NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five Muslim-Americans sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday alleging racial profiling when they were detained and fingerprinted by border agents after returning from a religious conference.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, named Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff among four defendants in what the New York Civil Liberties Union called a case of profiling. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman declined comment since the case -- involving the reentry of the five U.S. citizens by car from Canada -- is in litigation.
Court papers said that on their way back from the Reviving the Islamic Spirit (RIS) conference in Toronto in December 2004, the plaintiffs were detained for up to six hours with other Muslim-Americans and searched, photographed and fingerprinted, the lawsuit said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Kristi Clemens defended the government's actions and said, "Our priority mission is to prevent terrorists and their weapons from entering this country."
In the past the agency has denied the use of profiling on the borders but said intelligence has shown that conferences similar to the one in Toronto have been used by terrorist organizations.
Lets see now -- we have a choice between assuaging the outraged sensibilities of radical Muslim scholars who suffered minor inconvenience and keeping track of potential terrorists. Gee, that's a tough one.
This is a losing fight for the left. Even African-Americans overwhelmingly approve of racial profiling as a means to check for terrorists. The national mood is changing and a lot of the ethnic silliness that emerged from the seventies is being swept away in favor of a common sense approach to a national emergency. All in all, I think that's a good thing.
Read the whole thing here.