On Fox and Friends this morning, Steve Doocy hosted a discussion about concerns from Muslim-Americans that full-body scanners at airports violate Islamic rules on modesty. After former homeland security research analyst Michael Hoffman suggested that some profiling was needed for airport security, Doocy brought up his wife’s experiences going through airport security, saying that she gets searched even though “she does not look like what we have presumed the people who want to blow up airlines look like.”
Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, quickly rebuked Doocy’s comment about the “presumed” appearance of terrorists. “Behavioral profiling is one thing, how they look like is another,” said Rehab. “How they look like is racial profiling, which I’m not for.” Doocy replied by asserting that all potential airline terrorists “look alike“:
DOOCY: But Ahmed, critics argue — when you think about it — for the most part all the people who tried to blow airliners out of the sky pretty much look alike, look similar.
DOOCY: Have similar…
REHAB: False information. The last guy — we don’t have to go far. The last guy that tried to take down a plane was a young African. And in the past, prior to that incident, we were looking for Middle Eastern looking men. Next time it could be an Asian guy. So, no, they don’t always look alike.
Doocy then backtracked on his claim, saying, “you go back a number of years and it was Timothy McVeigh, a blond-haired blue-eyed guy.” Rehab added that the attempted shoe bomber, Richard Reid, is “half-Jamaican, half-British.” Watch it:
Indeed, the two infamous would-be airline bombers in American custody, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (left) and Richard Reid (right), look nothing alike:
On Meet The Press last month, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued that “relying on preconceptions or stereotypes is actually kind of misleading and arguably dangerous,” noting that al Qaeda has intentionally recruited people “who don’t fit the stereotype.” Earlier, he had told NPR that Abdulmutallab’s case “illustrates the danger and the foolishness of profiling because people’s conception of what a potential terrorist looks like often doesn’t match reality.”