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ummammaar

Guilty of "Flying While Muslim

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Salam Al-Marayati, Los Angeles Times, 12/11/04

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.latimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/news/opinion/commentary/la-vo-marayati11dec11,0,47131"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.latimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/news/opinion/commen...11dec11,0,47131[/url]

67.story

 

Over Thanksgiving, my wife and I took our kids to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

After our relaxing vacation, we returned home to Los Angeles, only to face

some disconcerting homeland insecurity.

 

We were met by two Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers as soon as

we left the jetway at LAX. Evidently, they were looking for someone, and it

turned out to be me.

 

When they looked at my name, they provided us with an armed escort to a

special area. All I could think about at the time was my kids. I prayed they

would not be exposed to anything that would cause them to resent their

birthplace, the United States, as a result of this encounter with law

enforcement.

 

One officer told us that we had nothing to worry about; if something was

wrong, then we would be in handcuffs. I thought to myself: If I was on a "no

fly" list, then why was I allowed to leave L.A. on an airplane in the first

place and to board another flight for my return?

 

One officer asked whether we had committed any criminal act in the past or

had done anything that would warrant an investigation. I looked at my

children, and my heart sank. Of course the answer was no, but just being

asked such a question in front of your children was appalling.

 

Then came a man named Tommy Scott, dressed in civilian clothes, who seemed

to be experienced in interrogations. He had no credentials, at least none

that were visible, and we were too disoriented to ask. He asked about the

purposes for our travels. He wanted to know which charities we donated to

and whether those organizations send money overseas.

 

This line of questioning reminded me of a brochure issued by the FBI two

months ago in partnership with Arab, Muslim and Sikh organizations: "If I

give money to charity that is investigated for ties to terrorism, will I be

investigated? It is not a crime to contribute to a legitimate charity and no

one will be prosecuted for doing so. You may wish to discuss with your

mosque and community leaders where the money is going before you

contribute...

 

Salam Al-Marayati is the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs

Council.

Edited by ummammaar

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oh, i see, sad story

 

 

May Allah (swt) help the muslims around the world

Edited by crystal_sword

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