US Muslims Success Story: Chertoff

The US sees its Muslim population as a success story because they are well integrated into society, warning that 9/11-style attacks would likely be launched from Europe, immigrants feel second-class.

US Muslims Success Story: Chertoff

The USsees its Muslim population as a success story because they are well integratedinto society, warning that 9/11-style attacks would likely be launched from Europe where immigrants feel second-class citizens.

"Our Muslim population is better educated andeconomically better off than the average American," Homeland Securitychief Michael Chertoff told Britain'sThe Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, April 4.

"So, from a standpoint of mobility in society,it's a successful immigrant population.

"To some degree, the whole country is a countryof immigrants, and therefore there's no sense that we have insiders oroutsiders."

There are between six to seven million Muslims inthe United States,making up less than three percent of the country's 300 million population.

Chertoff said the situation in Europeis quite different.

"You had an influx of people that came in as acolonial legacy and may have always have felt, to some extent, that they wereviewed as second-class citizens, and they've tended to impact and be kind ofclustered in some areas," he added.

The EuropeanMonitoring Centeron Racism and Xenophobia has recently reported that Muslim minorities in Europe face deep-seated discrimination in jobs, educationand housing in addition to myriad barriers that give rise to feelings ofhopelessness and exclusion.

It showed that Muslims are over-represented inlow-paying sectors of the economy and that their educational achievement fallsbelow average.

It also indicated that unemployment rates amongMuslims are higher than average and that they are often disproportionatelyrepresented in areas with poorer housing conditions.

"Clean Skin"

Chertoff fears a second 9/11 could be carried out bya European who can easily enter the US.

"The fear has always been the so-called 'cleanskin' - that's a person whose documents are completely legitimate, are notforged," he said.

European countries are among 27 states whosecitizens benefit from a visa waiver scheme, which allows visitors to enter the US without avisa for up to 90 days.

About 18 million people visit the US every yearunder the scheme.

Chertoff said the USrequires additional information from Europe,including email addresses and credit card details to vet European passengers.

"We have an absolute right to get this, in thesame way that if someone wants to be a guest in my house I have a right to askthem who they are and get identification."

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administrationhas secretly been tapping into the comprehensive Passenger Name Record databasewhich is created by global travel reservation services that handle reservationsfor most airlines as well as for Internet sites.

An electronic file for each person who makes areservation contains details on rental cars or hotels, credit card information,contact information for the passenger and next of kin, and at times evenpersonal preferences, like a request for a king-size bed in a hotel.

"We need to build layers of protection, and Idon't think we totally want to rely upon the fact that a foreign government isgoing to know that one of their citizens is suspicious and is going to becoming here."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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