Ethics Hero: Asra Nomani

Asra Q. Nomani is a Muslim. She is also is an American, an author, a women’s rights activist, and co-director of the Pearl Project. Today, in a column for the Daily Beast, she broke ranks with her religion and the absolutist foes of profiling as an anti-terrorist tool with a profoundly ethical act: she argued for new policies that may be against her own interests, but also may be in the best interest of her country and the public— because she believes it is the right thing to do.

The title of her essay: “Let’s Profile Muslims.”

Some excerpts…

“…We have to talk about the taboo topic of profiling because terrorism experts are increasingly recognizing that religious ideology makes terrorist organizations and terrorists more likely to commit heinous crimes against civilians, such as blowing an airliner out of the sky. Certainly, it’s not an easy or comfortable conversation but it’s one, I believe, we must have…I realize that in recent years, profiling has become a dirty word, synonymous with prejudice, racism, and bigotry. But while I believe our risk assessment should not end with religion, race and ethnicity, I believe that it should include these important elements, as part of a “triage” strategy…

“…Profiling doesn’t have to be about discrimination, persecution, or harassment…Profile me. Profile my family, because, in my eyes, we in the Muslim community have failed to police ourselves…profiling isn’t about identity politics but about threat assessment….Data in reports released over the past several months from New York University’s Center for Security and the Law; the Congressional Research Service, and the Rand Corporation reveal that over the past decade not only are many defendants in terrorism cases Muslim, but they trace their national or ethnic identity back to specific countries…

I know this is an issue of great distress to many people. But I believe that we cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore. We have to choose pragmatism over political correctness, and allow U.S. airports and airlines to do religious and racial profiling.”

Whether one agrees with Nomani or not, she is a much needed voice in the ongoing debate over how best to balance rights, fairness and security as the United States confronts the threat posed by Radical Islam. Her involvement helps defuse the reflex accusations of racism that have been successfully employed by some opponents of profiling to stifle legitimate questions and concerns.

3 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Asra Nomani

  1. Pingback: Ethics Hero: Asra Nomani | Ethics Alarms « Ethics Find

  2. Daniel Pearl’s supposed friend,Asra Nomani, who thinks she’s Miss Islam USA IS COVERING UP(NOT INVESTIGATING!), the death of her ‘friend’ Daniel Pearl and as far as I can tell so is Daniel Pearl’s daddy.Neither Asra Nomani nor Judea Pearl really want Pearl’s 8 year old son to know the truth because that would expose Israelis of ICTS International that ‘guarded’ Logan Airport Boston and Newark Airport on 9/11 and who shortly later allowed Richard Reid the shoebomber to board American Airlines from DeGualle Airport Paris France with his ‘shoe bomb’ and of course more recently the Nigerian ‘crotch bomber’ to board flight 253 at the Dutch anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilder’s Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on Christmas 2009.
    Judea Pearl and Islamic Tantric Yogi,(Asra Nomani), are part of the cover up of Pearl’s death and Judea Pearl dirties his son’s name as well by not coming clean about Richard Reid’s trip to Israel pre 9/11 that was aided by both Israel and ICTS International that allowed him to fly from Amsterdam to Israel supposedly to visit his friends at Hamas !
    If Jude Pearl were sincere in wanting to expose all involved in the death of his son regardless of where it leads or Asra Nomani were sincere in her desire to fight for women’s rights in Islamic countries both would have my sympathy.But it appears Nomani is only concerned about herself and the right wing nuts,murderers and money launderers and terrorists she protects such as U.S. government CIA connected Fox News Middle East ‘expert’ Mansoor Ijaz whose contacts in Pakistan led to Daniel Pearl’s death in the first place.And obviously Judea Pearl wants to ignore the fact Richard Reid the ’shoe bomber’ was allowed to enter Israel on El Al pre 9/11 and ICTS International’s Israeli spooks later allowed him to board at De Gualle Airport,Paris,France to fly American Airlines to the U.S. with his ‘shoe bomb’.

    – Tony Ryals

    Below Asra Nomani’s reply to my queries on the thedailybesast re Daniel Pearl,Richard Reid and ICTS International proves Asra Nomani is purposefully silent re the Israeli ICTS International’s involvement with and roe in allowing Richard Reid ‘the shoe bomber’ to board at De Gualle for the U.S.shortly after 9/11/01 even though she knows
    Daniel Pearl’s main explained reason for traveling to Pakistan in the first place was to
    investigate Richard Reid’s past trips there.:


    Dear TonyRyals,

    Honestly, I don’t really get where you’re coming from. But, sadly, I never visited Israel with Danny. I went after Danny’s murder with my family, after we had completed the hajj in Saudi Arabia. I had a gun pointed to my head as I walked through the checkpoint to get into the Dome of the Rock, where I wish all people could pray.

    It’s easy to level conspiracy theories upon others. But I would gently suggest that the truth is far often much more boring. Right now, my highest priority is figuring out how to get my son weighed in for the “ankle biter” divison of tackle football and still get to Kings Dominion with a friend on Sunday. Boring.

    I’m not part of some grand conspiracy. I agree Mansur Ijaz is an interesting character. One day, I will pick up the phone to do a reported profile on him.

    Until then, thanks for writing, Asra

    1:40 am, Sep 9, 2010

    • I would normally not post this, as it is off the topic of the post, and not exactly an ethics comment. But including Asra’s response tips the scales; I’m waiving my usual rule here. Don’t count on it becoming a habit.

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