As airports are set to introduce more and more stringent and intrusive methods to determine whether or not little old Granny Smith is really a suicide bomber with 5lbs of Semtex hidden in her balls of wool, the debate about "profiling" starts up again.
Some say it won't work because not all those who have tried to explode a bomb on an aeroplane would have fitted the "profile" of a Moslem suicide bomber - but this is where they miss the point.
No system of screening people at airport security will be 100% perfect. Even if you submit everyone boarding the plane to strip searches, body cavity searches and whole body scanning there is always a chance that someone will get something through that will blow up the aeroplane. It's only a matter of time before someone invents an explosive prosthetic limb or detonating dentures.
Airport security is a percentage game and you have to play the percentages - and that means having a system which causes the least inconvenience to the majority of people while being most likely to catch or deter those who are likely to carry out attacks.
The crucial word there is "deter". If those who are most likely to try and blow themselves up on an aeroplane know that they are the most likely to be stopped, searched, questioned and probed to a far higher degree than Granny Smith they will be less inclined to try in the first place. Yes, it will be unfair on those Moslems who really are innocently going about their business, but that's the price you pay for having a significant proportion of your "religion" hell bent on random mass murder. If they don't like it they could try doing something to reduce that murderous element.
There is another benefit to racial profiling terrorists too. One of the biggest problems for the intelligence services is that they find it very hard to get inside these terrorist organisations as they tend to recruit mostly from a certain racial group. If racial profiling is introduced at airport security they will possibly resort to recruiting more white men and women - which would give the security services the opportunity to infiltrate these organisations and stop attacks before they develop.
Racial profiling would not prevent every attack, but it would do more to reduce the possibility than anything else. The security services have no problem using racial profiling to detect and deter football hooligans or neo-Nazi sympathisers - and it has been very effective - why are they so reluctant to use it to detect and deter Moslem terrorists?