“It is unfair to include Nigeria on the US list for tighter screening because Nigerians do not have terrorist tendencies,” Akunyili told journalists.
“It is unfair to discriminate against over 150 million people because of the behaviour of one person,” said the minister…
“Abdulmutallab’s behaviour is not reflective of Nigerians and should therefore not be used as a yardstick to judge all Nigerians,” said Akunyili.
“He was not influenced in Nigeria. He was not recruited or trained in Nigeria. He was not supported whatsoever in Nigeria.”…
“Abdulmutallab was a well-behaved child, from a responsible family, who developed the ugly tendency to do what he tried to do because of his exposure outside the shores of Nigeria,” the minister said.
He’s got half a point. It is stupid to screen by nationality for threats by a transnational movement, but since screening by religion is politically impossible, a proxy is better than nothing. But it’s also a lie to suggest that Abdulmutallab’s some sort of lone gunman, never to be repeated among Nigerians. Areas of the country have been under “moderate shari’a” for 10 years and disenchantment with the results has led some to start pushing for a stricter version. Skim this and see how you feel about the blanket statement that “Nigerians do not have terrorist tendencies.”
Exit question via InstaGlenn: Will the new screening measures “irritate” Nigerians into becoming terrorists?
Update: Your move, Barry.
Enhanced screening procedures for U.S.-bound air passengers traveling through “state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest” such as Pakistan, Yemen and Nigeria amount to religious profiling of Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday…
“Under these new guidelines, almost every American Muslim who travels to see family or friends or goes on pilgrimage to Mecca will automatically be singled out for special security checks — that’s profiling,” said Nihad Awad, the council’s national executive director. “While singling out travelers based on religion and national origin may make some people feel safer, it only serves to alienate and stigmatize Muslims and does nothing to improve airline security.”
A TSA spokesperson, Kristin Lee, responded that “TSA does not profile.”