Thursday, 23 August 2007

Sikhs Under Tighter Surveillances at Airports

This has obviously got much to do with brothers of the Sikh faith. It is not impossible that Muslims too will be subject to these checks. Just a heads-up!

Four Sikhs Subjected to Mandatory Turban Pat Downs Over Past Two Weeks

New York, New York (August 19, 2007) - The Sikh Coalition has learned that Sikhs are being subjected to heightened screening procedures, including mandatory turban pat downs, at all U.S. Airports.

The Coalition became aware of the change not from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), but through 4 Sikh air travelers who were subject to mandatory turban pat downs during the past two weeks. While theTSA acknowledges a change in policy has occurred, it has declined to providedetails of the policy change for professed security reasons.

The new procedures are in direct contradiction to a detailed turbanscreening <> policy( that has been in placesince November 2001.

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks in New York andWashington, D.C. Sikh<> community groups worked closely (< with Department of Transportation officials to devise an airport screeningprotocol that would meet national security requirements, while safeguarding religious pluralism.

The Sikh Coalition is very concerned that a policy affecting millions of Sikh air travelers went into effect without any community group input. The resulting procedure revokes longstanding regulations on which our community has come to depend, and opens the door to legitimizing practices that undermine religious pluralism.

The Sikh Coalition is sending this advisory to alert millions of Sikh airtravelers of the change and to provide advice on what to do if subjected tothe new screening procedure.

What is Happening?

Over the past two weeks, four Sikhs -- Prabhjit Singh, Inderpreet Singh,Pritpal Singh, and Prabhjot Singh --- were all required to submit to turbanpat downs in order to board an airplane. At San Francisco International Airport, where three of the incidents occurred, TSA screeners insisted that Sikh travelers submit to pat downs oftheir turbans as a condition of flying on both domestic and international flights.

Similarly, at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, a Sikh air traveler was pulled aside by TSA screeners and told his turban would be patted down before boarding this past week. When requested, screeners did agree in three instances to conduct additional screening in a private area. TSA screeners, however, refused a request inone instance to wand the turban instead of patting it down. Screeners also refused to provide a copy of the new screening guidelines citing security concerns.

The Sikh Coalition's Response to the Policy Change

Since the Coalition first learned of the new procedures this past Thursday, we have been working to confirm whether a change in policy has occurred andto understand the parameters of the new policy.

On Friday, August 17th, a TSA representative confirmed that a change inairport search procedures has occurred. The TSA, however, refuses to provide the public with a copy of the new search policies, citing security concerns.

Nevertheless, the TSA has assured the Sikh Coalition that it will provide the Coalition with information it can share with the Sikh community by Monday, August 20th. The TSA has also promised to meet with Sikh Coalition staff members early this coming week to discuss the Sikhcommunity's concerns about the new policy.The Coalition will report back to the Sikh community once it reviews theinformation the TSA provides on Monday, and after it meets with the TSA later this week.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Let us Believe...

In all distress, there is comfort;
in moments of darkness, there is light;
in moment of despair, there is hope.

There has to be - because we are Muslims.

In actual fact, we have to unite. Unity in the Ummah is the only way we can overcome adversities such as this. But there is always hope when all else is lost. There are always ways to help.

Hope is through Allah and to him alone. Let's pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters who steadfast believe in becoming better Muslims - the same way we should pray for ourselves!

Search for More Hijabs Online!

Hijab Haven is not responsible for apparel in external sites. Not all outfits fulfill the Hijab requirement when in the presence of non-Mahram men. As a reminder, please use them responsibly.