In a study to determine how much the public fears terrorism, almost half of respondents polled nationally said they believe the U.S. government should -- in some way -- curtail civil liberties for Muslim Americans, according to a new survey released today (Dec. 17) by Cornell University.
About 27 percent of respondents said that all Muslim Americans should be required to register their location with the federal government, and 26 percent said they think that mosques should be closely monitored by U.S. law enforcement agencies. Twenty-nine percent agreed that undercover law enforcement agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations, in order to keep tabs on their activities and fund raising. About 22 percent said the federal government should profile citizens as potential threats based on the fact that they are Muslim or have Middle Eastern heritage. In all, about 44 percent said they believe that some curtailment of civil liberties is necessary for Muslim Americans.
In perhaps what is the most telling part of the survey,
The survey also showed a correlation between television news-viewing habits, a respondent's fear level and attitudes toward restrictions on civil liberties for all Americans. Respondents who paid a lot of attention to television news were more likely to favor restrictions on civil liberties, such as greater power for the government to monitor the Internet. Respondents who paid less attention to television news were less likely to support such measures. "The more attention paid to television news, the more you fear terrorism, and you are more likely to favor restrictions on civil liberties," says Nisbet.
More to come on this. In the meantime, residents of Colorado Springs will be getting a nice fictional supplement with their Sunday papers.
I am speechless, disheartened, need to go off and think for a while. I want to believe that people are basically good, but the reptiles are winning. They're manipulating those primitive parts of our brains where all our fears live. They're summoning bogey-men night after night after night. And it won't be too much longer before people grab lighted torches and pitchforks and go out into the night to hunt the monsters. And I'm scared. Because I'm one of the monsters.