Tell Congress to End Racial and Religious Profiling
The tendency to prejudge our fellow Americans because of perceptions – often misperceptions – based upon the color of their skin, their faith or their ethnic heritage, is something nearly everyone struggles with at some point in their lives; members of law enforcement are no exception. The need to combat this tendency and support the advancement of genuine religious freedom for all Americans is a huge part of why Interfaith Alliance supports the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) (H.R. 3618/S. 1670). Please take a moment today to ask your Representative and Senators to support this important legislation.
Of course, most law enforcement agents discharge their duties honorably and do not engage in racial and/or religious profiling. Prior to the September 11th attacks, both Congress and President George W. Bush made a commitment to end the practice of racial profiling. However, 9/11 caused a dramatic rise in the inappropriate profiling of Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs, and South Asians. Profiling based on religion, race, ethnicity, and national origin continues to persist today.
Racial and religious profiling has been shown to be an ineffective policing tool, often distracting law enforcement from the actual perpetrators of the crimes being investigated. Furthermore, racial and religious profiling fuels divisiveness, casting suspicion over whole communities and religious groups, ultimately destroys trust in the police and government authorities, and diminishes cooperation and effective law enforcement.
ERPA would prohibit profiling based on race, religion, ethnicity or national origin by law enforcement officials at all levels, mandate improved training, and allocate funds for data collection and reporting. When you think about it, it’s pretty unbelievable that such profiling hasn’t been prohibited already. Those of us who value religious liberty and equality must send a strong, unified message that racial and religious profiling is ineffective and immoral. Please ask your elected officials to support ERPA today.