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Noonan Calls Upon Americans to Profile Young Arab Men

In her regular weekly column on OpinionJournal.com, Peggy Noonan calls upon Americans to profile young Arab-looking men. She says:

No one likes "racial profiling," "ethnic profiling," "religious profiling." But I see it this way: If groups of terrorists took out two huge buildings and part of the Pentagon and killed 5,000 people and then decided to unleash anthrax and it emerged that those terrorists were all middle-aged American blond women who tend to dress in blue jeans and T-shirts and like to go by Catholic churches and light candles, I would be deeply upset not only because the terrorists had done what they'd done. I would also be upset because they were just like me! I fit their profile! I look like them! I act like them! Everywhere I went people would notice me and give me hard looks and watch what I was doing. I would feel terrible about this. But you know what else I'd do? I'd suck it up. I'd understand. I wouldn't like it, but I'd get it, and I'd accept it.

Profiling got a bad name because the NJ State Police were a little too aggressive in their investigations on The New Jersey Turnpike. But, there is nothing wrong with profiling as an anti-crime technique. If someone told you that a burglar was at large in your community, the first question you would ask is: What does he look like?

Open your eyes. If you see something that doesn't look normal, start asking questions. Point out such activity to law enforcement. No group and no activity is beyond suspicion at this point. Being a small part of the investigation is a lot more theraputic than watching MSNBC or CNN and worrying if you will be the next victim.

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