Religious profiling & missing Malaysian plane

In today’s era of political correctness, as the search for missing Malaysian Airways Flight MH370 continues, one wonders if security services and governments are following the liberal ethos that every people and religion should be considered equal suspects now that it has been confirmed that a criminal act was committed. Are security and government sources equally considering Buddhists and schoolgirls, atheists and Catholics as equal suspects in this criminal incident surrounding a plane? Should one consider, say, Muslims, or Catholics, or Jews any different when investigating the circumstances surrounding this baffling missing plane?

Should the fact that Malaysia is a country with approximately 65% Muslims be a factor in the investigation? While the Mirror Online wrote that the possibility of a terrorist attack by Islamic militants “has to be seriously considered”, and media mogul Rupert Murdoch tweeted a day after the plane went missing: “777crash confirms jihadists turning to make trouble for China. Chance for US to make common cause, befriend China while Russia bullies”, should investigators consider religion in their investigation?

Israel’s national airline, El Al has thankfully never suffered a successful terrorist attack. Of course, Israel does practice both racial and religious profiling – as has been rather openly acknowledged. Israelis look for terror suspects, not just weapons. Anyone who has been to Israel knows that they will endure a personal interview – with someone trained in psychological training who knows what to look for.

Michael Goldberg, president of a security company in an interview said “All must look to Israel and learn from them. This is not a post-9/11 thing for them. They have been doing this since 1956, the year of the Suez Crisis.” An op-ed in the uber-liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz by Anshel Pfeffer said “Neither the American administration, nor its counterparts in other Western countries, are willing to contemplate a system in which Muslim citizens will be screened differently from their Christian, Jewish or atheist compatriots. In Israel, though, there is no question whatsoever. It all happens quite openly. To Israelis, the practice of picking people out based on racial stereotypes is so self-evident, there is not even a Hebrew term for it.”

Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International said “Reluctance to distinguish travelers on other grounds ­ such as their general appearance or their mannerisms ­ is not only foolhardy, but dangerous.” No matter what turns out to be the facts in Malaysia, one wonders if Israeli security policies will be adapted by more worldwide.

About the Author
Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of 5WPR. Headquartered in New York City, the firm is one of the 25 largest independent public relations firms in the United States. 5WPR has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards; and Ronn Torossian is the winner of the Silver Stevie Communications, Investor Relations, and PR Executive of the Year of the Year Award by the American Business Awards. Ronn’s book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations,” received rave reviews. He is a member of the prestigious Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is an active board member of a number of non-profit organizations. Ronn Torossian is a frequently sought after communications expert, often appearing on FOX News, CNBC, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, and other major media outlets. He resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his family. Email: Facebook: Ronn's Facebook Twitter: Ronn's Twitter Page