Law and order is the core of a productive society, where each performs at their best with their efforts and products safeguarded. The interest of societal security has, however, compromised the civil liberties and freedoms of some individuals and groups. 2001, September 11 coordinated terror attacks in the United States intensified antagonism against Muslims after the Islamist Al-Qaeda terror group claimed responsibility. The Muslim faithful have been given the terrorist tag, treated with extreme suspicion, especially in airport security checks. On March 25 authorities in southern California responded to an alleged arson in a mosque. There were no casualties. However, an excellent piece of fresh graffiti had been inscribed on the Mosque's driveway referencing the previous New Zealand attack on Muslims. Other than the fact that no suspect was reported, the connection of the incident to the New Zealand massacre cast doubts on the security of Muslims. This incident ignites the fundamental question of tolerance among American citizens amidst the prevailing terrorism fears. American citizens must make sacrifices when it comes to constraints on civil liberties/rights to maintain safety, and security on the home front and abroad.
From a personal perspective, civil liberty versus security debate is a matter of rationality and tolerance. By rationality, for example, the society ought to get the facts behind these terror attacks. Looking from the outside, the Muslims are sharply divided ideologically about taking away of innocent lives. The jihadists are firmly opposed by other Muslims and said to portray Islam in a bad light. Rational thinking about the issue provides an understanding that not all of those donning religious cloaks, headgear and scarves are threats to security. The society has also been unable to tolerate the hardworking Muslim members. The mindset of people is clouded with the devastation of terror attacks, which wins against individual merit. Tolerance requires a great deal of sacrifice of the castigated group and the society at large to reclaim that social fabric and cooperation.
I believe in professionalism, non-biased judgment and firmly against generalization. These values clash with the societal mindset, which has culminated to violation of civil liberties in pursuit of safety. Professionalism is a non-intrusive value which does not emphasize on the private sphere of an individual, including their religious affiliation. Under professionalism, dealings in business, workplaces and other commercial ventures are conducted objectively. Similarly, the government should maintain a professional approach when analyzing security threats, for example, not looking at religion to identify suspects. Non-biased judgment is a quality that enables a person to look at a person or presented a situation without being clouded by prejudice. Prejudice is brought by conspiracy theories, myths and misconceptions about members of the ruthlessness of Muslims. This should not cloud the authorities and the public in combating crime and terrorism.
The social issue of security against civil liberties has its complexities and differing viewpoints. The two main sides if these debates are the government which enforces the law and the citizens who vouch for their rights and freedom. The government has been called out for infringing on civil liberties. On examining the government, its intentions are usually the right ones; delivering on its mandate to protect its people. For instance, the United States government passed legislation known as the Patriot Act to secure the lives of its citizens from activities of terror. Some of the provisions of this Act is the secret surveillance of suspected terror personalities. The Act also allows for delayed search warrants notification. These are approaches meant to ensure that suspects do not realize that they are being watched. However, these laws breach individual privacy, especially to Muslims who are mostly suspected. Where a country is threatened with terror by terror groups like Islamic State, provisions of the Patriot Act are vital for National Security. However, there must be a balance (Haynes, 2015, p. 1).To get the much-needed balance, the public should consider giving up their privacy provided that the surveillance is objective in ensuring public safety.
Civil liberties should have some responsibilities attached. Some of the freedoms have no defined bounds, and if instituted, they are not well enforced. The primary consideration that an individual should observe is that they should enjoy their freedom without infringing on other people's liberties. The freedom of speech and expression enshrined in the First Amendment, for instance, grants citizens the right to put across opinions. However, in the process of expressing one's self, public peace and safety can be jeopardized. The public has no problem in giving up some rights when confronted with a risk (Kristof, 2002). The law should not go too far in sanctioning freedoms, because it has a reverse effect on security. In the absence of law stipulations on the freedom bounds, the tasks fall on the citizens themselves who should commit themselves to respect each other's space and ideas for a peaceful society.
Rational members of the society might agree that the enforcing of security and upholding of civil rights can be conflicting at times. For the government, it is usually a contest between limiting freedoms of terrorists and sympathizers against safeguarding individual rights and liberties (Roman, 2015). In the course of keeping security, law and order by the government, there might be incidents of freedom, equality and some below compassion standards. For example, in a disarmament exercise, there may be a use of force to recover weaponry. The public can consider the greater good of safety and not raise uproar. Civil liberties will be this situation exchanged for security.
Conclusively, notwithstanding the importance of civil liberties and freedoms, public safety comes first. Security guarantees life and safety of property and loved ones; therefore, people should heed the unpopular call to abandon their privacy for the sake of being secured. Muslim faithful should also sacrifice and willfully surrender themselves for investigations without feeling that they are being victimized. Authorities should iron out such fears by proper communication of public safety procedures.
Haynes, D. D. (2015, May 14). Liberty vs. security: An old debate renewed in the age of terror. Retrieved from http://archive.jsonline.com/news/opinion/liberty-vs-security-an-old-debate-renewed-in-the-age-of-terror-b99500066z1-303775951.html
Kristof, N. D. (2002, September 10). Security and Freedom. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/10/opinion/security-and-freedom.html
Roman, P. (2015, November 23). The hard dilemma: counterterrorism and/or shallow freedom. Retrieved from https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/hard-dilemma-counterterrorism-andor-shallow-freedom/
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