Airport profiling threatens peace

A growing number of Muslim-Americans are reporting incidents of racial and religious profiling at airports, sparking concern that anti-Islamic discrimination is on the rise.

It is pitiful how much government workers, who should be representing equality and the values of our country, discriminate against our Muslim-American community. Policies enacted by the Department of Homeland Security that support such profiling – many created in the years following the 9/11 attacks –  remain in place today, said senior religion writer for ThinkProgress Jack Jenkins.

This long-standing surrender to fear by marginalizing people because of their name, appearance and presumed faith is not just disappointing, but disrespectful.

A recent incident involved the son of former professional boxer Muhammad Ali, who was detained by immigration officials at a Florida airport and questioned about his religion. Returning from a Black History Month event in Jamaica, Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother were pulled aside while going through the immigration checkpoint, said family friend and attorney Chris Mancini in an interview for Time Magazine.

Ali Jr. was detained for about two hours despite his status as a native-born U.S. citizen.

Airport security officials have long been accused of unfairly questioning, searching and detaining passengers simply for “looking” Muslim  – including those who are not devotees of Islam, such as Sikhs and Arab Christians.

As the United States endures a wave of anti-Islam hatred, especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, those affected by Islamophobia have been reporting more and more cases of airport profiling.

Syrian cinematographer Khaled Khatib, who documented Syria’s civil war in the film “The White Helmets, ” also illustrated this sentiment after being blocked from entering the U.S. to attend the Academy Awards ceremony, despite having a visa.

U.S. officials reportedly discovered “derogatory information” about him, but the term is so broad that it could range from terrorist connections to passport irregularities.

By treating Muslim-Americans as less than citizens, we are giving aid and comfort to extremist viewpoints, convincing them that our country is at war with all of Islam, not just with radical groups. Our post-9/11 fears should not be the basis for discrimination and marginalization, which are a real threat our multicultural society.

Previous article
Next article

Latest Stories

Related articles

Rap artist celebrates trailblazers

Shaun Boothe, a recording artist and motivational speaker, shared his work  “The Unauthorized Biography Series,” on Feb. 23 in the Campus Center before an audience of about 30. 

Cultural celebration recognizes Black creativity, expression

An Arts and Cultural Celebration was held in honor of Black History Month Saturday at the Upland Public Library at 450 N. Euclid Ave, in Upland. 

Museum shares Black history with ULV students

The Office of Civic and Community Engagement, the Black Student Union and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion held a small day trip to the African American Museum of Beginnings in Pomona on Friday afternoon.

Speaker explains the concept of privilege

Jeanette Royston, president of the NAACP of Pomona Valley, held a virtual event to discuss racial identity, issues of modern-day minority life, privilege and more Feb. 24 via Zoom.