Monday, June 05, 2006

Michelle Malkin: Demographics Are Irrelevant If You're Muslim

Michelle Malkin is steaming mad because various Canadian officials and media referred to the 17 suspected terrorists who were arrested in Brampton, Ontario, yesterday as coming from a "broad strata" of Canadian society. Here is a description of the suspects from

From an unmarried computer programmer to a university health sciences graduate and the unemployed, the 17 suspects charged in a foiled terrorist plot represent a "broad strata'' of Canadian society.

"Some are students, some are employed, some are unemployed,'' RCMP assistant Commissioner Mike McDonell said Saturday.

The 12 men in custody range in age from 19 to 43 and are residents of Toronto, Mississauga and Kingston, Ont., while the five youths cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Rocco Galati, lawyer for two of the Mississauga suspects, said Ahmad Ghany is a 21-year-old health sciences graduate from McMaster University in Hamilton. He was born in Canada, the son of a medical doctor who emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago in 1955.

Shareef Abdelhaleen is a 30-year-old unmarried computer programmer of Egyptian descent, Galati said. He emigrated from Egypt at the age of 10 with his father who is now an engineer on contract with Atomic Energy of Canada, the lawyer said.

Clearly, Malkin is upset that Canadian authorities and newspaper writers are defining "a broad strata of society" to include age, social class, education, employment status, income level, and national origin. In her view, this is outrageous deception, because the only demographic factor that has any significance is that all 17 suspects (although she only lists the 12 who are currently in custody) have Muslim-sounding names. The fact, for instance, that one of the suspects is Canadian with a father who emigrated from Trinidad/Tobago in the Caribbean; and another was born in Egypt (geographically in Africa, politically in the Middle East, and thousands and thousands of miles from Trinidad/Tobago), where he lived until he came to Canada with his father at the age of 10, is completely irrelevant. These two men are totally alike in background because they both have names that sound Muslim.

Steve Verdon at Outside the Beltway names Malkin's disease: a fixation on Muslim males as the defining profile for terrorism.

So what has Michelle Malkin all a twitter now? Why this article. What part about that article? Why this part,

The accused, dressed casually in jeans or jogging pants and t-shirts, sported traditional Muslim male beards. Most were Canadian citizens or residents.

Police described them as coming from a broad "strata" of society. Some are students, some are employed, some are unemployed. The adults range in age from 19 to 43.

See after noting that all of these guys had the traditional Muslim beards, are all male, the grave sin of the Globe and Mail is to say that they come from a "broad strata" of society. This makes them out to b... well not your typical Muslim terror cell. Never mind that just prior to this the same article notes that these men all had the "traditional Muslim beards" which Malkin herself thought was significant. The same article also notes that the men requested Korans which Malkin also saw as noteworthy.

Frankly, I'm not sure what the outrage is about here. Seems the article that Malkin is decrying has provided almost all the details she seems to think are somehow noteworthy. The idea that they come from a "broad strata" does not have to mean that there are no similarities amongst these men. For example, I could go out and randomly select 10 men and then find similarities, I'd also likely find differences as well.

Malkin also points to a post by Allahpundit over at Hot Air about this supposed "broad strata," but I see nothing to confirm nor undermine the statement. Allahpundit does have a link entitled, "Poor, uneducated, underprivileged, disenfranchised:," but the problem is that I haven't seen anything saying these people were "poor, uneducated, underprivileged nor disenfranchised." In fact, the term "broad strata" would seem to suggest just the opposite, that some of the people are educated, not poor, privileged and enfranchised.

Allahpundit also has a link to the Counter Terrorism Blog [the link is actually to the National Post, but the quote below is in it] which has an interesting tidbit.

On May 29, CSIS officials testified as to the growth of such "homegrown" terrorists in Canada; Jack Hooper, the CSIS Deputy Director of Operations stated that "We are seeing phenomena in Canada such as the emergence of homegrown, second- and third-generation terrorists" and that "We have cases of white Anglo-Saxon male Protestants converting to the most radical forms of Islam."

What is interesting is that last bit. It suggests that Malkin's seeming fixation on the typical Muslim male could be a potential problem, if it is adopted as a general policy. There are Muslims who are not Middle Easterners. In fact, there are people who are of the same ethnic/racial background as Malkin herself (Filipinos from the island Mindanao). Having a policy that focuses on just the Middle Eastern male creates a very serious loop hole in security measures against terrorism. This loop-hole can be easily found by using the "Carnival Booth strategy" where the terrorists send people through security screenings to learn who can and can't get through. This basically allows the terrorist to learn who to send on a mission. Hence the need for random checks. ... In short, Allahpundit suggests that terrorists could very well be coming from a "broad strata" of society, if not now, maybe in the future.

But, never mind all that, because the Media and Law Enforcement is out on some sort of Evil Social Engineering crusade or something and only Michelle Malkin and her trusty sidekicks can stop them. Or something like that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But of course...the fact that all 17 suspects were devout Muslim males born elsewhere PROVES the foolishness of looking for terror suspects among, er, devout Muslim males from somewhere else.

Am I missing the point, or are you?