Hijabis furious over TSA pat-downs

Under sharia law, unrelated men are not allowed to touch veiled women (unless they are sex slaves being raped, or women being beaten for walking outside the home, or women having their clitorises cut off).  You can therefore understand why sharia-compliant hijabis are outraged at being patted down by the TSA when they go to board planes.

An American and a Muslim, Ms. Syed wears a hijab, or head covering. More often than not, she said, she is pulled aside at security check-in for secondary screenings and pat-downs, the examiner feeling her head through the hijab.

Could it have something to do with the fact that hijabs and burkas give people cover to hide weapons?

"Persons wearing head coverings, loose fitting or bulky garments may undergo additional security screening, which may include a pat-down," Mike England, a T.S.A. spokesman, said in an email interview. 

"Unfortunately, the global terror network created racial profiling against Muslims," said Hilal Elver, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and author of "The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion."

If only that were true.  But if you've traveled at all in the past ten years, you know that children and nuns are just as likely to be the subject of intensive pat-downs as Muslims are.

Ms. Syed said that when traveling with non-Muslim colleagues, she avoids passing through security alongside them. "I don't want them to see the humiliation I am going to go through," she said.

Oh, the pain!

Daayiee Abdullah, an African-American man who is president of the Mecca Institute, an online Islamic seminary in Washington, said he reserved the right to wear cultural clothing like a thobe – a long robe – or skullcap while traveling, even though he realizes it may mean heightened scrutiny at airports. He is also an openly gay imam.

Question for discussion: If Imam Abdullah identified himself as a gay imam, where would he be more likely to suffer an indignity: at King Khalid International Airport or at JFK?

Some travel hubs, including Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, have noticeable numbers of Muslim women with head scarves working at security checkpoints.

With that level of security, it sounds as though Detroit may be the safest airport to fly from in the U.S.

But if it's any consolation to Muslims who feel unhappy with pat-downs, there is always the option to cash out:

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-born United States citizen, is government relations manager for the human rights organization American Friends Service Committee.

Mr. Jarrar won a $240,000 settlement in 2009 from the airline JetBlue over an incident a few years earlier. He had been stopped from boarding a flight while wearing a T-shirt with the phrase, "We Will Not Be Silent" in Arabic and English, the slogan of an antiwar group.

Once again, we see zero acknowledgement from "moderate" Muslims that the enemy is radical Islam and that it is only a reasonable precaution to search people who dress in sharia-compliant way.  In fact, it benefits innocent Muslims to do so, making it less likely their plane will blow up during their flights.  But from the way the indignant Muslims put it, they are more hostile to the basic security functions at airports than they are to their very deadly co-religionists, making us wonder what they are thinking.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

Under sharia law, unrelated men are not allowed to touch veiled women (unless they are sex slaves being raped, or women being beaten for walking outside the home, or women having their clitorises cut off).  You can therefore understand why sharia-compliant hijabis are outraged at being patted down by the TSA when they go to board planes.

An American and a Muslim, Ms. Syed wears a hijab, or head covering. More often than not, she said, she is pulled aside at security check-in for secondary screenings and pat-downs, the examiner feeling her head through the hijab.

Could it have something to do with the fact that hijabs and burkas give people cover to hide weapons?

"Persons wearing head coverings, loose fitting or bulky garments may undergo additional security screening, which may include a pat-down," Mike England, a T.S.A. spokesman, said in an email interview. 

"Unfortunately, the global terror network created racial profiling against Muslims," said Hilal Elver, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and author of "The Headscarf Controversy: Secularism and Freedom of Religion."

If only that were true.  But if you've traveled at all in the past ten years, you know that children and nuns are just as likely to be the subject of intensive pat-downs as Muslims are.

Ms. Syed said that when traveling with non-Muslim colleagues, she avoids passing through security alongside them. "I don't want them to see the humiliation I am going to go through," she said.

Oh, the pain!

Daayiee Abdullah, an African-American man who is president of the Mecca Institute, an online Islamic seminary in Washington, said he reserved the right to wear cultural clothing like a thobe – a long robe – or skullcap while traveling, even though he realizes it may mean heightened scrutiny at airports. He is also an openly gay imam.

Question for discussion: If Imam Abdullah identified himself as a gay imam, where would he be more likely to suffer an indignity: at King Khalid International Airport or at JFK?

Some travel hubs, including Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, have noticeable numbers of Muslim women with head scarves working at security checkpoints.

With that level of security, it sounds as though Detroit may be the safest airport to fly from in the U.S.

But if it's any consolation to Muslims who feel unhappy with pat-downs, there is always the option to cash out:

Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi-born United States citizen, is government relations manager for the human rights organization American Friends Service Committee.

Mr. Jarrar won a $240,000 settlement in 2009 from the airline JetBlue over an incident a few years earlier. He had been stopped from boarding a flight while wearing a T-shirt with the phrase, "We Will Not Be Silent" in Arabic and English, the slogan of an antiwar group.

Once again, we see zero acknowledgement from "moderate" Muslims that the enemy is radical Islam and that it is only a reasonable precaution to search people who dress in sharia-compliant way.  In fact, it benefits innocent Muslims to do so, making it less likely their plane will blow up during their flights.  But from the way the indignant Muslims put it, they are more hostile to the basic security functions at airports than they are to their very deadly co-religionists, making us wonder what they are thinking.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.