The flaw in Sam Harris’s argument is that he is a racist, not that his readers are idiots

Sam Harris posted a blog last week suggesting that Muslims be racially profiled at airports because they’re more likely to be suicide bombers. Heck, they look like them Al Qaeda lot – so why not, right? In 900, unrelenting words of spurious, paranoid horseshit, Harris outlined his argument and, after a few days, added an addendum in order to clarify bits that were misunderstood (as racist) because “it seems that when one speaks candidly about the problem of Islam misunderstandings easily multiply”.

“In any case, it is simply a fact that, in the year 2012, suicidal terrorism is overwhelmingly a Muslim phenomenon,” Harris says. Reasonable point. Not ‘Muslims’ but ‘a minority of Muslims’ would have been more accurate, but OK. Now, don’t extrapolate wildly, will you? Oh, hang on…

“If you grant this, it follows that applying equal scrutiny to Mennonites would be a dangerous waste of time.”

It ‘follows’ does it? How does that ‘follow’? If you think Muslims are more likely to commit suicide via bomb-based explosionary fun it must mean that it would be ‘dangerous’ to waste your time giving equal treatment to other groups or minorities? ‘Dangerous’ because white people and Christians don’t do mass murders? What about Breivik or McVeigh? Enormous leaps in reasoning do not cover Harris’s racist assumptions that one group of people deserves harsher treatment because of the colour of their skin, their religion or the temerity to bring both of those foul characteristics to an airport.


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