It only takes a couple of hostile instances on “home soil” to push the national security apparatus into high gear. One can only hope that the system will perform better that the Obama-led politically inspired public health security system that remains off the tracks in response to Ebola infectious disease.
Consider this morning’s report from Foreign Policy that suggests that Canadian and American surveillance needs to shift to high gear to anticipate, predict, and prevent terrorist actions.
Apparently, American-style surveillance of citizens to determine indications of the propensity for terrorist and criminal acts might be turned on in Canada driven by necessity. In America, the laws and regulations may also get more attention and revision to make them more effective in view of the facts in the neighborhood.
To gain a perspective on how the U.S. government thinks about the big picture, one might go to an unsuspecting source that is The Embassy of the United States in Iraq. Explaining U.S. views and policies is an education process, and Americans have as much to learn as Iraqis about how its government thinks.
“Today’s Muslim American population is an extraordinary mosaic of ethnic, linguistic, ideological, social, economic, and religious groups. Native Muslim Americans are well integrated into American society while many newcomers are just beginning to adapt to American life. In terms of religious devotion, Muslims range from highly orthodox to moderate to secular. Muslims resemble Christians, Jews, Hindus, and other American religious communities in that many of them seek full political and social integration, while others prefer to live primarily in the context of their communities and cultural practices. Many of the immigrants come from Muslim-majority countries and inevitably go through a period of adjustment as they learn the ways of a pluralistic society.”
It is highly doubtful that there is much readership for this message beyond the upper echelon of the Iraqi government. The intention is to inform Iraqis that America is a pluralistic society in which people of different faiths live in diverse communities in which they may practice their beliefs while being a part of the greater society. They can do that without persecution. It is natural for people to go through a period of acclimation before reaching assimilation.
“The size of the Muslim-American population has proved difficult to measure because the U.S. Census does not track religious affiliation. Estimates vary widely from 2 million to 7 million. What is clear, however, is that the Muslim-American population has been growing rapidly as a result of immigration, a high birth rate, and conversions.
According to a 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center, 65 percent of the Muslim-American population are first-generation immigrants, and 61 percent of the foreign-born arrived in the 1990s or this decade. Seventy-seven percent of Muslims living in the United States are citizens, with 65 percent of the foreign-born being naturalized citizens. As a point of comparison, 58 percent of foreign-born Chinese living in the United States are naturalized citizens.”
Iraq U.S. Embassy
To avoid religious persecution, the census bureau doesn’t track religious affiliations. Among the 316.2 million people in the U.S., there are likely 6.67 million Muslims that is 2.11% according to: http://www.muslimpopulation.com/America/.
In considering all organizations that are represented by values, beliefs, and rules, the question is do the rules and those subscribing to them conflict with the U.S. Constitution and the laws and regulations herein? It is possible that organizations, religious or otherwise, may subscribe to rules and practices that are unConstitutional and therefore illegal.
Therefore, it is imperative that the government has access to and knowledge about foundational rules and practices so that it can make a legal determination. If infractions exist, then the government can take the matter to court for resolution. That suggests that if members of Congress, for instance, question the legality of religious practices, they can and should take the matter to court for a finding.
Tweaking laws and regulations about spying or surveilling citizens and groups in free nations without having an overriding finding just leads to more trouble.
When Muslims immigrate to America, they assimilate and mirror the American demographic.
“Although Muslims live in every corner of the nation, many have settled in major metropolitan areas along the two coasts and in the Midwest: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit/Dearborn. The 10 states with the largest Muslim populations are California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, and Maryland. There are also established communities near state universities, which often have sizable numbers of foreign-born Muslim students and faculty.
The 2007 Pew survey found that Muslim Americans generally mirror the U.S. public in education and income levels, with immigrant Muslims slightly more affluent and better educated than native-born Muslims. Twenty-four percent of all Muslims and 29 percent of immigrant Muslims have college degrees, compared to 25 percent for the U.S. general population. Forty-one percent of all Muslim Americans and 45 percent of immigrant Muslims report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher. This compares to the national average of 44 percent. Immigrant Muslims are well represented among higher-income earners, with 19 percent claiming annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher (compared to 16 percent for the Muslim population as a whole and 17 percent for the U.S. average). This is likely due to the strong concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world. There is some evidence of a decline in the wages of Muslim and Arab men since 2001, although more recent data suggest the trend might be reversing.”
As a matter of policy, free-nation governments aim toward democratic pluralism and encourage diverse people to contribute to the melting pot of ideas, invention, and prosperity.
“Fort Meade and the Maple Leaf
The terror attacks in Ottawa mean that NSA-style surveillance could be coming to Canada much faster than anyone thought.
BY SHANE HARRIS , REID STANDISH
OCTOBER 23, 2014
In the annals of Canadian history, the shooting death of a soldier and the wounding of three security personnel by a suspected Islamic terrorist this week may go down as the pivotal moment that allowed the country’s spy services to expand their monitoring of Canadian citizens.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed members in Canada’s House of Commons, mere yards from where the gunman was shot dead by authorities the day before, and promised to push even harder for previously proposed enhancements to Canada’s surveillance and detention laws for suspected terrorists.
The amendments would make it easier for Canada to monitor its citizens abroad and to share information with other countries’ spy agencies, particularly the U.S. National Security Agency, which runs a vastly larger and more sophisticated intelligence-gathering apparatus than its counterpart to the north. The proposals have been hotly debated in Canada for the past week, and passage isn’t a foregone conclusion. But the shooting may have given Harper’s conservative government, which holds a majority of seats in parliament, the final push it needs to get them turned into law.
“This may be just the start of souped-up spy legislation, not the finish,” said Colin Freeze, a reporter with the Globe and Mail who has written extensively about Canada’s shadowy signals intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada, which is the counterpart to the American NSA.”