Tuesday, February 20, 2007

'Muslim Americans are Americans, too'

*Yawn*...Another Muslim pity party. This time it's from a local university adolescent, one Naureen Kamdar.

I was wearing [my hijab] when traveling to Virginia recently to attend a seminar. Standing in the security line at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. I was stressed about the possibility of missing my flight that was departing in 20 minutes. And that's where the trouble began.

I suppose it was because I was worried about missing my flight that I didn't hear the instructions about taking my laptop computer out of its case and placing it in a separate bin.

A student on the go, whose entire adult life has been in the post-9/11 era, still doesn't know to turn out her pockets and bags for the x-ray machine? Tsk, tsk. She gets drawn aside and frisked. Like any other well-off American kid, she is flabbergasted at not being given the princess treatment. So, she writes an op-ed for the local paper.

I understand the need for additional security at airports, and I agree all travelers and their luggage must be checked thoroughly. I also understand why security guards get annoyed when people don't follow simple directions.

I even understand that suspicion of Muslims is inevitable because although certainly not all Muslims are terrorists, the terrorists who have struck our — I repeat, our — country were Muslims.

What I don't understand is why any of that — beards or head scarves included — allows bullying of American Muslims by airport security officials.

Bullying, she calls it.

Look, Miss Center of the Universe. The TSA agent at Hartsfield processed a hundred people not all that much different from you before you ever met him. He processed hundreds more after you were gone. It isn't his job to grok you & your Personal Issues. Everyone is inconvenienced by these probably useless patdowns. Had you hung around, you would have seen them pulling people randomly, or for boneheadedness similar to yours, regardless of ethnicity or religion. You can listen to the local radio as well as I can, and hear how many people wish the TSA would just herd Muslims into a separate line, and leave everyone else the hell alone. But that won't happen, this being America and everything. Until a lot more people and places get blown up, at least.

A whole lot of people died in a most horrible way the other day, on a train in India. That's what religious hate looks like--not you & your ruffled feathers. Don't like what terrorism is doing to domestic travel? Blame the terrorists. And no one else.

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