Neuroscientist and outspoken atheist Sam Harris defended his support for profiling Muslims at airports in an interview with Ora.tv host Dave Rubin, saying it was a question of authorities being honest about looking for “suicidal jihadists.”
“WWe’re not looking for 80-year-old women from Okinawa. We’re not looking for little girls from Norway,” Harris said. “If Jerry Seinfeld’s going to the airport, [and] he gets the same search that someone who looks like Osama bin Laden does, that’s a crazy misuse of resources.”
Needless to say, a devout Muslim should be free to show up at the airport dressed like Osama bin Laden, and his wives should be free to wear burqas. But if their goal is simply to travel safely and efficiently, wouldn’t they, too, want a system that notices people like themselves? At a minimum, wouldn’t they want a system that anti-profiles—applying the minimum of attention to people who obviously pose no threat?
While stating that he would fall under the definition of people who should be profiled under this scenario, Harris insisted that not every one deserves equal scrutiny by airport security.
“When you see a famous celebrity go through security treated as though he just may have become a jihadist when no one is walking, it’s crazy. It is security theater,” he said. “And there are many people who, though not famous, are every bit as unlikely to be members of al Qaeda as prominent people — Betty White.”
“I would not be happy about that,” Rubin responded.
Watch the discussion, as aired on Ora.tv, below.