It’s healthy to debate the balance between the desire for safety and need for freedom. Both needs are legitimate and neither should predominate.

That debate was illustrated Thursday evening in the auditorium of the Times-Union at a forum sponsored by the Florida Center for Public and International Policy at the University of North Florida. . .

All Muslims are not our enemies; neither are all Arabs. Americans of Arabic descent must not be profiled for no reason.

In fact, Muslim-Americans can help spread the word of American democracy overseas, but only if they can speak with some legitimacy, not if they are being harassed at home.

Parvez Ahmed of the Council on American-Islamic Relations recently conducted seminars for law enforcement agents. He also traveled to the Middle East to speak about building bridges of understanding with America.

Yet when he returned home, he was singled out at an airport and questioned.

Americans must develop more knowledge of world cultures and be able to distinguish our friends from the few dangerous enemies.

And we must continue to debate, struggling to find that balance between security and freedom.


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