Intentions do not justify invasive actions
In the March 20 column in The Daily Targum, entitled “Surveillance benefits U.,” the author attempted to justify and stand up with the recent New York Police Department spying on the Muslim community across the Northeast. In fact, the author goes as far as to say that it is “both important and necessary to continue such surveillance programs” and the “NYPD’s largest mistake was their failure to monitor radical non-Muslims at the University as well.”
Let’s take a moment and refresh our memories by picking up a dictionary.
According to dictionary.com, “racial profiling” is defined as “government activity directed at a suspect or group of suspects based solely on race.”
Now, as one of more than 1 billion Muslims in the world and a proud and active University Muslim, it seems according to the column’s standards that I should be monitored — as if I am not already.
However if the NYPD or those who agree with the author should want to follow me into my classes, my job, the services I am involved in or supervise my participation in a state-wide university to further my education and values as an American, then so be it.
It is key to realize that the amount of ignorance and racism against the Muslim community has skyrocketed since the aftermath of Sept. 11. The events that occurred 11 years ago were without a doubt a horrific and heartbreaking event against the American people — Muslim Americans included. And because of the acts of a group of people, lives were lost, a war has begun and my life has become much more difficult to get through on a daily basis.
In fact, it has become so difficult that Muslims like myself who choose to participate in humanitarian-based organizations such as the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund are suspiciously targeted for the fundraising money for those in need. Somehow, improving the quality of medical care in the Middle East by sending medical equipment, supplies and other various aid for women and children has become associated with “terrorism.”
Freedom, liberty and the right to privacy all form the basic groundwork of American values.
It is important to differentiate where the line is drawn between being protective and being invasive. The value of one life is in no way greater or more significant than another.
Injustice should be condemned — no matter whom the target is.
Rowaida Abdelaziz is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.