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Columbia Law School

Racial profiling

Civil Rights and Discrimination

2006

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Muslim Profiles Post-9/11: Is Racial Profiling An Effective Counterterrorist Measure And Does It Violate The Right To Be Free From Discrimination?, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

Muslim Profiles Post-9/11: Is Racial Profiling An Effective Counterterrorist Measure And Does It Violate The Right To Be Free From Discrimination?, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Racial profiling as a defensive counterterrorism measure necessarily implicates a rights trade-off: if effective, racial profiling limits the right of young Muslim men to be free from discrimination in order to promote the security and well-being of others. Proponents of racial profiling argue that it is based on simple statistical fact and represents just smart law enforcement. Opponents of racial profiling, like New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly, say that it is dangerous and just nuts.

As a theoretical matter, both sides are partly right. Racial profiling in the context of counterterrorism measures may increase the detection of terrorist ...