Profiling in America

I’m currently on a US trip to Harvard University as I was invited to talk about youth communication and civic engagement, specifically in the Arab World. Hopefully when I get back to Amman I can talk about it in more detail but for now I’d like to leave you with this story.

So I land in Boston and I’m incredibly tired and sleepy. The flight from Paris was delayed for three hours and I hadn’t slept at all the day before. So it’s about 12am and I get to passport control where the lady asks me a few questions and waves me in with my Canadian passport so I didn’t have to do the whole right-index-left-index finger printing.

I prayed my bag wouldn’t get lost as I always get a bad feeling that it is whenever I approach the baggage carousel. But thankfully it wasn’t. So I headed to the final door to hand in my “nothing to declare” card and that’s when I’m waved towards the far end of the gate where a single officer is there to look at my card. He leaves me standing for several minutes, then asks for my Jordanian passport as well before disappearing again. He comes back and ushers me into a room for people who are pretty much ‘suspicious’ material.

Inside I’m basically told to wait while another officer behind the computer types away. After some 20 minutes the man calls me into a small (interrogation) room and starts asking me question after question after question. Questions about my life and my education and what I’m doing in Jordan, what my father did for a living before retirement. What I do for a living, what I studied, how I got my job (“I applied for it” was my answer), and question after question, 90% of which had absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of my visit but I nevertheless answered them pleasantly mostly because I really wanted to get to a bed. He asks me what I write about and if I’ve ever written anything anti-American. He asks me why my Canadian passport was issued in Amman (“because that’s where I was when it expired”). Why I studied in Canada and why I didn’t apply to go to university in the US.

He takes me out and tells me to wait again. Then he asks if I have any information about my trip, so I hand him my invitation which is obviously a print out of a PDF file that was emailed to me.

So now over an hour and a half has all but passed and I’m falling asleep on the waiting room chairs. The officer is calling around to see if I am who I say, or rather who my passport says I am. He calls the hotel he calls whoever. Then he says he wants to check my bag which is when he turns to me and says…

“You know what all this is about, right?”

“No, not exactly but I could probably guess”

“Well its that invitation you gave us. I mean it didn’t really look legit, you know, put yourself in my position”

“Yeah, I see…but then again you guys stopped me over an hour before I even gave it to you…”

“Uh huh, uh huh, but you know, it was kind of suspicious so it made the process longer”

So ten minutes after the bag check he tells me I’m all cleared. In the 2 hours that I was made to wait, I went through a mental facebook of all the passengers on my flight in an attempt to see if I was in fact the only brown person on the plane. I was also kind of glad my name isn’t “Mohammad” or “Ali” or “Ahmad”, just because I know I would’ve been there an hour or two longer.

Of course by the time I get outside there’s not a single person out there or even a taxi. But that’s what it’s like to be profiled.

Thought Is Free...

60 Comments

  1. Oh Naseeem, you just reminded me of my trip back to the States last year. It was a nightmare for me in Paris, and worse once entering the States. The interrogation room, officers switching back and forth, and baggage and laptop search…. It was hell for me because i was already worn out due to delays and missing flight in France.. Anyways, in my case, I guess i went through all that because of my skin and Hijab…

  2. C’mon, you are being prejudice!

    I mean you even admits it, and I quote : I prayed my bag wouldn’t get lost!

    I mean seriously, you gotta stop praying….or don’t get caught.

    Yeah, I was suspended in Jordan for 45min by security dudes, for taking photos near a “sensitive” building (Mantega Hasaseh), needless to say this sensitive building is a hotel…..which actually I didn’t mind since they are doing their job…kinda…

  3. Ah, the life of an international traveler at a time when no country in the world trusts another. I’ve been profiled in a number of Arab country airports and borders, including Syria and Algeria. I’ve also had American friends profiled at the Jordan/Israeli border and held for hours at a time. And as Firas says, it doesn’t take much for a shutterbug like myself to end up in Jordan’s muhabaraat for taking pictures of something that is “mamnua3″ (which is nearly everything these days).

  4. To most Americans ,you are guilty( if you are Muslim or Arab) till proven innocent .Nas ,I can assure you, you have been profiled before you step on any American airport.

  5. Nas,

    Yeah, it a real shame that a *relatively* few bad Muslim Arab apples have to spoil things for the rest of us. Six years ago we all wandered freely throughout airport terminals. It took 5 minutes to get through security. And no one paid any attention to where you were coming from or where you were going.Those days are gone for good. Too bad.

    It could have been worse. Think of how it would have been if you were a DOCTOR coming from Jordon. As an American, I’m relieved that you report that someone IS paying attention, however. It’s incovenient but it is better than a car bomb being set off in Harvard Square by a guy who was told he would go straight to heaven for it or that he was being patriotic. That could definitely spoil your trip to the States.

    BTW “profiling” = “not squandering limited security resources”

    Sorry for the inconvenience. How the rest of your time here is more pleasant.

  6. I’m sorry, Nas. Because we have lived in Jordan long term, our blonde family gets pulled over with every Mohammed, too. It doesn’t take as long as yours did, though

  7. Well good thing u didn’t have a charger or a water bottle with you in ur carry-on luggage, otherwise u would’ve been held for another 3 hours .
    Cause you know how you can go MacGyver with that !

    Do you feel safer yet ?

  8. That is so F’d up! Sorry to hear that man, it’s sad how we have to go through this, and yes, it would’ve been way much worse for someone named Mohammed or someone with a beard.

  9. I have written a lot of criticism of US policy and that will be considered anti-americanism. This post ensures me again why I have taken a decision not to travel to the USA under any circumstances and turned down three previous invitations. Wish you an easier trip back home.

  10. Al least you’re a man… I was “conveyed” to a kind of “dark room tent” the first time I arrived to Jordan and carefully “investigated” by hand, you understand what I mean, by a creepy police-woman who seemed to be looking for any dangeorus device in my bra…

  11. ARGH! You could’ve told him, that the reason you didn’t see in the US was because of his blatant assumptions and excruciating interrogation. At least you were not called “purple”. I swear some bastards at school used to call me purple just because my skin color is dark. But oh well…

    By the way, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think that your invitation looked “suspicious” because he couldn’t grasp that an Arab could possibly be smart enough to lecture a group of Ivy League students.

  12. Nas,
    I understand all the trouble that you went through but believe me that my son who is exactly your age, born, raised and educated in the United States gets profiled on domestic not international flights while traveling between local Airports. He called me last week to apologize for not coming on father’s day to visit me because he was tired of being stuck for two hours at the time-the way you did -every time he lands in one state or another. By the way, my son has never lived outside the USA and he never visited any Mideastern countries, he doesn’t speak nor understand any Arabic, the only thing that is not going right for him is his name: Kareem Abunimeh

  13. I go to the US quite often … though i do that, and i work for a company that is as American as apple pie can be, i still get the “you’ve been randomly selected for an SSS”. Which stands for Secondery Security Search.. and man, wait until you go through that airjet-operated-stargate-look-a-like-Xray-thingi.. :)

    Have a safe trip back and enjoy cold Boston :)

  14. When timothy Mcveigh bombed the Oklahoma Federal building,we did not see US authorities profiling Christian white American,and rightly so,they should not profile anybody,why only Arab and Muslims are profiled? is it because Usam is Muslim fundamentalist like Timothy Mcveigh ,is racism play big part of this?.

  15. Timothy McVeigh wasn’t much of an air traveler. It is true that we have our share of domestic white guys who wish to harm others but they’re not exclaiming it to the world. Some Muslims declare intent to harm the U.S. on a daily basis and dark-skinned Muslims have inflicted most of the rage against their self-defined ‘infidels.’

    If you’re trying to keep airlines and, indeed, a country safe, who would you profile?

    Nevertheless, most of us wish it weren’t so. Air travel is unpleasant because of the scare.

  16. I’m sorry it was inconvenient for you, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just wish:

    a) You guys in the ME did a better job of keeping your crazy fuckers at home, instead of exporting them to cause murder and mayhem abroad and

    b) The US did a better job of finding out who the people who really shouldn’t be allowed entry into the US, are.

    Look at Raed Jarrar for an example of somebody who was welcomed into the US when he never should have been allowed to even board an aircraft that was destined for the US.

    Once we get that kind of foul up straitened out, I’ll be happier about US Homeland Security.

    By the way, NAS… what were you doing giving a speech to Harvard students? Based on your blogging, I wouldn’t have exactly called you a friend of the USA. Maybe your bad attitude about the US was noticeable and that’s what raised red flags? I have to be honest here, I’d personally prefer it if next time you were invited to the US you could find it in yourself to “just say no”. I really don’t understand why anybody would ever visit a country they loathe, but particularly an Arab who hates the US wanting to visit the US… that can’t be a good thing, right?

  17. S.Schaum “If you’re trying to keep airlines and, indeed, a country safe, who would you profile?”
    Tell us you wise man, who would you profile?
    This is the kind of racism that we are facing from people like you who have no clue and pretend to think that they know what they are talking about.
    Timothy McVeigh did have to be an air traveler to do a damage the end result are the same and do you remember S.Schaum the initial reporting by US corporate Media after the Oklahoma incident ,all of them with no exception started to point the fingers at Muslim and Arabs without even trying to look at the evidence.

  18. alurdunialhurr,

    Timothy McVeigh did have to be an air traveler to do a damage

    Yet he would have had to be an air traveller to affect the sorts of people airport security profiled. Still, you are wrong in your belief that his atrocity did not lead to profiling. Not to profiling Christians because he wasn’t religious. His act led to the profiling of members of the American “militia” movement (most of whom were law-abiding), of white separatists (backwards, yet also mostly law-abiding), and other right wing fringe organizations. Nobody profiled these people in airports because they weren’t interested in causing havoc outside the U.S. But I wonder how long it would have taken broad-minded Arabic/Muslim cultures to start profiling Americans if McVeigh had decided to destroy landmarks and innocent strangers in Jordan.

    Do you want Americans to better differentiate between extremist Muslim terrorists and non-violent Middle Easterners? Then Western imams and right-thinking Middle Easterners should should take the lead in condemning Islamic extremists of M.E.origin (as politically conservative Americans did with McVeigh) rather than claiming 9-11 was a plot by Zionists and Pres. Bush or declaring that 9-11 was America’s own fault for vague deficiencies in its foreign policy.

    Batir Wardam,

    Americans are crying their eyes out that you decided not to come to the U.S. I think you were wise. It would be a serious breach of national security if you came and were not carefully examined for a couple hours.

  19. Actually CMAR II lots of muslims condemned and still condemn any kind of killing, but sadly the other side get 99% of air time on the US media. But do profiling actually works? And if it failed what will happen next? Concentration camps? will this solve anything? I don’t think so, it will cause more people to become more extreme. I think that america lost track, instead of focusing on war, they should have focused on helping the poor and educating muslim populations instead of supporting dictatorships that use Al-qaeda as an execuse to get more money that most of it goes to their pockets..

    I am OK with profiling if it works, I am OK with sitting 10 hours if this prevents someone from killing innocents, but does it help?Be honest and answer me..I am a student here in the US, and to be honest, the most I have spent at the airport was one hour..Maybe because O’hare authorities are more experinced in dealing with visas and immigration, I don’t know; sometime they suck when they know that a jordanian plane is landing and they only have one immigration officer, it is all about managment and I think it would go smoother if they had better decision making anf managment skills..

  20. One more thing, I think that most of the terrorists come from Saudi arabia which the US government 100% supports, they teach hate in their schools, they are the founders of the takfeeri ideology and yet I find saudi students are getting more and more visas to enter the US, actually I think in the last 2 years 20,000 saudi students were granted visas, wierd right?

  21. alurdunialhurr,

    This is the kind of racism that we are facing from people like you who have no clue and pretend to think that they know what they are talking about.

    It’s “racist” to try to defend ourselves from Muslim terrorists? If random American private citizens were traveling to the middle east and mass murdering thousands of innocent people, I’d bet a year’s pay that American would no longer be permitted to travel to any country in the Arab country in the ME. Period, end of discussion. Do you disagree?

    Mohanned,

    But do profiling actually works? And if it failed what will happen next? Concentration camps? will this solve anything?

    Mass deportations and discontinuation of entry visas for Muslims and Arabs, is my guess. And possibly passage of a law in the United States that declares Islam to be an illegal death cult.

    Nobody is going to see this comment, because NAS is moderating me. Oh well. You can tell them your own opinions about how unfair it all is, instead, NAS, instead of them hearing the truth.

    I cannot believe after all that is happened that any Arab from a Middle Eastern country thinks they should be able to travel to the United States with extra scrutiny. Mind boggling. DO you guys really believe that you are entitled to bypass US security just because you think US security measures are “racist”? For God’s sake, think about what you are saying? This is the new normal. It’s going to be this way (or worse) forever. FOREVER. It’s a brave new world. Thanks, Islamic terrorism.

  22. Craig,
    The first mistake you made is sayin “islamic terrorism”, you generalized on 1.5 billion people of being killers and that is simply Worng and inaccurate, even if the polls say that 90% sypathise with terrorism, did you ask why? I am not clearing muslims or arabs, but you have to be careful when you generalize like this; it is the same argument that al-qaeda uses to explain what they do..

    I am grateful for what america provided for me, I am having the best days of my life here, I experinced freedom, I saw what democracy means, but if america continues on this path they will loose their democracy; the other day I was watching “Banned on PBS” where a terrorist said that they are winning and I quote him

    “The only way you can stop us, by give up your democracy. If you give up democracy and Freedom of Speech, and start to stop us and ban us the way you started to do, that the way you can stop us. But that mean we succeed. We say to the people: ‘You see? Democracy-Hypocrisy. We have always said so.’ You do not believe in democracy.”

    As I said before, I am sure eventhough we complain about it, we are OK with profiling if it helps, but does it? And what do do you think about the Saudies?

  23. Actually CMAR II lots of muslims condemned and still condemn any kind of killing, but sadly the other side get 99% of air time on the US media.

    Nice try, Mohanned. But that sort of vague protestation is exactly the sort I was saying is the problem. I’ve already heard it: “I condemn ALL violence, including the violence of American foreign policy that provokes actions like 9-11.” Even our host here has posted favorably on the merits and logic of the tactic of suicide bombing. I can find a few Middle Easterners and Muslims who emphatically condemn terrorist violence but 1) they declare themselves atypical, and 2) they are *almost* always non-observant Muslims. While, most American Muslims that I know feel legitimate hatred for Muslim extremists, they maintain a conflicted silence.

    But do profiling actually works?

    Yeah, I think it does. It just so happens that Norwegian Lutherans haven’t shown themselves inclined to believe that blowing up themselves in restaurants is an express ticket to heaven.

    And if it failed what will happen next? Concentration camps? will this solve anything?

    Is that a joke?

    I think that america lost track, instead of focusing on war, they should have focused on helping the poor and educating muslim populations

    The 9-11 bombers were middle class and were welcomed to the U.S. with open arms. The conspirators of the recent bombings in Glasglow were DOCTORS!

    …instead of supporting dictatorships that use Al-qaeda as an execuse to get more money that most of it goes to their pockets.

    Nice try again, but the Pakistanis brought the Taliban to power in Afghanistan well before Perez Musharraf seized the government. Unfortunately, Musharraf is the best the civilized world can wish for Pakistan right now.

    I think that most of the terrorists come from Saudi arabia which the US government 100% supports,

    I’m fairly certain that Jordanians are not profiled more often than Saudis. Profiling is the issue at hand. We probably would find a lot of common ground about inequities in US visa policies.

    But the recent terror attempts in the U.K. show that terrorism is not localized in Saudi Arabia. Zarkawi was from Jordan, Zawahiri is from Egypt, the Palestinians are terrorists from way-back, and the Lebanese Hezbollah held the record for killing Americans before 9-11.

    Islamic extremism is a *world-wide* problem. I *do* know that most Muslims are not takfiris, but I am saying that observant Muslims znd Middle Easterners OUGHT to own the takfiri problem and the suicide-murder heresy to be primarily THEIR problem rather than America’s problem or Israel’s problem or London’s problem, etc.

  24. Sarcasm is not exactly what I was looking for, but OK, For me I condemn all kinds of violence and the killing of any innocent civilians.

    I agree the most of the terrorism in the west are conducted by middle to high class educated people, but why? Because they fly easier under the radar, right? Zarqawi was a thug and dropout but thats not the point, most of the suicide bombers in the ME are poor and uneducated people.

    Now lets follow some logic, If america helped the poor and educated them by direct support not through governments will this change america’s image? I think it will. when those people helped by america feel grateful will they stop and stand up for those thugs? I think they will..

    “Unfortunately, Musharraf is the best the civilized world can wish for Pakistan right now.”
    But I think spreading democracy was behind invading Iraq, right? So why now support dictators? Hypocracy?!

    “But the recent terror attempts in the U.K. show that terrorism is not localized in Saudi Arabia. ”
    Actually you can listen to all the right wing media here in the US crying out loud that Saudi Arabia is the main terror supplier by money and people, 19 of the plane hijackers were saudies yet The Us invaded afghanistan and forgot what produced those 19, right?

    What is the solution?is it as Ann coulter said:”Bomb muslims and convert the ones who didn’t die to christianity!”..

    Please Wake up, you are becoming what you hate, you are using the same al-qaeda arguments!!

  25. Iam just amazed at the level of ignorance and racism that Graig and some of you posese,so Graig “This is the new normal. It’s going to be this way (or worse) forever. FOREVER. It’s a brave new world. Thanks, Islamic terrorism.”
    I want to go down to your level of thinking or rather childish and irresponsible and low class behavior ,when did you become a Muslim scholar without any training or schooling,maybe you have some secrets you can teach us to become like you,a Muslim”scholar” made overnight
    So Graig where and when did you become so smart and wise,inquiring minds want to know.
    We Arabs and Muslim must not condemn of what happened in Sept 11 and why should we,we have nothing to condemn because some “Arab” and “Muslim” wacko who was financed and trained by the CIA in Afghanistan ,,I did not know how old are you Graig,but let me remind you of the dirty wheeling and dealing of your CIA in late 70s and 80s
    Osama and his thugs were trained financed and praised by you government,in matter of Fact, your president Ronald Reagan called him and his thugs ,”freedom Fighter” when they were doing all the pitting and the dirty work for your CIA to fight the Soviets ,like they say in English ,the chicken came back to roost,do you know Graig,that the right hand man of Osama bin Laden,Aeman Al Zawaheri was in in the good old USA collecting and soliciting money from your government and various organisations?Do you know that Graig? the wise and over night made, “Muslim Scholar”.
    I advise you to start deprogramming your self because it’s unfair to you and people around you, mind is a terrible thing to wast ,don’t you agree Graig?.

  26. Funny how this is the exact same thing I undergo when I travel to Palestine, “Israel”.

    But you should replace the 2 hours with 9 hours though. My name is neither mohammad nor Ahmed and I have German passport AND I have been traveling to Palestine since I was 6 years old. Oh well:)

    It will never prevent me from going though, I’m like chewing gum.lol, the more they’re interogate the more ill come to visit:D

    Craig and CO. America can keep on profiling till dooms day, but what It doesnt seize to realize is that its policies are wrong and until those policies change, threat will always remain. SPOOOOKYYYYY

    Just let humans live, dont act like gods and you’ll be fine, trust me;)

  27. alurdunialhurr, did you write this on Abu Aardvark’s blog earlier tonight?

    What do you expect from any resistance movement whether in Iraq or elswhere,did you really believe Ahmed Chalabi when he told you,Iraqis will welcome you with sweet and flowers and maybe with some cucumber and tomatoes.
    Off course,any Resistance movement would take arms to defend themselves and liberate their country,wouldn’t ya Abu ardvak do the same thing,when your country become under the most brutal and criminal occupation in history??

    Posted by: alurdunialhurr | July 20, 2007 at 02:31 AM

    Because I have to say, if that’s you then I’m supremely uninterested in what you have to say about US Homeland Security. You obviously support this country’s enemies and you are just the kind of person they are suppose to be keeping OUT.

  28. Mohanned, you seem like a reasonable guy and I usually find your input interesting on these issues. Just wanted to get that out of the way before I disagree with you :)

    The first mistake you made is sayin “islamic terrorism”, you generalized on 1.5 billion people of being killers and that is simply Worng and inaccurate, even if the polls say that 90% sypathise with terrorism, did you ask why? I am not clearing muslims or arabs, but you have to be careful when you generalize like this; it is the same argument that al-qaeda uses to explain what they do..

    I don’t want to generalize. I don’t even want to have to deal with this problem, at all. I don’t think my country does, either. In my view, it’s a societal problem and a problem within Islam, and it should be handled internally by Muslims, and by the societies effected. But, that hasn’t happened up til now, and as far as I can tell, it isn’t happening now, either.

    What else can my country do but generalize? We don’t have the means to pinpoint who the terrorists are, who is supporting the terrorists openly or not so openly, who is funding them, etc. And even if we did have the ability to do that, what could we do about it? As long as they have safe havens to operate out of, there’s nothing the US can do put try to exert political pressure, which has proven to be very ineffective.

  29. CMAR II I know that Americans will not cry their eyes out for me not visiting them and neither will I shed any tears for not visiting the USA. I have been to many European cities and found all respect and decency. I have to say the problem is not only the USA. I also do not visit Syria because I may end up in an unknown prison for the rest of life because I wrote that the Syrian regime should get the hell out of Lebanon.
    Regarding the debate I have no problem with any country, whether the USA or Europe to do its very best to keep away the hating visitors and I think this is a justified action provided it is based on evidence and not the color of skin or the name. Honestly I sometimes find it amazing how some Muslims gained visas for Europe or te USA when I hear and read their anti-western ideas, but that does not mean basing a whole apparatus of suspicion and interrogation on religious and ethnic grounds.

  30. By the way, one year ago an official Jordanian delegation was subject to profiling in the USA where a advisor to the Prime Minister was asked to take his shoes off. In this case I blame the advisor because he should have asked for the very next flight back to Jordan and to cancel the visit.

  31. Craig,
    I agree that we must deal with it internally, but we as muslims are not the only ones affected by it, but america did make mistakes and what alurduni said true, al-qaeda was the fondling baby for the american adminstration at the times of the soviet union, why don’t they admit it that they are the ones that created them; you will tell me that the ideology was alrady there, I will tell you, then why boost this ideology?

    As I see it, there are some main countries that export terrorism, the ideology was created in saudi arabia, yet nobody in the US is willing to deal with it, why? because they are afraid of paying 10$ a gallon! On CNN yesterday they were talking about Iraq, the shiete militias want the US to leave, The sunnie “insurgents” want the US to stay-eventhoug they don’t say it publicly- Now the US is arming the sunnies, and I think as I heared yesterday the US chose to stand by the sunnies, wierd right?

    “We don’t have the means to pinpoint who the terrorists are, who is supporting the terrorists openly or not so openly, who is funding them, etc. And even if we did have the ability to do that, what could we do about it? As long as they have safe havens to operate out of, there’s nothing the US can do put try to exert political pressure, which has proven to be very ineffective. ”

    Exaclty, you are not GOD to tell what someone’s intentions are, if someone wnats to blow himself up he will do it, he will not tell the interrogation offiecer that he will!!Agian, be carefull of gener

    “it’s a societal problem and a problem within Islam”, when those words come from a non-muslim it is understood as an insult to islam, and I feel sometimes that americans don’t understand the concept of insult to an arab or a muslim, and that why the US government are now letting arabs and muslims do the dirty work for them!!

    Again, You are using the same arguments that the terrorists use, it is like saying we can’t say who is truthful and who is not so kill them all and god will decide!!And this is WRONG..I hope someday someone in charge will get it..

    Another intersting observation that I am witnessing is that also there is an increase in relegious fanatasism here in the US, and it is not muslim!

  32. Grig,,that’s what happen when somebody lose the debate,I presented you with facts and in return you think you can intimidate me by posting comment I wrote in Abu Ardavak Blog.And let me tell you,I talk full responsibility with what I wrote in NAS”s Blog or any Blog

  33. Im still away from my computer so i’m not keeping with the comments. Sorry if someone has addressed me and I haven’t replied to them; i’ll get to it as soon as i get back.

    Quick note to Craig:

    regarding this…

    Nobody is going to see this comment, because NAS is moderating me. Oh well. You can tell them your own opinions about how unfair it all is, instead, NAS, instead of them hearing the truth.

    and this…

    By the way, NAS… what were you doing giving a speech to Harvard students? Based on your blogging, I wouldn’t have exactly called you a friend of the USA. Maybe your bad attitude about the US was noticeable and that’s what raised red flags? I have to be honest here, I’d personally prefer it if next time you were invited to the US you could find it in yourself to “just say no”. I really don’t understand why anybody would ever visit a country they loathe, but particularly an Arab who hates the US wanting to visit the US… that can’t be a good thing, right?

    First of all, I’m not moderating (profiling) you. The one comment of yours that was stuck in moderation included a vulgarity which my wordpress settings automatically moderate under the assumption its spam. I approved it when I logged on.

    Second of all, my trip is really none of your business but just to clear something up…I don’t “loathe” or “hate” the US. I am critical of a great deal of things that are American, specifically its foreign policy with regards to my region as well as various parts of American culture. I am notably as critical if not more critical of a whole lot more elements of my region’s own politics and various parts of our own culture.

    If you do not believe me then I recommend, in fact I urge you, to dig around in this blog and find me a post where I said I hated America.

    Thanks

  34. Interesting, how a post turns from a sigh on US secuirity… to total assault on muslims don’t you think…

    Well, profiling sucks… but what “really bakes your noodles” is the hate attitude you see in some comments…

    I think its logical to tighten secuirity and profile more people as an extra measure, the only thing the genius profilers see in common is Muslim and Arab so why not profile all…

    For God’s sake listen to CRAIG, I really love this part “Mass deportations and discontinuation of entry visas for Muslims and Arabs, is my guess. And possibly passage of a law in the United States that declares Islam to be an illegal death cult.” the supreme US beings will boycott Muslims and Arabs as a next step… how can anyone argue with such stupidity, complete brain wash at FOX news…

    Again, what I find completely illogical is the attitude some of people in the US have and it goes like this, CMAR II “Norwegian Lutherans haven’t shown themselves inclined to believe that blowing up themselves in restaurants is an express ticket to heaven.”

    Well, why do you have to tie it to religion, i.e “Lutherans”… to compare apples to apples… try to occupy their land, divide it into tiny pieces, rape Norwegian Lutherans men and women, show it in public media like (Abu Gharib), sustain a government at the heart of Norway that steals norwegian land and export a few million refugees, insult their holy places and then lets see what they do to you… word of advice start profiling everywhere you cause death and injustice…

    To make it short, WHYYY is it that US government thinks they can cause so much suffering and not be subject to a blow?! Do you really think people are punching bags, happily performing their duty in life be being punched over and over again?

    I can’t find anything better to say at this moment but CRAIG’s words “This is the new normal. It’s going to be this way (or worse) forever” Actually its the old normal… What goes around comes around, right or wrong…

    Believe me, I’m not with killing innocent people but it doesn’t matter if you’re with it or against it… you treat people with such arrogance it’s going to fire back one way or another… decent or not…

    And by the way Mohannad, Saudi is not the origin of the takfiri thing… it started in Egypt after Nasser tortured his own people in prison… and it fired back…

  35. There is a quote by Benjamin Franklin I like to share with you” Those who would sacrifice freedom for temporary security deserve neither.
    – Benjamin Franklin

  36. Here is another. for whom it may concern”The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without” Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Here is another one”You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    And here is my favorite”Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower – [Peace]

  37. Mohannad,,We don’t want them to be pro Arab, or pro Americans or pro Chinese,we want them to be pro truth , justice and peace,the role of the Media like Amera Haas An Israeli journalist who once said”the role of any journalist is to monitor the center of power”.

  38. I had a similar experience coming back from a trip to Morocco last year…Problem is I’m caucasian…I guess if I were brown I would have a reason to be indignant…
    F’n brown people are the one’s strapping on the bombs and killings hundreds of people every other day…
    I say keep brown people off the planes all together…Get your brown brothers to stop killing innocent people and maybe then we’ll let them fly with adults…until then suffer along wioth thew rest of your people.

  39. As an American academic who travels frequently throughout the region and faces harassment on a lesser scale when returning to the states, I sympathize with you. I can’t empathize because, well, I don’t get the same treatment by any means. But I’m not proud of what these customs/immigration officials do. You are clearly better educated and more lucid than many Arabs would assume that because the federal idiots at the airport treat them like dirt, all Americans are similarly ignorant. Trust me: those of us that aren’t tried in 2004 to kick Bush and his neocon cronies out but we barely missed. We’ll get the job done in 2008 and try to win back the trust we lost when his racist cabal began “protecting” us from the bad, bad Muslims.

    Nas, hope you had fun in Harvard Square–next time you’re there try Crazy Dough’s in the Garage or the new burrito place, Qdoba. Heaven. So good you almost forget about the assholes in charge of our “security.” I’ll look you up next time I’m running around Amman.

  40. I assume Craig has probably moved on by this point, but …

    “Thanks, Islamic terrorism.”

    Ignoring the dig against Muslims, I have to say: wrong. Thanks AMERICAN RESPONSE to terrorism. There is this amazing forgetfulness amongst people like Craig, who forget things like the IRA bombings, the FLQ crisis, and countless other terrorist actions that have happened world wide. Not only that, but previous actions in the US. Somehow it was only this last one, under Republican President Bush, that has necessitated this paranoid descent into a global surveillance state.

  41. The problem with security measures is that they are bogus ..wasting 2 hours of Naseem’s time is no guarentee the world is a better place. You can take all the bearded brown men off a plane and it could still crash and burn for any of tens of other reasons..probably at a close risk percentage!!

    At the end of the day all the security measures don’t make that big of a difference in the grand scheme of things. There is always a loop hole and the sense of security is relative to your personal experiences and how much the placebo that is airport security works on you. I was driving on a highway on the way to the airport once when someone pointed out how close airplanes are. Not to give anyone any ideas but you don’t need to be in an airport to bring down a plane, nuclear plants in the southwest have horrible security compared to how much damage could happen, there is always biochemical risk, nothing major your city’s local water source could damage a few hundred thousands…it’s endless. There is no real security..step out of your security bubble!! But hey IT’s ALL RELATIVE….If you want a genuine sense of security go to Baghdad for a week then go back and live where ever you want, you will feel so safe nothing short of missle showers and piles of blood drenched bodies will scare you.

    On the morning of 9/11 in Arizona i went to class and it was cancelled and a classmate who is from former tcheckoslovakia said “what’s the big deal??!! i used to walk to school with bombs going off and missles flying over my head. They cancelled a class over a plane crashing into a building thousands of miles away?? It happens everyday in some countries no one ever cares!!”

  42. Here is an interesting story of an Iraqi being profiled at an Amman airport just the other day. Ironic.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/07/iraq_report.php

    The following an excerpt, but read the whole thing. I think Nas should thank his lucky stars he didn’t leave for his opportunity from Iraq.

    I was used to the mild discrimination the Jordanians have been practicing against Iraqis at the airport in Amman in recent years…But that’s OK and we got used to it. But recently our Jordanian brothers came up with a truly outrageous practice of discrimination against Iraqis. All disembarking Iraqi passengers now are taken to special passport counters in a hall separated from the rest of airport facilities regardless of the origin of their flights or the airlines they came aboard. Attached to this hall is what Iraqis call “the prison”.

    In case you haven’t heard, Iraqi refugees stopped going to Jordan long time ago now because they know they would be turned away.
    [...]
    Last year, I received an admission offer from a prestigious American university to a master’s degree program in international affairs. It was a project I invested much time, hope and resources in for over a year…Long story short, the American embassy in Amman recently notified me that my visa was ready to be stamped. I bought a ticket and got on a plane on my way to Amman confident that the documents I had would grant me access to Jordan for the week I needed…I was wrong.
    [...]
    locked up in a crowded room and just been denied the rare opportunity I had been working on for a year, for no other crime than being Iraqi.

  43. CMAR II ,,I read this story about our brothers and sister from Iraq,and I tell you,it’s absolutely disgusting and I wrote the Jordanian government about it, but I didn’t receive any response from them.

  44. CMAR II,
    Hey amigo, you destroyed their country, so you should take all the iraqi refugees, right? Why we should clean your dirt?Maybe he went through this because your country wanted to do some screening, right? Why don’t he go through your enormous embassy in baghdad?

    And maybe the screen them extra carefully because Iraq now is the terrorsit mecca thanks to Mr.Bush and Cheney, no?

    Amazing!!!!

  45. Bloody Yanks!!
    Have a safe trip back home NAS mate… I’ll get a chance to kick some yanks arse at the local pub tonight!!!
    Cheers mate

  46. Wait until you have to a connecting flight to another airport in the US. Last time, I technically missed my 3 hours and 10 minutes layover in Chicago because of the screening at the immigration and customs office. For absolutely no reaosn other than that there was no one to “process” me and the handful of passengers that were delayed as well.

    I’m going back to the US on Monday, and I will be flying through Chicago and this time it might be worse as I will be arriving on an RJ flight full of Jordanians. I made sure my lay over is at least 4 hours long, and I’m hoping that the fact that it’s not a Sunday will help a bit.

  47. Mohanned,

    Don’t perform a slight of hand here. Omar wasn’t going to Jordan. He just wanted to pass through it. But the Jordanians performed the “eeeeeevil” practice of PROFILING on him. I’m not the one here who decided that was a bad thing.

    As I said, the U.S. and Jordan profile Arabs because it is necessary. This is a Middle Eastern and Muslim problem. Own it.

    Hey amigo, you destroyed their country, so you should take all the iraqi refugees, right? Why we should clean your dirt?

    Yeah, right. Iraq was a paradise before the U.S. Marines got there right? Here is a clue. What is the common thread between these countries? Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan (which is also generating human time-bombs). Here is a clue: It ain’t U.S. occupation, and it ain’t oil either.

    Iraq’s problems would be a heck of a lot less intractable if it weren’t so unfortunate as to be abutted to a bunch of countries like Jordan and worse.

    Also,if Middle Eastern tyranny and religious extremism had not become an existential threat to the U.S., Bush & Cheney (who originally got elected promising more isolationism) would have been happy to “let the Middle East be the Middle East” (dictators, human bombs, and all)…just as was U.S. policy throughout the Cold War (remember when people blamed the U.S. for 9-11 because it “abandoned” Afghanistan? Well, the U.S. didn’t abandon Iraq this time…is Bush wonderful?

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