The Seattle Times reported yesterday on the response to the FBI's release of ferry-threat photos.
In the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leaders in [the Arab and Muslim] community say incidents of profiling and harassment have ebbed and flowed — increasing when Muslims are linked to news of the day.
Now the FBI's release of photographs of two men of unknown origin, who the agency says were observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Washington ferry routes in recent weeks, is creating new worries in the community.
Muslim- and Arab-American leaders are upset that the FBI didn't consult them — as it has done in other instances — before releasing the photos on the Internet and to news organizations. They worry that the action may fracture the relationship the agency and the community have carefully built.
Dozens of Muslims and Arabs have complained to community leaders about the photographs. The fallout has led to a meeting planned today between Muslim- and Arab-American community leaders and law-enforcement officials.
Is the relationship so fragile that the release of one set of photos can fracture it? And what will the meeting be about?
"We need to get some type of apology from them and figure out how to get back to where we were," said Rita Zawaideh, head of the Arab-American Community Coalition.
Right. The FBI must apologize for doing its job to protect all Americans, even the Arab-Americans. I'm sorry, but the FBI should tell them to forget about it.
When security threats come from the African-American community, does the FBI show the photos to their leaders first? When the threats are Jewish, does the FBI go to the Jewish leaders to keep their feathers from getting ruffled? And when the threats are from white people, does the FBI worry about hurting their lily-white feelings? Come on!
I get really tired of hearing from crybaby "civil-rights" leaders complaining about somebody looking at them funny or singling them out for special (unpleasant) treatment, all the while demanding special (pleasant) treatment.
David Gomez, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Seattle office said it best:
Gomez said the agency needs to address certain sensitive issues, but "people in those communities have to get over this sensitivity toward feeling victimized."