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Sikh group develops app to report airport profiling
The Sikh Coalition unveils new app to combat racial profiling.
April 30th, 2012
05:26 PM ET

Sikh group develops app to report airport profiling

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Washington (CNN)–
- Airline travelers who feel they've been harassed at airport check-ins by screeners now have a speedier outlet on which to complain right at their fingertips.

The Sikh Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group, on Monday released a mobile application on iPhones and Android phones giving passengers who feel they've been racially or religiously profiled a way to speak out against screeners with the Transportation Security Administration.

The free mobile app, FlyRights, prompts disgruntled passengers with questions and allows them to quickly check the basis on which they feel they've been discriminated, then name the airport where the incident occurred, the airline and the flight number.

The complaints are then forwarded to the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The passenger can also include the badge number of the TSA agent they believe profiled them and then write a brief summary of what took place. The questionnaire also prompts the passengers for information they might not have thought of, such as potential witnesses.

The developers of the app say the goal is to make the process of filing complaints easier so that people will actually do it when they feel they've been wronged.

FlyRights was launched at midnight, and it already had two complaints by midmorning.

"FlyRights app will help us tell the government that profiling is still a reality for community members and is going to be an invaluable tool towards the efforts calling for TSA to institute measures to stop such discrimination," said Priya Murthy, spokeswoman for the South Asian Americans Leading Together, a civil rights group.

The TSA says it is committed to treating each traveler with dignity and respect throughout the screening process. Passengers who have concerns can speak to a TSA supervisor, submit a complaint online or file a civil rights complaint.

"TSA does not profile passengers on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion," said Sterling Payne, TSA spokesman.

Amardeep Singh, with the Sikh Coalition, told reporters at a news conference, "The TSA to their credit will always say, 'We don't profile. Profiling is wrong, and it's counterproductive.' The problem is that, in our estimation, the TSA has way too long a leash on their screeners. So they're getting to have their cake and eat it, too. They can say don't profile, but they take no effective measures to prevent it."

The app developers hope the mobile technology will subsequently lead to applications for school bullying and employment discrimination.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Sikh

soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. jeff S

    "TSA does not profile passengers on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion," said Sterling Payne, TSA spokesman."

    Thats true. They profile based on the fact that you bought a plane ticket. I wonder how everyone would feel being subjected to breathalyzers just because they went to a bar. Or their homes searched for meth production because they bought cold meds.

    What the TSA is doing is a writ of acceptance.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  2. minka

    I steal and sniff woman's panties, it doesn't make me a rapist does it.

    May 1, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • DrBakroKiMaaChodo

      It does make you a thief and a pervert with sick tendencies that will someday may turn you into a rapist.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • snowdogg

      Probably makes you happy... woman with panties missing, no so much.

      May 1, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  3. Reality

    All bow to another "messiah" aka Guru Nanak !! It is unfortunate that many of his "Sikhers" resemble bin Laden and other terrorists in skin tone, clothing and hair growth. Tis the reason why bin Laden was able to hide in Pakistan for so many years. Bottom line: TSA and the rest of us need to make sure anyone resembling a terrorist is checked out i.e. a reality of safety and life!! Please note that I play golf once a week with my good and gracious Sikh neighbor.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • DrBakroKiMaaChodo

      You mind telling your sikh neighbor your true intentions as to how you feel about him?

      May 1, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Reality

      Considering my Sikh friend's golf game is so bad, it is obvious he does not have the technical skills to be a terrorist. 🙂 Plus, I "googled" Sikh theology and conduct and am impressed with their views on peace. Theology, not so much since it another religion based on the messiah syndrome.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • gliese42

      Most young Sikhs have discarded the turban.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Rav

      Sikhs don't resemble the terrorists that hijacked planes on 9-11. What some of you guys are stating is just stereotyping. With this profiling, it will be easy for these guys to dye their hair blond and use blue contacts to get away with their next plot.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  4. Tufayyur Aoud

    Americans need to stop being racist against other people and other religions. Every country, and Every Religion has people who are bad and people who are good. The people screaming the loudest commit some of the worst crimes in America.
    Americans are not better than other people. 911 was the direct result of racist Americans and that is a fact. I am not saying it was right but Americans brought this animosity on themselves. And the fact is that the wrong people were accused of 911.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • User21

      umm... what? I hope you're joking because if you're not then you be delusional or suffer from a mental condition

      May 1, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • USA 100%

      dude your sick if you think USA had it coming. Nice name by the way...I think my 6year old kid shot you in call of duty MW3.
      Lucky you you get to have freedom and privledges.
      Typical OXYGEN THEIF YOU ARE.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • JudgeDB

      While "had it coming" might be a stretch, you have to be a real idiot to not see that the enemies the US has been creating over the world for the past 50 years are becoming more numerous and belligerent. The problem is that most people in the US are just too disconnected to even know why so many people hate our government. They would rather watch football or American Idol than learn how the idiots they keep electing to represent them are giving the entire country a bad name with the majority of foreign nations. We shouldn't have a military presence in so many foreign countries, we aren't the world police. We shouldn't be dictating policies to other sovereign foreign nations regarding their own resources and we sure as hell shouldn't be arming Israel with brand new weapons and technology so that they can continue to encroach on their neighbors' territory.

      May 1, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  5. JJ

    ""TSA does not profile passengers on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion," said Sterling Payne, TSA spokesman." Of course not. But the dweebs who work for you most certainly do.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Duke

      I agree; in my experiences the TSA agents are addicted to their new-found power and act like corrupt mini 3rd world dictators. It seems often they are looking for a fight and profiling helps them get one. They certainly don't make me proud that they represent my country.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  6. johnfrichardson

    Good for them!

    May 1, 2012 at 7:26 am |
  7. Pokeypup

    Nice job on doing TSA and Homelands job for them holy crap doesn't anyone read these days, they will take this app and it's database and hunt you down and make things even worse sheez.....

    May 1, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • HR Complaints

      Worse for whom? The Arabs and Orientals who complain?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Pokeypup

      Worse for whomever uses the app.....

      May 1, 2012 at 7:37 am |
  8. PRAYER CREATES ATHEISTS

    PROVEN FACT.

    THE END.

    AMEN.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:25 am |
  9. Pres

    Do NOT forget that Sikhs did hijack Indian Airlines planes in 1983; Sikhs were involved in killings of innocent people and even one Police Commissioner right on Golden Temple, when that Police Commissioner visited to pray God. So do NOT over-sympathy to these ex-terrorists Sikhs.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • Bon Jovi Rules

      What?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • caw

      Would you like me start a list of crimes White Christian Americans have committed? Wait...I do not have time for such a list. Just because a small percentage of a group, whether religion, race or culture, do bad things does not mean the ENTIRE group is guilty of it.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • gliese42

      Indian army invaded the Sikh holy temple and the Sikhs retaliated.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Rav

      The indian government is s terrorist state that killed over 100,000 SIkhs in 1984. They killed many people in an attack on their holy shrine and then organized progroms where > 20,000 Sikhs were killed by Hindu mobs in 1984. The Congress leaders organized mobs to kill/burn every Sikh man, women and child. India being the great democratic country then took to killing youth in the Sikh state of Punjab. Hindus are trying to give Sikhs a bad name by labelling those that fought against the mobs and terrorist hindu state as terrorist. The world never came to the aid of Sikhs when they were killed in an organized genocide. India is a great democracy where you are not ensured rights and can be killed by mobs because you are of a different religion- Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh etc.

      May 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  10. I LOVE TOILET PAPER

    Profiling is a good thing. It's positive. I like it. I prefer it. I think it needs to be done more. Hey, I have an idea. If you don't want to be profiled, then stop living up to stereotypes. Interesting concept, ain't it? Awfully novel idea, eh?

    May 1, 2012 at 6:10 am |
    • SciMan

      Exactly. Stereotypes only persist when they generally WORK and are consistent with reality.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:25 am |
    • Bon Jovi Rules

      Contrary to popular belief, Bon Jovi are not Satanists. They are just excelent Heavy Metal rockers that parents think are Satanists and they aren't really evil at all despite the hardcore nature of their music.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:37 am |
    • caw

      Since the MAJORITY of all crime committed in America is done by White americans, I think in the interest of profiling that all white americans should be arrested. They are required to prove their innocence before being released.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:03 am |
    • William

      Pardon me? I think not. You are incorrect about crime. You are wrong.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      @ caw ... I think you need to take a quick look at a little but well-known piece of paper called the U.S. Consti'tution. Ever hear of it? What it says might suprise you.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • maestra730

      Well said.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • USA 100%

      LMAO I agree!
      If im boarding a flight with a dude who is dressed like Bin LADEN The TSA better look under that turban. Why not they make me take off my yankees cap!

      May 1, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  11. trekfuel

    like someone else said, profiling works. the tsa can profile me all they want, i have nothing to hide.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:49 am |
  12. philhuggins

    Test

    May 1, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  13. philhuggins

    Unfortunately, profiling works.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • WACA

      How does profiling work? If you stop everybody with turbans why would the terrorists try to fly wearing a turban? They would simply remove their beard and turbans and then beat the profiling. Did any 9/11 terrorist wear a turban? Nope. Instead concentrate on training and better equipment?

      May 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven

    May 1, 2012 at 5:27 am |
    • SciMan

      Prayer gas been show in scientific studies to harm medical patients who know they are being prayed for, while offering no benefits.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/31/health/31pray.html

      May 1, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • well

      Religious people have been shown in countless studies to live longer, heal faster, use fewer drugs or alcohol, be happier and more content than non-religious people.

      May 1, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • caw

      As soon as God is willing to come perform a TRUE miracle (not a statistical anomaly) I'll be glad to believe in him. I have a glass of water here on my desk. If it turns to wine I'm a believer....waiting....waiting....waiting....waiting....nope.

      May 1, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      May 1, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  15. John

    This is just a training issue. Sikhs should be randomly screened just like anyone else. I did an airport project in India once and If anything, Rural Sikhs are profiled at Indian airports not so much for security anymore but because of excessive drinking. They drink in Punjab like fish as soon as they get to leave home they often delay flights. Not urban Sikhs, but once from small towns and country going to Delhi.

    But from a training perspective, the TSA should know the difference between a Sikh and Islamic fundamentalist. Harassment is never just the screening but asking about why they don't cut their hair or even worse, questions about Allah and Islam (Sikh Armies have traditionally fought Islam and Hindu's). And this usually this happens when the TSA assumes the bearded fellow is a tourist who will cower in fear of US security threats and they cross the line – but then it turns out the person is a born American citizen. Trouble.

    Its like if you were bald and profiling for skin heads and you pulled out cancer patients and Buddhist monks just because they are bald.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:44 am |
    • shifafire

      the rest of your reply was spot on so I want to correct the one inaccurate fact.

      jsikhs don't fight hindus. sikhs originated as the military faction of hindus meant to protect them from frequent invaders from the northwest. in many hindu families in the northwest, it is the tradition that the eldest boy becomes a sikh.

      yes, there was a separatist movement in the 80's by some sikhs (not all). that is over completely. perhaps that is why the confusion.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:59 am |
    • Sumit

      Correct your facts...Sikhs has never fought against hindus..rather they fought against those who has tried attacking our country..and we are proud of them.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  16. fonseka3

    AMERICANS HAVE ONLY MANAGED TO CREATE MILLIONS OF ENEMIES IN THEIR SHORT BLOODY HISTORY. AND THEY ARE MAKING MORE ENEMIES (SIKHS) THANKS TO THEIR IGNORANCE.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Eric

      And your caps lock key is making enemies, too.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:25 am |
  17. Portland tony

    GOOD....Everyone who travels should have a conduit to complain about inappropriate behavior on the part of TSA screening personnel. On the other hand travelers should know what rules to follow and what to expect when boarding at a US airport.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • queuebert

      At the time I loaded this page, there were 15 comments, Yours is the only one that is reasonable and on-topic. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:37 am |
    • shifafire

      good comment!

      and @ queuebert – hahahahahaha!

      May 1, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  18. Reality

    All bow to another "messiah" aka Guru Nanak !! It is unfortunate that many of his followers resemble Bin Laden.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Portland tony

      Bad guys don't necessarily dress up in a bin Ladin costume to do evil stuff.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • wasso

      Even more bushy..

      May 1, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • shifafire

      it is an app for everyone. for you too.

      why is it unfortunate ? sikhs are a very large-hearted, extremely jolly and generous race. yes, they have a short fuse but it is always more bark than bite. and they are the butts of thousands of "sikh jokes" (google them) and never protest them as discrimination but laugh along with others at themselves. i admire them.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:09 am |
  19. Rag McElinniy

    Such a bullcrap application. I was just in London and some turban-wearing Singh pulled my white face out of the crown and did a random screening on me. Tons of Arabs across the pond are themselves conducting this rediculous screenings. Complaints in the UK aren't as common, though. This victimizaton complex we have in the US of A needs to change

    April 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Trask

      You'd better watch your step around them security wallahs. They've got the right to check you for extra ugliness.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven liar. Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is evidence of psychosis.
      Proven

      April 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Hitchens

      It appears to be a false just sayin post.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • just sayin

      Nope

      April 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      The just say'n you are thinking of was a religous fraud nut who posted under many different names. I only post under this. I am the real one.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Hitchens

      No you are not.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Nope

      Hitchens

      nope.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • shifafire

      we have a saying in india: dava aur dua i.e. medicines and prayer – you need both. similar analogy that is more understandable is when we say success is 99% hard work and 1% inspiration.

      it is never either/or. you need faith. you need to take some physical action to give the faith a way to work. in anything.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • arathan

      Id prefer to teach my children about proven science rather then mythology.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:50 am |
    • nope

      Nope
      nope

      May 1, 2012 at 5:26 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.