By contrasting the ease with which Aurora shooter James Holmes ordered guns and ammunition online with the rapid FBI response when a Muslim would-be terrorist in Aurora sent a single suspicious email a few years ago, Denver Post columnist Chuck Murphy states the obvious in his column today: this mass shooting might have turned out very differently if James Holmes had been named Ibrahim or Mohammed.
"This guy literally arms himself to the teeth by mail order without anyone pointing a finger and saying, 'What's going on?' " asked [Denver] Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni, a little incredulous. "If my name is Ibrahim or Mohammed and I order a gun or that much ammunition on the Internet, I think within a few hours of the delivery, the FBI and CIA is at my house."
Look, there are no guarantees that any crazy shooter of any nationality can be stopped, and who knows exactly how widespread the FBI's monitoring of the Muslim community is today, but this argument contains more than a grain of truth. American Muslims have been aggressively profiled by law enforcement since 9/11, period. Although, of course, to point out that profiling would-be terrorists by something so blunt as religious affiliation is not only un-American, but foolish and wrong and ineffective, would be to politicize the tragedy, and we don't want that.