Many good comments on obviously a controversial subject. I will respond to a few of them.
Freedom is not an absolute in any society, including the most democratic. There are tradeoffs between freedom and other values, such as security. The threat of terrorism has shifted the balance. All this seems rather obvious. The main issue is how far one should go in restricting freedom. That is far more complicated, and there is room for much difference of opinion.
Yes, I am skeptical of government since government actions are typically very inefficient and heavy-handed. Yet I support public police, a public armed forces, various regulations, and so on. In many areas even inefficient government actions are better than leaving them to the private sector alone. Terrorism is one of these important areas.
The quote from Benjamin Franklin about his reluctance to sacrifice any freedom for additional security is interesting. But I do not know of any evidence that Franklin opposed the harsh treatment given to Tories during the revolutionary war. Does any one?
Everyone "profiles" in their daily behavior since all this means is that in the absence of much information about an individual, one judges the individual in part by the groups he or she belong to. For example, anyone who sees an 80 year old female (or male) would doubt if they would rob us or commit a terrorist act.
So the issue in this discussion can only be about whether it is worth subjecting young Muslim males to special scrutiny and surveillance. My answer is yes precisely because it has been difficulty for Islamic terrorist groups to enlist others to engage in suicide attacks. Of course, all such policies deal in probabilities, not certainties. Muslim terrorists might offer compensation and use persuasion to get a few non-Muslims to be willing to commit suicide, but experience shows not many succumb. That some female Muslims or converts, etc might be persuaded to be terrorists is why everyone goes through a certain amount of security checking, and so forth, but the degree of checking will be less severe than for the primary profiled groups.
As I stated in my original post, I agree with the comment that innocent Muslim have an even greater stake in preventing terrorism since they suffer when Muslim terrorists blow up planes or engage in other terrorists. I speak from some experience since my wife was born in Baghdad and grew up in Iran. She, her brothers, and nephews and nieces have had first hand experience of profiling in entering the United States and other countries. When done in a pleasant manner they have typically accepted the necessity of the process-their main objection has been when it was heavy-handed and nasty.
I like the idea of paying those profiled for the inconvenience and time involved. Probably a manageable system could be worked out, and the pay might involve money, other forms of compensation, or both.