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Sikh Americans oppose turban screening at airports
November 8th, 2010
01:33 PM ET

Sikh Americans oppose turban screening at airports

Three of the largest Sikh advocacy groups in the United States are opposing airport passenger screening measures they say require hand-searches of turbans, despite the use of electronic imaging technology.

The Sikh Coalition, United Sikhs and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund are lobbying members of Congress in an effort to pressure federal transportation authorities to re-examine a policy they say unfairly scrutinizes members of the Sikh community.

"Sikh Americans are already looked at differently in this country," said the Sikh Coalition's director of programs, Amardeep Singh. "Once you start pulling Sikhs aside for extra screening, it sends a message that the government is suspicious of them for the same reasons [other passengers] are suspicious of them."

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration adjusted security procedures in 2007 to include provisions for "bulky" clothing that includes headwear, according to an agency statement.

Removal of all headwear is recommended, it said, but the rules are meant to accommodate passengers who may not want to remove the items for religious, medical, or other reasons.

Transportation officials would not confirm whether "advanced imaging technology" can sufficiently see through turbans, citing security reasons.

Despite the advent of the advanced technology, transportation security officers are permitted to use "professional discretion" in determining if a particular item of clothing should be subject to further screening, according to the statement.

Authorities say the policy has remained unchanged since 2007, but Sikh advocacy groups argue that airport security procedures were recently ramped up to include extra screening for all turban-wearing passengers.

Singh said U.S. Sikh groups that had once observed "a patchwork of [airport security] policies" are now witnessing a process in which "all turbans are searched."

CNN was not able to independently verify that claim.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Religious liberty • Sikh

soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. GSA

    @honestanon – i'm stuck in moderation, i'll figure out which word is on their list and will try and get my post through.

    November 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • honestanon

      I got stuck on ar-se, of all things..

      November 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  2. GSA

    @honestanon
    Just a quick one here but if you do a bit of research you will see many clashes at Gurdwaras around the World and a great number of them are from good, honest hard-working Sikhs who see that a few individuals with an extremist viewpoint try to make their way in to our Gurdwaras, gain trust and then later show their true colors by trying to implement their extremist views. The moderates have stood up and fought back but unfortunately this usually ends in bloodshed for both sides and it does not help one bit to stop radicals from their agenda. Also the media will usually show this as a clash of Sikhs and make it seem like we are all animals when in fact it is the just fighting back the radicals, so again the media plays to the unfounded fears of the public about Sikhs.
    Furthermore Sikhs have been prominent (based on the fact that their world population is relatively small) in the Indian army, British Army and now are going onto a second and third generation in the US and Canadian armies as well as all over Europe. They have fought long and hard and the Sikh community takes pride in these members and their valiant efforts towards the greater good.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • honestanon

      GSA

      Your second paragraph starting with 'Furthermore' describes the the perception that I, and I believe most folks in the US have about Sikhs. Peaceful, honorable, diligent, and devout. That's why all this about the Sikh extremists surprises me. I'm probably not alone in this.

      *eats cheesecake with one hand, types with other...

      November 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ GSA

      "Also the media will usually show this as a clash of Sikhs"

      Then you have to work with the media and play on its need to air a passionate and righteous news story.

      I can't get my other response out. I'll stay on it.

      November 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
  3. GSA

    @honestanon – yeah all the different time zones sometimes make it impossible to read, react and respond immediately. Take your time and I always respect the feedback since I can always learn something new and also get a discussion going and see it from a different viewpoint.

    November 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  4. GSA

    @Texas Girl
    You say and I quote – "All Sikhs...because the thousands of years of brutality....etc."
    Did you know that the Sikh religion is only approx. 500 years old? I guess not. You have the right to your opinion but it is obviously wrong, biased and not based on fact so I can't respect that or anything else you say. The only part that makes sense out of your whole argument is that the comparision of brutality is not comparable at all and you are right. All those you have mentioned, Irish, Catholic, Christian and I would include Muslim terrorists as well have all been a million times more brutal than any extremist Sikhs. That does not make it any better or more acceptable but I just wanted to point out another false statement of yours. Also note I use extremists or terrorists because most ppl of those faiths or cultures I mention above are moderate and peace loving ppl. Nice try though, now run back to your X-Box game of Call of Duty where you can be a Intelligence Ops Spec. like you say because I know the US army is not dumb enough to let someone like you in when you have no idea what you speak of.
    @honestanon – I may not agree with what you say but I do respect your opinion and the fact that you at least try and gain knowledge on all subjects you speak about....maybe you should help Texas Girl out, kinda scary that she is apparently fighting wars for your country when she can't figure out simple facts.

    November 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
    • honestanon

      GSA – stay tuned. Just got home – I need to digest all this....
      Thanks for the feedback.

      November 11, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  5. GSA

    @honestanon-Great post and you are accurate in what you have talked about except, I believe, in your last 4 points. Also Bhindrawale (sp?) was a gov't pawn to keep relations with the Sikh population in check and was used to garner votes and political power. Once they realized he was gaining too much power they threw him to the curb and he rallied against the gov't and a extremist sect was rejuvenated with a new leader with a vast array of political and economic power. There were a lot of Sikhs who supported him and his idealogies and wanted their own state because they believed that land was theirs, they farmed and lived on it for centuries and provided the majority of Indias food with a small area. That changed when he started to use extermists like the Babbar Khalsa and commit acts of terror and most of these Sikhs soon realized that they were ready to fight for their rights but unlike Bhindrawale they kept to their faith and would not commit acts of terror against innocents and would not attack unless being attacked. Sounds a bit like what happened with Bin Laden and the US army.

    1 – I never once said Sikhs should be exempt from security inspections. And if the 1984 bombing is the rationale for extra checks on Sikh then by all means those checks should take place. I say againg though, why not all Irish ppl? Christians? Catholics? There are still active terrorist organizations in all of those religions, cultures as well yet they don't seem to recieve any extra attention nor are they checked because of their past actions.

    2 – The insurgents aren't fighting for anything. There are just that, extremists who will never rest or be saisfied anywhere in the World. Yes they have killed mostly Indians which is why you have to understand that the majority of Sikhs, who are moderate, despise these people and the anger, resentment and hate they have brought upon all Sikhs by using our religion and culture as a false basis for there war. They do not in any way represent the Sikhs and if you look further you will see they have there own Gurdwara's and follow their own, militant sub-set of the Sikh religion, which if you read our holy book is totally and completely wrong and immoral and goes against everything a Sikh stands for.

    3 – The moderate Sikh community is not putting up with this shat as you say. Canadian and American laws give them the right to open their own Gurdwaras. They have unlimited funds from North America and India through whatever illegal means and can use that for economic and political power, which as we know rules in the World. The Canadian authorities are well aware who these ppl are and where they reside but there hands are tied. I could point out a few establishments here that harbor these kind and get the police involved, guess what, they legally can't do anything because these extremists use the laws for protection. Which would leave me an open target because I would not get any protection. Would it be a good idea for me to state the obvious over and over again only to be put in harms way with no support from my gov't or the US gov't or Indian gov't for that matter? They use the Sikh religion falsely and I do not even consider them SIkhs, so are you not just as responsible as I to stop these ppl? What have you done to out them or stop them from planting the seeds of hatred in another generation? There are countless other Gurdwaras that Sikhs can go to and pray and the majority of the Sikh community shuns these ppl but they have money and money talks so they open there own businesses, radio stations, tv stations and no one can stop them because the laws here in Canada give them the right. Shall I go take them out myself, put my life and families life in danger only then to be either killed myself or charged by police for taking action? It's a lose-lose situation all around until the gov't can get their shat straight.

    4 – I agree, why does Canada put up with them? Why does the US have Muslims terrorists operating in it's own country and they don't make the appropriate moves to stop them now instead of later? Why does the mafia operate with freedom yet there are not Italians stepping up to stop them? Why do biker gangs terrorize and kill with no real consequence? Why do the Bloods and the Crips run streets, blocks, avenues in the US and they are not stopped by your gov't or you for that matter? You don't have to worry about Sikhs, Muslims or anyone else, you have to worry about all extremists.

    You need to understand that just like you think Sikhs have a knowledge about these extremists that noone else has and that can work to stop them. We also know that they live and work with immunity and the same laws that keep them protected also keep everyone else from stopping them.

    I have a question for you. What have you done to stop extremism or terrorism? Now ask yourself are you the only one smart enough to be vigilante and try to make a difference? Do you think that Sikhs just sit back and except this or maybe just maybe we are vigilante and aware and do what we can but like your efforts it's mostly a waste of time since the gov't has tied itself up with laws that merely allow this to continue.

    November 11, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Texas Girl

      @ GSA – A. This Binwadel guy way a government pawn?? Says YOU. And we know you manufacture facts to suit your purposes.

      B. You are in CANADA?!?!?! Good. Stay there 🙂 LOL

      C1 – ALL Sikhs....because the thousands of years of brutality that has been happening in over there is small in comparison to the Irish, Chirstians, even CATHOLICS, (and they did some SADISTIC stuff to people!!)

      C2 – Then it is the duty of regular Sikhs to turn in these extremists to the law enforcement agencies to clean up. Seriously, do you ever hear of American Christian Extremists planning to blow up Vatican City? No. We would make sure the FBI got a hold of em first.

      C3 – "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing " You are no better than them if you don't fight them. Ask any military service member what THEY put on the line for the safety of their family. They won't give you an excuse about fearing for their life.

      C4 – We are fighting them. We are fighting them ALL. Make no mistake, things would be much MUCH worse if we just gave it up as a lost cause.....we would be putting "my life and families life in danger only then to be either killed myself or charged by police for taking action? It's a lose-lose situation all around"

      If you don't like your situation, and then you take no personal resonsibility to correct it, then you are part of the problem as well.....Oh well, you can always turn in your CANADIAN passport as well. 😉

      And Lastly "What have you done to stop extremism or terrorism?" Well, lemme tell ya, I decided to join the U.S. Military as an Intelligence Ops Spec. I went overseas and served my country in such a manner that resulted in my being recognized for bravery and other actions. I do not need to say exactly what, for it isn't your respect or admiration, or in your case SCORN, that I am looking for. My point is that every stand starts somewhere, with someone, from some situation. it is the courageous men and woman that stand up and say ENOUGH!! to facilitate changes they want to see in the world..... and then there are those that tolerate it, yet incessantly GRIPE about it everyday. Those people are a waste of space and oxygen.

      GSA, are you frontiersman or are are you a waste of space???? (That is a rhetorical question, BTW, only your ACTIONS determine which you are.....)

      November 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ Texas Girl

      A. Debatable based on the tellers perspective. There's a good video on an Indian site with an interview by a female Sikh reporter with the Indian Army general (Bara, Baka, ? I forget) who carried out the attack on the temple. He, of course, feels differently about Bhindranwale (should be correct now..) but then again, are all covert government practices publicized? I do get the clear impression that Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is very much a polarizing hot-button issue with the Sikhs. It seems to be generally recognized that Indira Ghandi felt she had to suppress the Sikhs because of the danger she perceived in their separatist activities. I say all this only to offer information and perspective; I don't feel at all comfortable making any judgments on issues that I am only superficially familiar with.

      B. He told us that with his post on 9 November 2010 at 14:38 pm. I consider Sweden, The Netherlands, Great Britain and Canada as harbingers of things on our horizon here in the States. I watch them all carefully.

      C1. If you're talking about "over there" as the ME in general, agree. If you're talking about Sikhs specifically, double-check. But I'm unsure of your wording.. are you saying that christians are worse than the ME in terms of the scale of accomplishment of horrific deeds? The argument against christians, as far as I'm concerned, is one that needs to be made in the context of cultural development. We all did stupid socio-religious things thousands of years ago. But the use of unlimited history to make an argument without respect to cultural development is kind of weak, i.e., christians really shouldn't be held responsible for the Inquisition ad-infinitum, as is often favored in these blogs. The constant Pee Wee Herman-ish "I know I am but what are you" is tiring.

      C2 – Agree, however it needs to be done properly, such that personal threat is minimized. Canada can be a strange place. Almost a "nanny state", but not quite. As a culture they do seem reluctant to stand up for themselves. Canadian gun control is a good example. The Canadian government is capable of mucking up most anything, including the trial referenced. I understand his apprehension, but sometime we have to fight through our fears. I did it and so, it sounds, did you. And if there are ineffective laws, you work to get them changed.

      C3 through the end of your post – agree without reservation. 5×5. And you know, I've always admired demure military women.

      Hooah. 91B, 194th Armd. Bde. When fatigues were green.
      Thanks and congrats on the recognition.

      @GSA – Forthcoming. But first, my wife made cheesecake, so I beg your indulgence.

      November 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • honestanon

      Crap. I can't get this by 'moderation'. I'll keep at it, sorry.

      November 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • testestest

      association – nope, it's not that.

      November 11, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • honestanon

      2. "The insurgents aren't fighting for anything... and (go) against everything a Sikh stands for." Then they are fanatical psychotics who need to be hunted down and dealt with. This is bizarre to my understanding. Why are they even franchised by your religion as "Sikhs?" Why allow the legal or cultural association at all? Why not freeze their assets as a suspected terrorist organizations under Canadian law? Make them open their books and identify the sources of their funding.

      3. "It's a lose-lose situation all around until the gov't can get their shat straight." How much influence does the electorate have with the function of the Canadian government? Can the Sikhs suggest legal language to regulate the extremist behavior? Can you publicize your cause? I presume that the moderate Sikhs have financial resources as well. How about going at this issue from the government's perspective of not being able to regulate the finances of the Gurwardas in question? Suggest some legislation or new policies for financial oversight. And if a Gurwarda has posters of martyrs hanging up, that inflammatory activity alone should bring into question their nature of their intent, no? I guess the question is, how afraid of them are you, and is the prospect of a world without them worth losing your life over?

      3, again. " they legally can't do anything because these extremists use the laws for protection." Then you need to lobby or do whatever you have to do, legally, to effect change to the laws. Is there safety and power in your numbers? Again, what kind of PR are you using to gain the support and empathy of the non-Sikh public? The public and the government both have to be pretty exasperated with the goings-on.

      4 "Why does the US have Muslims terrorists operating in it's own country and they don't make the appropriate moves to stop them now instead of later? Why does the mafia, biker gangs, Bloods and Crips, etc. operate with freedom?" Probably not a good example. Although 'gang related' crime still occurs, the "organized" aspect is being dealt with. The muslims are, of course, "working the system" over here too, but that will stop at the next incident of islamic violence in the US. Public awareness is also increasing; witness recent state legislation forbidding sharia – and that's just the beginning. Bloated state budgets are causing a second-look at immigration issues. And what exactly do you think the American public's reaction will be the first time it's revealed that a judge, legislator, or city official was coerced by them? And it's just a matter of time before that happens.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • honestanon

      Mod doesn't like part one... one more time.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ GSA

      1. "why not all Irish ppl? Christians? Catholics? There are still active terrorist organizations in all of those religions, cultures...?"

      The sole interest of the IRA was to get British interests out of Ireland. Sinn Fein has since ended it armed conflict in favor of having full representation (of course they never show up..). Sure, there are splinter groups, but they have been inactive and of course realize that any terrorist actions would only serve to the detriment of the goal. So – forget the IRA. It's over. And it was only dangerous to the British. Same case for the Irish "troubles." US terrorists? Sure, we've had a few. But they've not 'organized' under any particular banner (not even the anti-abortion nuts.) In any regard, the domestic acts have been few and far from organized. So the only "terrorists" that are going to garner attention on a world-wide basis are those that actually spread their activity.. world-wide.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • honestanon

      Sikh terrorists, over Ireland and in Ja-pan? Just because they've shown their wil-lingness to use world-wide transportation as an "ar-senal," albeit 25 years ago. I'm sure the behavior of the separatists during your parades hasn't lessened the attention focused on them.

      November 11, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • honestanon

      2. "The insurgents aren't fighting for anything... and (go) against everything a Sikh stands for." Then they are fanatical psychotics who need to be hunted down and dealt with. This is bizarre to my understanding. Why are they even franchised by your religion as "Sikhs?" Why allow the legal or cultural association at all? Why not freeze their assets as a suspected terrorist organizations under Canadian law? Make them open their books and identify the sources of their funding.

      3. "It's a lose-lose situation all around until the gov't can get their shat straight." How much influence does the electorate have with the function of the Canadian government? Can the Sikhs suggest legal language to regulate the extremist behavior? Can you publicize your cause? I presume that the moderate Sikhs have financial resources as well. How about going at this issue from the government's perspective of not being able to regulate the finances of the Gurwardas in question? Suggest some legislation or new policies for financial oversight. And if a Gurwarda has posters of martyrs hanging up, that inflammatory activity alone should bring into question their nature of their intent, no? I guess the question is, how afraid of them are you, and is the prospect of a world without them worth losing your life over?

      3, again. " they legally can't do anything because these extremists use the laws for protection." Then you need to lobby or do whatever you have to do, legally, to effect change to the laws. Is there safety and power in your numbers? Again, what kind of PR are you using to gain the support and empathy of the non-Sikh public? The public and the government both have to be pretty exasperated with the goings-on.

      4 "Why does the US have Muslims terrorists operating in it's own country and they don't make the appropriate moves to stop them now instead of later? Why does the mafia, biker gangs, Bloods and Crips, etc. operate with freedom?" Probably not a good example. Although 'gang related' crime still occurs, the "organized" aspect is being dealt with. The muslims are, of course, "working the system" over here too, but that will stop at the next incident of islamic violence in the US. Public awareness is also increasing; witness recent state legislation forbidding sharia – and that's just the beginning. Bloated state budgets are causing a second-look at immigration issues. And what exactly do you think the American public's reaction will be the first time it's revealed that a judge, legislator, or city official was coerced by them? And it's just a matter of time before that happens.

      Done – Sorry

      November 11, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • honestanon

      * Gurdwaras

      November 12, 2010 at 12:19 am |
  6. GSA

    @k mccormick
    Christians have caused the lagest mass killing in the histroy of the World. Should Christians be singled out?
    The Irish have bombed and killed many ppl, should they be singled out?
    I live in Canada, i've been to the parades and events that you say "celebrate the bombers as hero's", and have seen the news coverage for these events, you're completely wrong. The Sikhs celebrate their heritage/culture at various events throughout the year, we do here in Edmonton. The problem is not the Sikhs but the extremists that show up with their own ppl/floats/demonstrations. Unfortunately, here in Canada, much like in the US, those extremists have the right to do so (a right afforded by Canadian laws) which is horrible for the majority of us Sikhs because rarely do they show anything on the local or national news except those extremists. Also the number of reports received by CSIS after the Air India bombing as to who was to blame was staggering and still it was not handled in the appropriate manner by the gov't and it's various agencies and now the men guilty of the attacks walk free. Many others spoke up and were threatened and others killed, which you would know if you researched the whole story, yet the police and other agencies provided no safety for those and in turn many chose not to speak up in fear of there lives and no assistance from the proper avenues, which is even more backwards since the guilty were taken to and from court in bullet-proof cars and glass boxes around them in court to protect them yet not the victims family members or eyewitnesses. I'm sure all this does not matter to you though and you only believe what the media tells you to.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ GSA

      OK – I did some research, and I need to have a clear understanding. Correct anything if I'm wrong and please forgive any misspelling of proper names. Be aware that none of this is cut and paste – I'm just paraphrasing what I've read (and yes, watched... )

      So –
      Contrary to popular belief (including mine) there most certainly is an extremist component of the Sikh religion. After WW 2 the Punjab region of NW India was split between India and Pakistan. This didn't set well with many Sikhs (residents of the Punjab region) who believed that they should have a separate country designated for them, i.e., "Kahlistan." There were militant Sikh uprisings in India from 1950 to 1980, culminating in 1984 with an attack by the Indian Army on militants inside the Golden Temple. The Indian Army believed that their attack as ordered by Indira Ghandi was preemptive and defensive in nature, and among the militants that were killed in the Temple was one Mr. Binderwala, a leader of the Punjabi separatist movement.

      Now fast forward to the present. There are members of Sikh separatist groups residing in the US and Canada, among other countries. Throughout Canada these Sikhs publicly demonstrate for their desire of a separate "Khalistan" during Sikh holidays with floats and such, decorated with pictures of their martyrs, such as Mr. Binderwala, and others who were killed in the Golden Temple in 1984. These demonstrations have become increasingly less peaceful, and the Canadian government and local municipalities such as Surrey, BC, and Toronto are worried about the issue of containing Sikh separatist behavior vrs. freedom of speech restrictions.

      Am I accurate so far?

      November 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
    • honestanon

      I'm just going to continue while this is all fresh in my 'noggin.

      In June of 1985, members of Babbar Khalsa in Canada, the Sikh separatist group based in India, were responsible for blowing up Air India flight 182 which went down off the west coast of Ireland. Over 300 people died. An hour later a bomb exploded in the baggage handling area of a Tokyo airport, the baggage destined for Air India flight 301 which had 170 passengers. The vast majority of passengers on these flights were of Indian descent.

      The Canadian government screwed-up the trials of the insurgents they believed were responsible, and one of the alleged bombers was allegedly killed by the Canadian police before he was brought to trial. Later, the 'mastermind' of the bombing was found guilty of the bombing, and was found guilty of perjury as well. During the investigation, as you said, many witnesses were either threatened or killed by insurgents; the Canadian police failing to provide security for them. Canada spent over 140 million dollars on the prosecution.

      Correct?

      November 10, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • honestanon

      I'll just finish my thoughts while I wait on your response...

      1. Based on the above – how could you even remotely or rationally entertain any semblance of an idea that Sikhs should be exempt at any time from security inspections?

      2. Why are these insurgents fighting for "Khalistan" in Canada? Why are they killing people, including mostly Indians? What next, blowing up gurdwaras?

      3. Why is the 'moderate' Sikh community putting up with this shat? Why aren't you all working with the Canadian authorities to ferret out these nutters? (this is kind of a repeat question, with some substi-tutions.... we've all heard this before, haven't we?)

      4. Why is Canada putting up with this shat when it's obvious they consisti-tute a clear danger to Canadian society?

      This is MADNESS.. Sheer, total, complete and utter MADNESS. Now we have to worry about sikhs as well as muslims.

      November 10, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  7. k mccormick

    RE: Sikh,s airport security screening.
    Sikh's caused the largest mass killing in the history of Canada by planting a bomb on an Air India flight.
    They still celebrate the bombers as hero,s every year in Vancouver and Toronto.
    They have never been convicted and still hold the same views.
    Should they be singled out? YOU BET!
    K

    November 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  8. GSA

    @honestanon
    Well your perception (wrong as it may be) of the Sikh community is yours to believe. I may not agree with your stance but I also will not judge all Americans by what you say or think, this is only a blog so the backgrounds and reasoning for all thoughts and messages cannot be fully conveyed yet it is great to open dialogue and discussion. As far as my organizations, I have no clue what you're talking about since I have no affiliation with an organization, especially one in the US. Have a great day.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  9. GSA

    @Peace2All
    Great point but I have to ask when you say that:
    "Well, I'm not a TSA/FBI/DHS agent or security officer. However, it seems like common sense to me, that the 'rule' should be applied equally across the board."
    Makes perfect sense but then the whole idea of "random" security checks goes out the window since anyone being pulled out of line could claim prejudice of some kind. Also most Sikhs have a problem with so many checks or more checks than the rules dictate because they are a visible minority and it is based on a persons (airport security) opinion and ppl are generally bias, it's like dirty cop syndrome in a way. It sucks when you've been a good citizen, hard-working, law-abiding and yet you keep getting "flagged", "checked" and stared at because of irrational fears and when all you want is an answer as to why you are being constantly "flagged" are told it is random. I mean the lottery is random but I haven't won one time, yet have a 50% chance of being "flagged" at a security checkpoint. It is really frustrating and would be nice if things were more equal but that being siad I will still fly and will continue, as I always have, to follow all rules and make it easy for the security as I possibly can. That is until honestanon reports me to the TSA and they send me to G-Bay prison, hehe.

    November 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @GSA
      You Said----@Peace2All

      "Great point but I have to ask when you say that:"

      "Well, I'm not a TSA/FBI/DHS agent or security officer. However, it seems like common sense to me, that the 'rule' should be applied equally across the board."
      Makes perfect sense but then the whole idea of "random" security checks goes out the window since anyone being pulled out of line could claim prejudice of some kind.

      ME--I'm sure @GSA you've got to understand that they have to have 'some' criteria to go by, as far as their screenings. If, in the future, we start to get a lot of 'skin-heads' that start blowing up airplanes, .... trust me, you will start to see anyone that even looks like a 'skin-head' being searched. Yes...? And, again, you are proving my point.... pretty much anyone nowadays that get pulled out of line, can claim some kind of 'prejudice.' So, they are darned if they do, and darned if they don't.... then, they(Security) need to make their security criteria, and go with it. Some are going to be mad. That is part of flying nowadays.

      You Said---–
      "
      Also most Sikhs have a problem with so many checks or more checks than the rules dictate because they are a visible minority and it is based on a persons (airport security) opinion and ppl are generally bias, it's like dirty cop syndrome in a way. It sucks when you've been a good citizen, hard-working, law-abiding and yet you keep getting "flagged", "checked" and stared at because of irrational fears and when all you want is an answer as to why you are being constantly "flagged" are told it is random. I mean the lottery is random but I haven't won one time, yet have a 50% chance of being "flagged" at a security checkpoint. It is really frustrating and would be nice if things were more equal but that being siad I will still fly and will continue, as I always have, to follow all rules and make it easy for the security as I possibly can. That is until honestanon reports me to the TSA and they send me to G-Bay prison, hehe."

      ME--Well, @GSA, I am sure it reaaaaaaallllly does 's-u-c-k'....!!!!!! To be singled out, more often than not to be searched, when knowing that you are a law-abiding, and peaceful citizen of the planet.
      I get it. And, unfortunately, it is probably not going to change for awhile, until they get more sophisticated and even better screening processes and equipment, so,... 'everybody' gets screened quickly and effectively, so no one can claim racism or bias, etc...

      But, until then, it looks and sounds like you will have to put up with being 'profiled,' as a result of some crazy zealot's. Don't know what else to say to you about this...?

      Peace...

      November 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ GSA

      Gitmo's full. I think we're still doing that 'rendition' thing, though.

      November 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • honestanon

      funny how you went from HAHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHA OMG! to hehe...

      November 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • honestanon

      And you have No Idea how far you and your organizations have dragged down my perception of the Sikh community. So very sad. I will tell you honestly that your argument has caused me to think just a little less of you. How many folks read these blogs? The SALDEF should give you a job in their PR office.

      November 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  10. GSA

    @honestanon
    I'm not quoting from 2007, I am quoting from the article that states a current rule in effect that was changed in 2007 and has not had any major changes or provisions since. I'm sure the 3 minutes you took to find updated rules were well spent but that rule has not changed if you took the time to read it.
    The TSA can call anytime, although I highly doubt that would happen but you go ahead and give them the heads up about me.

    November 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  11. GSA

    @honestanon – HAHAHAHAHAHA! Give me the e-mail, mailing address and name and number of officials at the DHS/TSA and I will personally tell them everything I wrote here. HAHAHAHA OMG! Thank you, I needed that laugh today.

    November 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • honestanon

      No need. If they want to hear from you they'll just call you to set up an appointment. Hint – don't laugh in front of them...

      November 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  12. GSA

    @Peace2All
    Very well said and I agree with most of what you said. The way the rule reads I agree wholeheartedly with it. I just don't agree with the opinion of some that all turbans should be checked and I stick by it and I have my right to say that. It sucks to hear honestanon telling me that ppl against removing their turbans are "consumed with their religious pride" or Texas Girl saying that if we don't comply with the rule to "trade in your American Passport and leave our country for one that will respect your religious beliefs" when America does respect my religious beliefs (although I am Canadian) and refusal to take off the turban is American law, same with not being allowed to board the plane as a consequence if you do so refuse. Even you mention "fighting with the TSA" but I said no such thing. They ask to remove it, if someone chooses not to they don't have to but they can also be refused entry onto the plane if there was a legit concern, very simple.
    @Texas Girl-I just asked why people have the opinion that all turbans should be removed, why is that a hornets nest? A lot has been said but Sikhs are following the rules, have been doing so and will continue to do so yet so many comments against Sikhs saying that they have no right to refuse to take the turban off or telling them to comply when they have already been complying and they do have the right to refuse to take their turban off, that's all, sme as you have th right to tell people to return their passports and leave America.

    November 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @GSA

      You Said---–@Peace2All

      "Very well said and I agree with most of what you said."

      ME--Thank you..!!! It's often good to be able to start a discussion with some common ground.

      You Said-----

      "The way the rule reads I agree wholeheartedly with it. I just don't agree with the opinion of some that all turbans should be checked and I stick by it and I have my right to say that."

      ME-- You certainly do have your 'right,' as we all do, to say whatever you/we like here on this blog. And, we all get the same right to agree or disagree with anything said here.

      As for your assertion/disagreement that 'all' turbans should be checked. Well, I'm not a TSA/FBI/DHS agent or security officer. However, it seems like common sense to me, that the 'rule' should be applied equally across the board. Because, either way, someone is going to be offended one way or another. Regardless of race, age, etc... It doesn't matter. If they don't check 'any' turbans, then 'possible' terrorists know that they could potentially hide a device in their turbans and get it by security. Do you understand ...? So, how would you apply the 'rule'..? If someone gets 'flagged' by security, and gets asked to remove a piece of garment, or hat/turban, then they often feel that they have been singled out, and complain of racial or religious profiling.

      I have been pulled out of a line once by the TSA, and I am white/blonde hair/blue eyed, with -0- record of 'any' kind. And... I was o.k. with it, because, whether it was a test, or something else, I know, it would make everyone feel better.

      I have seen 'elderly' people getting pulled out of line. Sometime the rationale, may not make sense to us, but, I am for 'just about' anything that will help make our flights, and our country safer.

      Is any of this making 'any' sense to you...?

      You Said----–

      " It sucks to hear honestanon telling me that ppl against removing their turbans are "consumed with their religious pride" or Texas Girl saying that if we don't comply with the rule to "trade in your American Passport and leave our country for one that will respect your religious beliefs" when America does respect my religious beliefs (although I am Canadian) and refusal to take off the turban is American law, same with not being allowed to board the plane as a consequence if you do so refuse. Even you mention "fighting with the TSA" but I said no such thing. They ask to remove it, if someone chooses not to they don't have to but they can also be refused entry onto the plane if there was a legit concern, very simple."

      ME---When I mentioned "fighting with the TSA" I was merely mentioning 'any' rejection by basically 'anyone' to let the TSA check something. You are correct.... If the TSA asks you to remove something for screening, and you say 'no,' you are correct in that you will not be allowed to board the plane period. (At least I would hope not). And, if I saw someone, having this kind of discussion with the TSA, (not fighting necessarily), I would still be concerned, regardless of any kind of sacred religious views or not.

      Again, @GSA, I respect you, your religion, and understand the dilemma you are facing in regards to your deciding whether or not 'all' turbans should be removed for screening. Again, I would 'respectfully' have to say that if the TSA asks you to remove something, or wants to check you out even further, I am for it for the sake of 'security' in the air.

      Peace...

      November 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • Texas Girl

      @ GSA ....You said "A lot has been said but Sikhs are following the rules, have been doing so and will continue to do so yet so many comments against Sikhs "

      Dude, whats wrong with you?? NO ONE here has said ANYTHING against Sikhs......the comments are about people wearing turbans, and people PRETENDING to be Sikhs that pose the threat. If you are going to debate, please take a class to learn how and use the facts only. Sheesh.

      November 10, 2010 at 8:38 am |
    • honestanon

      @ Texas Girl

      The conversation has just deepened. It seems someone wasn't forthcoming with some facts. Irritating little buggers, those facts are.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  13. GSA

    Quote from the article:
    "The U.S. Transportation Security Administration adjusted security procedures in 2007 to include provisions for "bulky" clothing that includes headwear, according to an agency statement. Removal of all headwear is recommended, it said, but the rules are meant to accommodate passengers who may not want to remove the items for religious, medical, or other reasons."
    So it is recommended but not required, sorry I had this waste of a convo because clearly turbans are allowed through without being removed and are subject to random security checks like all other clothing, perfect. Again, why the posts about all turbans needing to be checked, seems to me that Sikhs have been following TSA rules and can refuse to take the turban off and still be allowed to board the plane if no reasonable security threat is detected since it is only a reccomendation. If there is a threat than by all means check the turban.

    November 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
    • Texas Girl

      So, you basically started a hornets nest convo for absolutely no reason......lol. Time to get a hobby.

      November 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @GSA

      You know.... If you are flying and the TSA asks you to remove something..... just remove it. Let them check it. If there is nothing to hide, you will get your sacred turban back.

      People want to feel 'secure' on flights. There is just to much 'water under the bridge' on plane flights, to try and make an issue out of it.

      If I were waiting in line, and someone started fighting with the TSA about whatever, they were asked to remove, or whatever the TSA wanted checked,..... Do you think that I would be the 'only' one keeping an eye on that person on the plane....?

      If so, then you really don't understand how nervous people in our country are 'in general' about terrorism, especially when it comes to flying.

      Peace...

      November 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ GSA

      You're quoting something from 2007? TSA changes their policies and procedures regularly to meet the security needs of the flying public. I've found multiple news releases from 2008, '09, and '10 – in the space of about 3 minutes. TSA likes to be flexible, if nothing else. They walk a fine line between being politically correct and making constant adjustments to their screening policies. As far as I'm concerned they can do anything they want to, short of me having to pull down my BVD's, turn my head and cough.

      Don't like it? Go fly in an Israeli commercial jet. Tell me about their restrictions. Now exercise a little empathy for the "human travel condition" instead of being so self-centered.

      @Mike
      Good job.

      @ Peace
      Again we find ourselves in agreement.

      November 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • honestanon

      @ GSA

      From the article:
      Singh said U.S. Sikh groups that had once observed "a patchwork of [airport security] policies" are now witnessing a process in which "all turbans are searched."

      and your comment:
      "Again, why the posts about all turbans needing to be checked..."

      Answer – because it's part of the conversation stimulated by the article.

      November 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  14. honestanon

    People like GSA will be the reason that airport security devolves to cavity searches. Sorry, fella. I gave it my best.

    November 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Texas Girl

      I just posted the excat reasons why the turban is being singled out and my post got deleted by the monitor, so I will just say this. Honestanon, you are right, opinions like the ones expressed by GSA are what IS going to make it a 12 hour wait for a 2 hour flight. I'm headed over to MSNBC, ttyl, LOL

      November 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • honestanon

      Look for Reality / Sum Dudes posting hints in other strings on how to circ-umvent the CNN word filter. We've all been stuck in "moderation."

      November 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
    • Reality

      Texas Girl,

      If you are still here:

      • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".
      • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      "Raison's Filter Fiber© (joking about the copyright)
      1. Here's my latest list – this seems like a good spot to set this down, as nobody's posting much on this thread.....
      --–
      bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:
      Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination and add any words I have missed as a comment (no one has done this yet)
      – I found some but forgot to write them down. (shrugs).
      s-ex
      c-um.........as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
      sp-ic........as in disp-icable (look out Sylvester the cat!)
      ho-mo...whether ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
      t-it.........const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
      an-al......ban-al
      sh-it
      fu-ck...isn't this a great word? yet they filter it.
      who-re
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, (an unexpected one)
      pr-ick
      sl-ut
      c-lit
      va-g....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant
      hor-ny
      ar-se....yet "ass" is not filtered!
      nip-ple
      po-rn
      c-ock
      nig-ger
      cu-nt
      b-itch
      ra-pe
      jacka-ss...but ass is fine lol
      p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
      There are more, so do not assume that this is complete.
      -–
      okay words that you might not expect to be filtered....!!!
      beaver
      penis
      ass
      crap
      damn
      anal
      anus
      sphincter
      testicles
      testes
      pubic
      boob
      --
      I have found the best way to re-submit is to hit the back button, delete
      the cookies, look for and fix the problem and then hit "post".
      There are also "technical" ways past the filter, like "html ent-ities"
      (google it without the dash), but the words and letter combos remain the problem...
      Here's a word to add to the banned list: co-co-on
      whether it's c-oc, or co-on, this is ridiculous

      November 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  15. Mike, not me

    "initial question posed about why the turban is being sinlged out and looked at like it is more dangerous than other articles of clothing has not been answered by one person. "
    But it was answered by you noting that there are already rules for hats and liquids so you know in your heart that turbans are not "more dangerous than other articles of clothing " but just as an "article of clothing"

    November 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  16. GSA

    I know it sucks to not have everyone agree with you but it is what it is. The sad thing is that the initial question posed about why the turban is being sinlged out and looked at like it is more dangerous than other articles of clothing has not been answered by one person. It's all of the same stuff, TSA must be right, they know best.....etc.

    November 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • honestanon

      Whatever. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. Just another young lion defending his faith from the persecutors. Good for you.

      November 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  17. GSA

    @Mike, not me
    I can tell you that I have gone through with hats many times. I have recently flown from Edmonton to Toronto round-trip and was not asked once to remove my hat either way. When I flew to Vegas, on the way back I had a snow-globe as a gift and forgot it was in my carry-on. The carry-on was supposed to have no liquids (other than the small amount they allow on with the travel bottles) and I still got through not even thinking about it. Not until I got on the plane did my brother notice and say something because he was asked to remove his and throw it away and I got mine through. You assume because it is a rule that it gets followed 100% of the time. You can't even fathom this happening yet a man got on a plane with a disguise and fake id, another got a bomb on the plane in his underwear, last week all sorts of packages were sent across countries. You act as if it is a written rule that it gets applied all of the time. Believe what you will, you seem to be all knowing. I'm just telling it like it is.

    November 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • honestanon

      @GSA

      Underwear Bomber – Departed from Amsterdam with bogus passport.
      Toner Bomber – Departed from Yemen
      Disguised Passenger – Department from Hong Kong with fake doc-uments.

      All the more reason to check your turban. Every time. Sorry. And you know what else? I'm going to copy this blog link and send it to DHS / TSA. Thanks for the heads-up.

      November 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      "You assume because it is a rule that it gets followed 100% of the time"

      No I assume that because you know it is a rule then you should know that turbans are not singled out but the Rule which you already claim to have knowledge of. So the question is why do you ignore the rule and put yourself above the rule?

      November 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @GSA

      There is a difference between 'rules' that the TSA, and other screeners 'must' follow, and 'articles' in bags and clothing that by 'accident' make it through.

      November 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  18. GSA

    @honestanon
    Your first point mentions "You need to do whatever the TSA want me, Texas Girl, Simple American, and everyone else to do. Religion does not trump public safety. No one is going to offer you an apology for that."
    That is not true, again go to an airport and take a look for yourself. People are going through the checkpoints with hats on all the time and they go through the detectors with clothes on, only shoes and jackets get removed. The turban is being singled out as a point of danger for the TSA and they have no legit reason for it. As far as the limitations of their equipment, I could care less, if it can detect something through a bag, my shirt ( I live in Canada and we wear lots of layers in Winter) then it can detect through a turban (a thin piece of cloth) so why single it out? Simple question. Because they say so won't work. I do not wear a turban but many I know do wear one and they won't cooperate just because someone says so, tell us why? Why is a turban more dangerous than any other clothing article? Why can I wear my bandana and my 49ers hat through the detector but my Grandfather can't wear his turban? I'm more than willing to oblige and so is any member of my family with some resonable explanation.
    You say that this is an "obvious security need" in point #4 of your statement, why is it an "obvious security need"? Should we not question what the TSA, gov't, etc. tell us? We should just do as they say since they always put the coutries needs and the needs of its citizens first right? I don't think so.
    As far as facts go, your post about Sharia law was interesting but your "facts" were putting up news footage and clips from youtube which show a bias and one-sided opinion. Again, don't rely on me to do it, go and find out the truth by checking all sides of the debate. Why post "facts" or stories that are not only biased but from web-sites or news agencies designed only for ratings and backed by ppl with agendas which do not include the truth. As far as the Sharia law thing goes, maybe get out in the real world and talk to Muslims, non-Muslims with differing viewpoints and see what they say.
    I know I asked about the turban scanning issue to more than 20 family members, I discussed it with a group of about 150 ppl at my Gurdwara (Sikh temple) and I have talked to it with my workmates (45 ppl) and my classmates ( 32 ppl) from night classes. They all seem to agree and would have no problem/issue with the extra attention to the turban with respect to security issues but none of them can agree with it because there is no rationale to back up why the turban is being pointed out yet no other article of clothing is.

    November 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Nobody, self included is going through with hats. That false statement invalids the rest of your comment.

      November 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
    • honestanon

      http://www.excedrin.com/excedrin-migraine.shtml

      *takes 2 with water*

      November 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  19. Mark from Middle River

    I think it will be a matter of time before when you fly everyone will enter a room, strip naked and then put on a jump suit. Then you will be permitted to fly. Then the TSA can provide hijabs, turbans and whatever else. They can then pack up their personal turbans and wear a standard one.

    November 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • Texas Girl

      That is an EXCELLENT idea!! TSA issued turbans.....it respects the Sikhs, while keeping everyone safe....an outstanding idea for a compromise!

      November 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  20. Ikjyot Singh Kohli

    Let the racist comments begin...

    November 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
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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.