Thursday, October 01, 2009

Lib Dems and Racial Profiling

A local paper in Watford reports that a Christian man received a card from the local Lib Dems celebrating the end of Ramadan. Javid Suleman believes that the only reason he received one is because his name sounds Muslim. He says:

Somehow they categorised me as a Muslim and the question is how and why. I personally think that's ethically wrong. You have to abide by certain processes and categorising people by their ethnicity, colour or religion is the wrong thing to do. I asked my neighbours if they got it and of course, they didn't. They're not of Asian decent so they definitely didn't get this.
A Lib Dem spokesman said:
The data we use is based on the electoral roll and MOSAIC data, which is a 'best guess'. This is the type of data used by direct marketing firms. We then go through every name manually and remove the ones that we know not to be Muslim. Inevitably there are some that do go out to non-Muslims but when they contact us we then correct our data.
Are they determining which ones are not Muslim based solely on what their surname sounds like? If so, isn't this just a form of racial profiling?