Spying on Muslim Students

Candace de Russy responds to my post on profiling of Muslim student groups by calling me part of the “chorus of ostriches screeching” about the NYPD. De Russy claims, “it is discerning, not dumb, to face up to the obvious fact that the Internet is used by jihadis to spread their poison.” I have no doubt that the internet is used to spread poison and violence. (In fact, her post came right after a post on Phi Beta Cons endorsing physical violence against hecklers.) But spreading poisonous ideas (which no one has actually shown the Muslim Student Association has ever done) is far different from plotting terrorist attacks (which, again, no one has actually shown the MSA has ever done).

I don’t have any “stubborn refusal” to consider the Holy Land Foundation case invoked by de Russy. That case has nothing to do with actual terrorist activities. It was entirely about funding Palestinian charities that have links to Hamas. I find the entire prosecution highly dubious. But even if you believe the charges are true, they have nothing to do with possible threats of terrorism in New York City. And even if you believe that all Muslims are potential terrorists, looking on the websites of the Muslim Student Association for public announcements of future terrorism is incredibly stupid.

Malcolm Kline of Accuracy in Academia also criticizes me, but for reasons that go unspoken. In fact, none of my critics seem to respond to my critique that this is a stupid way to fight terrorism. Indeed, they seem so happy at the idea of targeting Muslims that the actual goal of stopping terrorism is unimportant.

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