National Catholic Reporter

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CAIR condemns attempted bombing, warns against profiling

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NEW YORK (RNS/ENI) -- A prominent Muslim-American advocacy group has condemned the attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound flight on Christmas Day by a Nigerian Muslim, but has also warned of the dangers of “profiling” Muslims and others in the name of air security.

In statements following the attempted attack on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit by a man believed to have links to al-Qaida, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the act as unlawful and “un-Islamic”.

The suspect, 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Abdulmutallab, allegedly hid explosive materials in his underwear and tried to set off an explosion but was tackled by other passengers as the plane prepared to land.

“Swift justice for the alleged perpetrator is the best way to deter future attacks,” Dawud Walid, the executive director of the Michigan chapter of CAIR, told the Detroit Free Press.

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“We also need to know why the warnings of the alleged bomber's father were not acted on to possibly prevent this incident from occurring,” Walid said of attempts by Abdulmutallab's father to warn U.S. authorities in Nigeria of his son's embrace of religious fanaticism.

CAIR officials warned of the dangers of targeting airline passengers of a certain religious, racial or ethnic profile, saying “profiling” unfairly targets innocent people.

“While everyone supports robust airline security measures,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement, “racial and religious profiling are in fact counterproductive and can lead to a climate of insecurity and fear.”

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