber. SFAIK, most Latin accents are good indicators of non-threat.

    A Girl Scout troop most likely oughta get a wave-by. (Thinking back to the story of three random checks among a 17-girl group, plus chaperones.)

    That general style of profiling folks out of further checks allows more effort to check IDs and then followup on the more probable-cause serious checks.

    Ain't no easy answer...

    Art
     
  23. FireBreather01

    FireBreather01 Member

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    Like many discussions, if you take the extreme positions - religious and/or ethnic ID cards, stopping everyone with a dark complexion, or ignoring 13 middle-eastern men that are all wearing heavy, baggy clothing in the middle of summer and trying to board the same plane - then nothing will be solved because the extremes are ludicrous.

    The answer lies somewhere in the middle, if you fit a certain profile then you might have to endure a little more screening and questioning. I have a dark complexion and black hair and could easily pass for Iranian, Jordanian, etc - when I have a 70 year old white-haired lady using a walker that goes through security ahead of me and she is wanded, bags are opened and searched, shoes are removed, etc and I and my carry-on just walk through without so much as a glance - gimme a break!!! I should be looked at with just a little more suspicion - leave grandma alone!

    You can argue all you want about the IRA or whoever but the reality is we're facing a fairly well-defined threat right now and we need to stay one step ahead. If the Islamo-terrorists change tactics and use blond South-Africans then we pay more attention to them as well. I would rather force their tactics to constantly change, and thus possibly lead to more mistakes on their part and more opportunities for intel by us, than have them easily exploit our self-induced, politically-correct weaknesses.

    Action beats reaction.
     
  24. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    PC my ass.

    I'm a professional musician and I used to have long hair. I've been stopped by cops more than any black person I've ever talked to. I know all about profiling and its "efficacy."

    I don't do drugs and drink in moderation and I've been in the back of more cop cars than I can count because Mr. Protect and Serve couldn't accept the fact that I blew .000 and did cartwheels around the squad car. There have been numerous studies that have shown that profiling works 50% of the time. IOW it is identical to a coin toss. IOW it is identical to random events.

    How many asian muslims are there? Millions?
     
  25. karaya

    karaya Member

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    True.

    "For instance, every airport in Britain is in chaos over the plane bomb-plot alert as every passenger is subjected to rigorous security checks. Why? They take lots of time, lots of staff, and are extremely expensive.

    I'm a white 62-year-old 6ft 4ins suit-wearing ex-cop—I fly often, but do I really fit the profile of suicide bomber? Does the young mum with three tots? The gay couple, the rugby team, the middle-aged businessman?

    No. But they are all getting exactly the same amount and devouring huge resources for no logical reason whatsoever. Yet the truth is Islamic terrorism in the West has been universally carried out by young Muslim men, usually of ethnic appearance, almost always travelling alone or in very small groups. A tiny percentage, I bet, of those delayed today have such characteristics.

    This targeting of airport resources is called passenger profiling—the Israelis invented it and they've got probably the safest airports and airlines in the world. "



    http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/lordstevens.shtml


    BTW: Muslim leaders in the UK themselves demand a special treatment
    (special rights of course and Sharia law).

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=400605&in_page_id=1770&ct=5
     
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