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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Maybe Peter Griffin is right
Posted by Jill | 5:32 AM
Maybe a country that has institutionalized airport harassment of ANYONE guilty of "flying while swarthy" DOES deserve the Peter Griffin finger:
The paranoid environment created by the 9/11 attacks has allowed for a myriad of civil rights infringements under the guise of national security. Airport security especially ratcheted up racial profiling, marking any Middle Eastern sign or symbol a suspicious target, particularly the turban. Even turbaned individuals with no affiliation with Islam or the Middle East, such as Sikh men, have become “a superficial and accessible proxy for the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks” and a “target of discriminatory conduct,” including employment discrimimation, harrassment, and violence.

But now, this long-permitted prejudice is creating diplomatic tension between the U.S. and India. Today, the Indian press reported on an incident last month in which Houston, Texas airport security officials detained Indian’s UN envoy Hardeep Puri in a holding room for 30 minutes because he was wearing a turban. As a Sikh, Puri is obliged to keep all hair intact and his head covered in public at all times. The turban symbolizes self-respect and piety — “touching of the head dress in public is not allowed” and can only be removed “in the most intimate of circumstances.”

However, as officials present during the incident told Turtle Bay, airport security officials ignored Puri’s religious requirements and long-standing protocol exempting dignitaries from such treatment and demanded to physically check his Turban themselves until Puri informed them that TSA regulations allow him to check himself:

Airport security agents in Austin pulled Singh aside into an enclosed glass holding room for questioning after he refused a request to remove his turban or allow inspectors to touch it, an Indian official who witnessed the incident told Turtle Bay. “He said no, you cannot check my turban,” according to the Indian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I won’t allow you to touch my turban.”

The Indian official said Singh offered to touch the turban himself and to allow the security agents to run a check of his hands for traces of explosives, but he said that one security official refused. Singh insisted that the security official had no right to check his turban, citing TSA regulations for searches of foreign diplomats. “Obviously you don’t know your own rules. Please check your rules,” he told the security agent, according to the Indian official. “The person insisted that he had to do it. He said, ‘Don’t tell me the rules.’”

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Blogger Serr8d said...
If TSA can fondle my grandfather's junk, a stupid (and large) headdress should not be off limits. What better place to stash a bomb?

India should charter King Airs and fly their diplomats to the nearest harbor, put 'em on boats, if they can't be treated as are typical American citizens.

I'll bet you'd complain if a Christian had a similar requirement, and refused to let TSA look in it. Why is it Leftists treat other religions as sacrosanct and 'pile on' to Christianity ?

Merry Christmas~!

Blogger Taylor Wray said...
If we're already profiling people, why not get rid of the whole x-ray machine/pat-down charade and just admit it and make it official?

At least then we could start teaching our beloved TSA agents to profile people INTELLIGENTLY instead of harassing every brown person they see.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Well, this is what happens when a hysterical nation agrees to surrender liberty for supposed safety (to crib from Benjamin Franklin): We end up having little five-and-dime Hitlers lord it over us any way they like--because it's For Our Own Good.

"Land of the Free, Home of the Brave." Yeah, right...

Anonymous Charlie O said...
"Don't tell me the rules." Sounds like every asshole in America with a badge. I can't tell you how many times I've cited the law or exercised my Constitutional rights to some cop only to be asked "what, are you some kind of lawyer?" Most cops have no clue about the laws they are paid to enforce, why should anyone except some TSA turd to know those rules?