Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison gets into heated debate with GOP Rep. Over profiling
On Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press, Congressman Peter King (R-NY) argued in favor of profiling Muslims in the name of anti-terrorism. King said although most Muslims are “outstanding people”, the threat of terror still stems from “the Muslim community.”
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim Congressman, challenged King’s notion that blanket profiling helps law enforcement. In fact, according to Ellison, profiling usurps public resources.
“I’m an American, and I’m concerned about national safety, public safety, just like everyone is. But I think it’s ineffective law enforcement to go after a particular community. I think what we need to do is look at behavior and follow those leads where they would lead. So, like if Tamerlan Tsarnaev is evidencing dangerous behavior, by all means, go after him. But once you start saying we’re going to dragnet or surveil a community, what you do is you ignore dangerous threats that are not in that community and you go after people who don’t have anything to do with it. [...]
“[T]his ricin attack, for example, that’s an act of terrorism, that doesn’t come out of the Muslim community. We don’t have enough law enforcement resources to just go after one community.”
Profiling wouldn’t have done any good in the ricin case since the accused reportedly isn’t Muslim and has no connection to the Muslim community, which is Rep. Ellison’s point. Since the Boston bombing, however, Rep. King has continued to push for additional surveillance efforts in the Muslim community.