City of Brass

City of Brass

flying while brown

Having just returned from an overseas trip, I am particularly sensitive to the issue of racial profiling of muslims by airlines. Or more colloquially, “flying while brown”. There are any number of innocent things you can do on a plane that only seem suspicious when done by a brown; be they muslim or Sikh or even Jewish. The ultimate example of this was the case of Iraqi blogger Raed Jarrar, whose innocent shirt with Arabic lettering got him into trouble on a Jet Blue flight. That incident was enough for me to personally vow never to fly Jet Blue again; I am quite gratified to read that just last week, Raed was awarded $240,000 in damages from Jet Blue and the TSA for that violation of his civil liberties. It’s important to take two things away from this affair; one, that security profiling is not inherently bad, but when applied unjustly and hysterically does more harm than good to airline security, and two, that when the security procedures over-step their bounds, the justice system is there to redress the wrong. Those of us who are brown and fly often should take heart in this outcome and not wear victimization on our sleeves.


Related – post on this from the Upgrade: Travel Better blog and another by Amy Sullivan at TIME: Swampland. Also, my classic post, “suspicious things I’ve done on an airplane

Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.

Previous Posts

Deen and Mohabbat: There is no faith without love
This is a guest post by Yusuf Zakir. My religion--Islam--is discussed and portrayed in the media quite a lot these days, much to my chagrin. The American public is, generally, fearful of Muslims. Anti-Islamic sentiment is at an all-time ...

posted 10:10:30pm Oct. 07, 2015 | read full post »

nationwide hate rallies planned at mosques Oct 9-10, Homeland Security conf call
This weekend, there is a planned, armed protest "in every country, at every mosque" by a group called the "Global Rally for Humanity". So far, the protests are falling short of global, but they do have 21 mosques, community centers and ...

posted 1:40:08pm Oct. 06, 2015 | read full post »

why don't they condemn?
Ever since 9-11, and well before it, this is the litany of accusation that ordinary Muslim Americans have had to endure: Muslims do not condemn - there is no million Muslim march against terrorism. Islam is an inherently violent ...

posted 1:47:45pm Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

a Republican, Muslim Mayor of St Louis?
Umar Lee is many things - a native ...

posted 1:09:57am Sep. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Abrahamic Convergence - inspiration, forgiveness, and tragedy
This week is a truly portentous one for Muslims, Jews, and Catholics. In one week, we have Yom Kippur, the Day of Arafat and Eid ul Adha, and Pope Francis' first visit to the United States. I like the term "Abrahamic Convergence" for this sort ...

posted 3:08:38pm Sep. 24, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.