Here’s hoping, of course, that the South Carolina arrest of two Middle Eastern, Muslim USF students doesn’t turn out to be a Sami sequel prompting jihad-expert Steve Emerson to set up local shop and fan more flames. May it be no more than the perfect storm of foreigners being in the wrong place, at the wrong time with the wrong mien.
Indeed, we hope that the “pipe bombs” were truly a form of fireworks; a quickly shut down lap top a generically nervous gesture; proximity to Goose Creek Naval Weapons Station a coincidence; oil canisters in the car trunk a function of an auto-restoration project; and an itinerary seemingly without precise destination the modus operandi of 20-something college students on a weekend whirl of sightseeing.
First, in this post-9/11 era, when we’re all asked to pay more attention to anything suspicious, it was well within the purview of a Berkeley County (SC) sheriff’s deputy to write more than a speeding ticket for Ahmed Abda Mohamed, an engineering graduate student at USF. He was accompanied by USF undergrad Yousef Samir Megahed.
Whatever the ultimate outcome, the officer did the right thing.
Law enforcement is on the de facto front lines of homeland security. And, yes, common sense profiling is a legitimate tool. It can be utilized without being ugly or turning our police into ethno-centric storm troopers.
Not that it takes reminding, but we are not in a civilizational war with Jews or Hindis or Buddhists or Shintos or Confucianists or Calvinists or animists or atheists or Marxists or Trotskyites or Rotarians. But jihadi Muslims with death wishes – ours and theirs.
Second, nobody owes anyone an apology if it turns out the way we want it: an unfortunate misunderstanding in the context of America under attack by extremist, suicidal Muslims.
In fact, the ultimate apology is still due the U.S.