Private Religious Discrimination, National Security, and the First Amendment

Author: 
Aziz Huq

This essay identifies a negative feedback loop between private discrimination directed at American Muslims and security against terrorism. The first part of the loop is familiar: Concerns about terrorism animate greater antipathy toward outsiders. The second part is novel: social discrimination corrodes trust in the police and makes cooperation with police less likely. Insecurity thus creates discrimination, which deepens insecurity. The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, now greatly weakened, still provide one tool to break this negative feedback loop.