Tuesday, December 21, 2004

When do we give away our freedom?

A talk radio station I listen to was discussing a study recently released...

over half of 750 americans phone-polled said that they would agree with forcing Muslim-Americans to register themselves with the government. About 22% agreed that it was OK to profile Muslims as possible terrorists.

This seemed unbelievable to me. I know there's a lot a fear right now, but really!

I had to call the station. I told the host that "A citizen is a citizen is a citizen, be they Muslim, african-american, or mexican. And a citizen has their own rights, and it is completely unfair to erode the rights of one group for ANY reason."

I think we all remember the Japanese internment camps... a proud point in american history? prolly not...

The host asked why I thought so many people were in favor of this, and I said that there is a lot of fear in our country right now, but we can't let it control our lives. And certainly not our civil liberties.

After I got off the phone with the host (Kevin Wall in for Larry Elder @ 790AM KABC) I listened to the other callers who made good points, and got me thinking.

Pragmatically, it makes sense to suspect muslims of terrorism
All suicide bombers and world trade center hijackers have been muslim
70y/o grandma from utah is probably NOT going to hijack the plane
You can expect people from a certain group (age/sex/religious background/etc) to proform acts of terrorism. I'm not sure anyone can disagree with that...

BUT, pragmatically, you can't expect law-breakers to obey the law
If you made all criminals register as criminals, I think that would be a short list.
What naturally follows from the criminals breaking the law by NOT registering and re-registering is by finding them, and forcing them to register.
But we're not talking about criminals here... These are Americans. US Citizens who have chosen a particular religion because they have the RIGHT to do so. And we're going to be kicking down their doors and forcing them to register themselves so we can watch them, and suspect them?


Subsequent callers attacked the religion itself, stating that the Koran teaches that those who do not believe in the religion must die. While this may or may not be true, the point is irrelivent! In America you have the right of religious freedom. If your religion says you must break the law, then you will go to jail for breaking the law. It's up to you (your interpritation (sp?)) to decide what you believe in. And I don't know of any practicing Muslims living as your neighbors, members of your PTA, co-workers, etc. who are going around killing Americans because their religion says so.

We are punishing a group of citizens for religious preference.

There are a lot of religious folks in Ireland who murder people in the name of a popular religion, but does that make all members suspect? How on earth could it?!

Some may argue, that it's just a little registering, and the lawful Muslims will follow suit without incident.

But that's always how it starts...

Next thing you know, there is a crack down on those who aren't registered, and people are getting picked up on the street for not being able to show their proof of "registration". Can you imagine it? Walking down the street and being afraid that police are going to pick you up and question you for being Muslim?

That's the only place this could lead. You don't register for the hell of it. You register people so you can track them and monitor their doings.

But wait, this involves NON-Muslims too...

What if you're SUSPECTED of being a closet Muslim??? Does this mean that you're subject to all the same angst a "suspect terrorist" would have to go through???

Don't forget your civil rights...
Because you have none.

If you are suspected let me say that again...
if YOU, Joe Citizen, are SUSPECTED of being a terrorist or in league with terrorist organizations, you have NO rights
The patriot act made sure of that. You do NOT have the right to an attorney, you do NOT have the right to a speedy trial, you do NOT have the right to excercise the fifth ammendment, Do NOT pass GO, do NOT collect $200!

Funny isn't it?

You may be worried now, about how you, Joe Citizen can have your rights stripped from you in a second... Well... that's up to the person who wants to question you.

This is where this path leads. And if we want to face it with the mindset of "Gee, if we just round up all the Muslims, we'll be ok..." Then soon someone will say, "Gee if we just round up all the [insert your religion here], we'll be ok..."

No comments: