Surveillance, for what purpose?

The Boston bombing provides a peek into yet another slice of Muslim American life, an ever present sense of ‘let it not be one of us’.

Some pundits and media outlets saw that as an opportunity to beat the familiar drum, as did the Wall Street Journal.

We may excuse WSJ for offering an ill-considered opinion (April 20-21, The Brothers Tsarnaev, Page A14) because, as it said, “Events in Boston were moving so quickly on Friday.” In its opinion, a terrible crime whose origins and roots are yet to be established, conveniently justifies “surveilling foreign student groups …  and, yes, even mosques and other Muslim venues,” not bothered by facts yet to emerge. But even then WSJ contradict itself. “The key is … to know and be trusted enough by their leaders,” it suggests, not recognizing that surveillance pre-supposes mistrust, not trust.

We know that Muslims, regular folks and community leaders, are united in their opposition to any form of radicalization. They can be even more helpful if they are engaged in a forthright manner, not spied upon. Only if WSJ could comprehend the obvious.

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