Muslim woman searched by US airport security because she wore a headscarf

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to clarify whether Islamic head scarves, or hijab, will now automatically trigger additional security measures for Muslim travelers.

CAIR made that request after a Muslim woman traveler taking a flight Tuesday from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Los Angeles (LAX) reported that TSA personnel first requested that she take off her hijab, then put her through a “humiliating” public full-body pat-down search when she refused. After the pat-down, the Muslim traveler’s luggage, coat, shoes, laptop, and cell phone were searched and tested for bomb-making chemicals.

When the traveler, a resident of Maryland, questioned TSA staff about the way she was being treated, she was allegedly told that a new policy went into effect that morning mandating that “anyone wearing a head scarf must go through this type of search.”

CAIR press release, 6 January 2010

See also Dawud Walid, “Religious profiling won’t help anti-terror security”, Detroit News, 6 January 2010

Update:  See also “Muslim woman treated like ‘terrorist’ at U.S. customs”, CTV News, 6 January 2010

And “Another hijab-wearing Muslim traveler reports mistreatment”,CAIR press release, 7 January 2010