Muslim-American subjected to religious profiling at airport

Nadia Hassan is a frequent flier. Imagine her surprise when she arrived at the security checkpoint at Washington’s Dulles International Airport Tuesday and encountered what she calls, “racial, religious profiling.”

The 40-year-old Michigan-born Muslim-American, headed to Los Angeles, says she was singled out for what she calls a “humiliating” full-body search. When she asked why this was happening “the gentleman who was working there specifically told me that the reason I’m being put through this type of search is because I’m wearing a head scarf…. He actually came out and told me that that’s the reason why you are being targeted.”

She’s not alone. On Monday, a Muslim-Canadian woman says she was made to feel like a terrorist because she was wearing a headscarf. She says she was berated and banned from boarding a flight to the United States – all because of her faith.

The Council on American Islamic Relations calls these textbook cases of profiling. “It’s violating the law. It’s unconstitutional and un-American to single people out because of their religion. It’s a knee-jerk measure that’s going to cause panic and fear,” says the council’s national executive director, Nihad Awad.

CNN, 8 January 2010