Saturday, January 3, 2009

Be careful what you say if you are wearing a scarf

It is unfortunate that American paranoia has come to this point. I recall reading a year or so ago that someone was wearing a t-shirt with Arab letters, and was told to change shirts if he wanted to get on a plane. You can't even wear a t-shirt that has Arab letters saying "I love my Mom" --- TSA will get you.

I don't say this because I am for any particular group, not even my own (American, female, Latina, mother, wife, Texan, academic?). It's that I think that all people should be treated fairly and we should always examine our reactions of fear, particular among policing institutions (like TSA).

Thanks Air Tran for apologizing to the family. PLEASE don't do this again. Same goes for the other airlines.

Airline Apologizes For Booting 9 Muslims
Group Plans Discrimination Complaint

Kashif Irfan with his sons Luqman, 4, Sinan, 2, and Murad, 7. Irfan and other family members are attending a religious retreat in Orlando, but were delayed on the way when AirTran kicked them off a flight from Washington.

By Amy Gardner and Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, January 3, 2009; Page A01

A U.S. airline apologized yesterday to nine Muslim American passengers from the Washington area who were removed from a flight out of Reagan National Airport, but a Muslim civil rights group said it intends to press a discrimination complaint against the airline for its treatment of the passengers.

"It is incumbent on any airline to ensure that members of the traveling public are not singled out or mistreated based on their perceived race, religion or national origin. We believe this disturbing incident would never have occurred had the Muslim passengers removed from the plane not been perceived by other travelers and airline personnel as members of the Islamic faith," said the complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation by the Washington-based
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group...more

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