[caption id="attachment_1956" align="alignright" width="300"] Muslims protest against racial profiling by NYPD[/caption]
Racial profiling towards Muslims in the U.S. displays some fundamental flaws in the counter-terrorism policies adopted by the government. Although the governments under the Bush and Obama administrations have made significant attempts to hold "community outreach meetings" with Muslims across the U.S., they are still being spied on, investigated and even prosecuted at times by the government.
Much time and effort has gone into meetings with Muslim leaders in an attempt to earn their trust. These meetings aimed to build long-term relationships between state law enforcement and the Muslim communities which are within their jurisdiction. It all seems promising initially, but this is not always the case later on.
The meetings have, however, been under close observation, and local and federal agencies have recorded the events. Even individuals who have engaged with the government for many years have been under investigation. If the government cannot find any evidence of terrorism, they have to use community outreach meetings as a groundwork to create it. Without realizing it, they are losing the Muslim community as an important ally in counter-terrorism.
Reports from the NYPD's long-term surveillance program have uncovered that by gathering such information, they are cooperating in surveillance scheme to target leaders, Muslim students, and other Muslims who may have any interaction with their agents or informants
Informants even infiltrated the Muslim student's organizations at Yale and other universities, attending conferences and field trips, where the attendees' names and conversations formed the basis of investigations, even though there was no initial evidence of criminal activity which should call for such an investigation.
The government does, however, recognize "lone wolf" terrorists" as a threat and are not easy to spot as they act alone. Should they recruit others as a support network, they stand the chance of being detected by the government. This is the government's reasoning for community engagement which they hope will encourage Muslims to report any suspicious activity.
[caption id="attachment_1957" align="alignleft" width="300"] Muslims pray on the sidewalk outside the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, New York[/caption]
Muslims in America, who may report any suspicions which they may have of terrorism, stand the chance of being scrutinized. They then become targets for informants and are subject to investigations and surveillance, which is a serious risk to their liberty. Furthermore, any avoidance to cooperate with law enforcement could have similar effects, and they may be accused of condoning terrorism and being disloyal to the government.
For any American-Muslim in the US, whichever way they go about reporting any suspicious activity or any knowledge of terrorism, they are sure to come off second best, with is any dealings they may have with law enforcement.