Ali Hasni's Blog

Racial Profiling >>matter of grave concern

Posted in Public, Random by Ali on February 6, 2010

Editor’s note: Nafees A. Syed, a senior at Harvard University majoring in government, is an editorial editor at The Harvard Crimson as well as a senior editor and columnist for the Harvard-MIT journal on Islam and society, Ascent. She is chairwoman of the Harvard Institute of Politics Policy Group on Racial Profiling.

(CNN) — It seems that now someone called “Barack Hussein Obama” can be pulled aside and patted down merely because of his name. But while our president has the benefit of Air Force One, millions of us with a “funny name” (Muslim and otherwise) do not. Like me.

I’ve consistently faced “random” selections for extra screening at the airport after I decided to wear the hijab, or Muslim head covering. I’ve been told to take my head scarf off or have my head probed while the passengers in front of me offered pitying smiles as they rushed to their flights.

One time, the woman in front of me had a hairdo that could pose more of a security threat than any head scarf could. Muslim women wear the hijab as a symbol of modesty, to be judged not by their appearance.
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed that people would be judged for “the content of their character.” However, the Transportation Security Administration is judging me and other Muslims by the way we look.
The TSA uses the hijab to profile Muslim women, and passengers can now expect a full-body pat-down, an appallingly invasive “enhanced pat-down search that could include the chest and groin, or a planned “mind-scan” that would track people’s reaction to terrorist symbols. What’s next, palm reading?

At an airport with a full body scanner, I can have the image of my body displayed before a stranger — virtual nudity. Do they seriously have a blank check on our bodies? Of course I care about profiling partly because I’m affected. But does one have to face this issue to feel that it’s wrong? After all, it is difficult to imagine ourselves in other people’s shoes when we don’t have to.

It’s hard for me too. Especially over the past month, I’ve been shocked at the comments about my faith, and the sometimes-prejudiced support for racial profiling. Radio host Mike Gallagher said, “There should be a separate line to scrutinize anybody with the name Abdul or Ahmed or Mohammed.” Sorry Paula Abdul and Muhammad Ali, or anyone with the world’s most common name, Muhammad.

For people who aren’t affected by racial profiling at airports, imagine this: The TSA implements a new rule to counter drunken driving, which kills over 13,000 Americans every year. People who are not Muslim have to go through a Breathalyzer test before they can enter their vehicle. Muslims don’t drink alcohol and are, therefore, exempt. Ridiculous? I agree.

I know that what I am going through is just the tip of the iceberg of racial profiling in our country. Thirty-two million Americans report that they have been the victims of racial profiling. Racial profiling violates the U.S. Constitution, is ineffective and trickles down to the workplace, schools and elsewhere.

You also run into problems when you justify profiling nearly one in every four people in the world. There are Muslims of every possible race, making profiling practically futile. Fareed Zakaria said it best: “When you’re trying to find a needle in a haystack, adding hay does not help you.”

Putting ethical and pragmatic reasons aside, it’s hard to justify not caring. Even if racial profiling doesn’t affect us, it affects our friends, family members, co-workers, doctors, television personalities — the list goes on. There are some people who don’t know Muslims and are numb to realizing the effects of profiling. Therein lies the problem.

According to the Pew Research Center, people who know Muslims are less likely to have negative views of them. Co-existence is a dismal possibility unless people go to the source to find out about Islam, not skewed Web sites.

And Muslims, here’s something to think about: If your knowledge of Islam came from common stereotypes, wouldn’t you also be misinformed about the faith and its followers? The Quran says, “[God has] made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another (49:13).” So get to know your fellow Americans.

There are some Americans who think Muslims are terrorists and some Muslims who think that other Americans are willfully ignorant. Neither group deserves such a label. Psychologist Henri Tajfel, who was a Holocaust survivor, explained how we isolate ourselves into an “in-group” and facilitate discrimination of an “out-group.”
Religious profiling boxes Muslims into a category separate from Americans. We can’t accept that distinction. Let’s all think outside of the box.

It’s essential for U.S. security that airport screening be done. But we need to stop the inflation of procedures that make our society more afraid and less secure. The TSA needs to stop and evaluate methods that are more effective, less invasive, and don’t discriminate based on religion or race.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Nafees A. Syed.

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France considering to Ban Hijab in Public Places!!

Posted in Public, Random by Ali on January 12, 2010

What does it take for a country to say it is democratic & secular? …
Well most of you are aware of what it really takes…

Democracy is where the Government is of the People, By The People and For the People
Lets not forget the most important part FOR THE PEOPLE>>

While we know the issue of veil being banned in schools and colleges in a so called secular and democratic country France is old. However now that it is considering banning veils for woman in Public Places and imposing fine for those who wear..

Published in Times of India on Jan09 in Times Global

Is it really keeping up to secularity seeing that wearing the traditional veil is part of Muslim religious practice. The wearing of this clothing item is a big part of the Muslim religion. Banning this is ridiculous and will upset the Muslim population around the globe. Saying that you cannot practice your religion is complete discrimination by France and is intolerant of the Muslim people of France and around the globe, who should be free to do what they like and what is a part of their religion.

Protecting oneself in Public Places is only necessary and they do not understand that,, saying… Muslim women can do what ever they want at their home, but not wear in public!

France has a very low Muslim population. A French poll released last year clearly states that less than 3% of the French population is comprised of Muslim people. This is an extremely low amount and will affect fewer than a million people, that’s what they say to consider the law being imposed!

Do any of us know that the Sikhs who are in the Army in UK have got it legalized to wear their turban… and yes they are not too much of population there,, why do we just accept what comes….

they say If Muslims don’t like French policy on the veil, they can move elsewhere. These people have chosen to live in France and if they do disagree with the policy, they can chose to move to a different country. France is the only country with this law…. Is it not a choice of the person to live in a country where he was living since his birth!

fascism is all over, the whole world is become a stage… in the name of democracy and secularism they are hidden dictators… and people who speak against them are not very much in the good looks,,, always attacked by media…. It’s a world where we are being ruled purely by dictators who just wish to have their good…

what these dictators excuse is that French people have Islamophobia; ban on veil softens this problem. do they not understand that Muslim veils cannot harm anyone physically and should not harm anyone emotionally. A piece of cloth on the head of a person can’t practically harm anyone physically. If any psychological disturbance or fear is aroused in anyone due to the action of wearing Hijab, then that fear is irrational and the subject who experiences it needs to be educated. The particular citizens in France who have the so-called “Islamophobia” should be given a course which explains to them in detail the irrationality of their belief or fear. Passing a law that tells Muslims not to wear Hijab for someone else’s baseless fear is targeting the stimulus for the disease, and not the disease itself.

why does the media not say or the world not see that the Intolerance of Muslim veils can be cited as racism. If French people don’t like it and can’t accept it, then that is racism.

France is depriving Muslims of their religious practice. Telling followers of Islam they can’t wear their traditional hijab is just racism from the French government. Muslims have a right to wear what they want, and in this case their traditional head dress. This is harmful to nobody and is simply racism…

People please wakeup,, all you need to is fight with a pen… I am not asking you to get out there on streets and tell the people stories and get more attention for those dictators.. All you need to do is write peaceful letters explaining what Hijab is and why it should not be banned for Muslim to people in the French Parliament who you think won’t be a deaf ear… write to them with respect and attract them with your language so that they get curious and get to know that they should not Ban it! ask your friends to write as well…

be assured that these dictators are just handful and will not be able to take over the complete parliament if we have made the members aware of the truth, and please do not be ignorant thinking that they should know this basic of Islam… there are many who do not know it and literally take this in the negative sense that we degrade women.

Take your stand, please don’t think there are one billion other people to do it.
Believe me, It will be heard….

It is the same country where Ayotollah Khomeni was in Exile… It is the same country where he was being interviewed 5 times a day for every day till he stayed there… All the people of France are not victims of these dictators… Present Islam the way it was presented during the Islamic Revolution of Iran in France… Make them aware.. that we belong to the same religion of the very person the respected and allowed him to stay there..

I firmly believe that more than a intellectual debate with these people, we need to do Islamic actions… and that will set an impression and create curiosity for them.

Please do the very little you can do!