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Sikhs, Muslims Lobby Against Racial Profiling

WASHINGTON (RNS) Sikh and Muslim groups are pushing Congress to pass
a bill prohibiting racial profiling that’s been languishing for more than nine years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Two groups, Muslim Advocates and the Sikh Coalition, are seeking passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, which was first introduced in 2001 and is currently sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich.
The bill would prohibit racial profiling by law enforcement agencies and allow any person who is the victim of profiling to sue for “declaratory or injunctive relief.”
“It’s absolutely critical for Congress to weigh in and ban racial, religious profiling by law enforcement,” said Farhana Khera, president and executive director of Muslim Advocates, who was scheduled to testify Thursday (June 17) before a House subcommittee.
“It’s simply bad policing. It’s wrong and counterproductive.”
There are an estimated 6 million Muslims and Sikhs living in the United States, and a significant number have faced secondary airport screenings since 9/11, said Amardeep Singh, director of programs at the Sikh Coalition.
“It’s not fair, not safe, not American to be subjecting our community to this extra scrutiny,” Singh said. “We’re losing our focus and not keeping our eye on the ball when it comes to air traffic safety.”
Last month, Singh and his 18-month-old son Azaad were selected for additional screening at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. Security personnel found Elmo books and a toy truck inside Azaad’s bag, Singh said.
“I had to grab him, get him in the glass box and had to hold him while he was crying as a screener patted him down,” Singh said. “It’s just a mess. Why is my son being punished for something he had nothing to do with?”
By Fernando Alfonso III
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • sam

    while reading this article I was thinking yes i agree that people shouldnt be racist and make racist judgements just because of your religious background and just because terroists used relgion as an acuse to kill thousands upon thousands of inocent people in the usa and also uk doesnt mean we have to dicrimante people because of race i personaly think its disgusting but i do believe in checking everybody before they get on to an aircraft for the safety of passengers and members of staff yes they checked mr singh and his son no because of his background or religion but because airport staff have a duty to protect passengers and other members of staff who knows what any person might be carrying its not just muslims or sikhs that get searched but its also christian americans and british who get searched you cant always cry wolf because your apart of a religion and say its a discrimantion on islam or sikhism arnt they judgeing also us because of our religious background i think its stupid that people cant get on with each other because of what they are nobody ever says i think its racism that the airport secruity is checking me because im christian catholic/protestant yes i understand that muslim terrorist hijacked a plane and crashed into the twin towers but what about northern ireland and the trouble they have between protestant and catholic communitys and how the ira bombed london you dont hear catholics /protestants saying why are they checking my bags i myself am fed up with taking my shoes belt and opening my bag up and having to buy liquids under 50ml but i know i have to follow rules and regulations for a safe journey to my destination i dont kick up a fuss i just do it to make my travel easy i wish people would stop using relgion as an accuse and get on with there lifes who cares what color race or religion you are its not a bout that its about safety for paseengers and staff to get from a to b without any problems like the japanise saying they always check me because what happened in pearl harbour or bristish and americans saying they always check me because we won the 2nd world war and bombed germany these people who use relgion as an accuse should really be ashamed of there selfs as even in the koran it states that islam followers should not judge as he or she is not allah and only allah can judge as allah is creator and we are his slaves so he can take your life if allah so wishes .so please please stop using relgion as an excuse and get on with your lifes and stop involveing relgion and just do as your asked in an airport !!!!!!!!!

  • Garrett

    let all those that will be terrorist wear a bright yellow cape… then everyone will complain that tose waring bright yellow capes are being profiled…
    Get over it folks! There is a reason for the profiling and until a nation stands up against the deadly of their own there will be profiling… Like the countries creaating the terrorism are NOT profiling??? HELLO!!!!! There are muslims that do not support the terrorists, just as there were Japenese, Germans, Koreans, Vietnamese that did not support country’s activities… ONCE a sovereignty is being threatened, it is time for profiling… If my family is going to be made safer from profiling then I am all for it — because I know the enemies of my state are profiling us for attack!

  • 8v7pu
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