Another TSA Miscalculation?

February 3, 2012

The Sikh Coalition has obtained previously unreleased TSA documents.  Written in 2009, these documents show that the agency can pursue several auditing options to weed out racial and religious profiling.  In addition, the authors of the document apparently miscalculated the effectiveness of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines, recommending that TSA determine which auditing option to implement “during the interim period of time it takes to deploy advance[d] passenger screening technologies” and claiming “that advance[d] screening technologies, beyond those deployed [in 2009] will reduce or possibly eliminate perceptive profiling[.]”  As it turns out, Sikhs are still subjected to secondary pat down screenings, even after passing through AIT machines without incident, and other communities continue to report discriminatory treatment by TSA  personnel.  In this context, TSA needs to take its auditing options more seriously.

Internal TSA Documents Exposed by Sikh Coalition





Banning Burqas in France

July 26, 2010

On June 13 2010, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy was determined to introduce a bill to ban Muslim women from wearing burqas or niqabs, despite warnings from France’s highest constitutional body that the ban would infringe constitutional rights.

Under the guise of liberating Muslim women from the full veil, the bill passed in France’s lower house with flying colors; 335 votes were in favor of the ban, while 1 vote was against the ban.  If the bill passes through the Senate in September, which Sarkozy believes will not be a problem, our Muslim sisters will face a 150 Euro fine if seen covering their face in public.

Whether you agree with women wearing full burqas is not the point.  The point is that the government of France is targeting Muslim women and criminalizing them for the way they practice their faith, all in the name of gender equality.  When has revoking women’s basic freedom to choose ever resulted in gender equality?  As Sikhs, we know all too well that being forced to remove an article of our faith from our identities does not lead to liberation.  Imagine the heavy decisions that lay ahead for our Muslim sisters.  What will they feel on the day that the law is implemented and they are forced to decide between the law and their faith? Read the rest of this entry »