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Bigotry Posing As National Security
By Ramah Kudaimi

Response to Chicago Sun-Times' "Kirk's Comment A-OK"

It is shocking to see how Bernadine Brown can hold up as leaders “speaking out to see that our country here is safe” people who call for illegal and unethical actions (“Kirk’s comment A-OK,” Nov. 15).

Mark Kirk is as right in calling for “discrimination against young Arab males from terrorist-producing states” as he would be in calling for profiling against all African-American males from the inner-city. Had he done so, he would have been rightly labeled a racist. Why then when bias against Arabs is an issue, bigotry is called “national security?”

In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed to ensure that discrimination is no longer a sanctioned policy. Thus it became illegal to victimize people on the ground of race, color, religion or national origin. Brown needs to be demanding an apology from a public official who is unaware of what his own nation’s laws require.

As for Brown’s insinuation that since the 9/11 terrorists were of a certain religion, somehow all of Islam’s followers are culpable, just a reminder that there are 7 million Muslims in the United States. Those buildings meant as much to them as they meant to Brown.

By demanding the fullest application of this nation’s laws and values, organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago are doing what Brown and Kirk are too afraid to do- embrace their American identity unconditionally.

Ramah Kudaimi
Northwestern University
Medill School of Journalism

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