A few weeks ago I was in an airport, having hurried from a venue where I had just given a talk. I don’t ever speak from a written text, but I do carry notes — a page or two of quotations from various Muslim Brotherhood operatives, etc., including jihadist and Islamic supremacist statements by some putative American moderate Muslims, as well as quotations from the Koran and Hadith, etc. I had this material in my suit pocket, and it dropped out when I took off my suit jacket to go through security. So a few minutes later I was again in the friendly presence of police and TSA personnel. One gentleman was holding up my notes and asking me why I had this material. I started laughing, because I realized that there was absolutely nothing in the notes to show that I actually opposed what was written there — and realized that it might take awhile to straighten the whole thing out.
But I didn’t mind. Because I knew what they were doing. I knew they weren’t holding the bearded, swarthy fellow with notes full of jihad and hate because they don’t like people of Middle Eastern descent, or because they hate Muslims, or what have you. They were doing their job, which was to protect the American people. These Welshman from Pakistan, or Pakistanis from Cardiff, should realize that. If they care.
“Muslim men plan complaint after being ‘treated like terrorists’ by airport police,” by Abby Alford for the Western Mail, November 4 (thanks to John Doe):
A PARTY of Muslim men who claim they were singled out and treated like terrorists by airport police vowed last night to push for an independent investigation.
The seven-strong group say they plan to approach the Independent Police Complaints Commission over the incident at Cardiff Airport.
The men, who are from Pakistani families but were born and brought up in Cardiff, said they were questioned and had their details and passports checked by police officers.
Two of the group also said they were singled out for hour-long interrogations, during which they claimed they were asked if they had extremist views and if they had ever been asked to carry out a terrorist attack.
Garage owner Sajid Hussain, 30, from Cyncoed, Cardiff, said: “It was clear discrimination. We were the only Asians in the airport. We understand they have a job to do and have to pull some people over, but it’s just the fact that it was all seven of us. And some of the questions they asked were ridiculous. It was like they were saying to me, ‘You have got a beard, so you look like a terrorist’. I felt quite bad that, just because of my appearance, I am considered half way to becoming a terrorist.”
A police spokeswoman said: “South Wales Police takes its responsibilities very seriously in terms of respecting diversity in all individuals. We are very much aware of the sensitivities and considerations required in balancing the need to protect the public while respecting all individuals’ rights and needs.”
The seven, all friends since childhood, travelled to Cardiff Airport on October 24 to catch a flight to Glasgow for a friend’s wedding. The first group to arrive – Atif Shabir, Ali Chishti, Sajid Hussain and Naweed Akram – were in the process of using the self check-in when they were approached by armed police, a plain clothes police officer and airport security officers.
Mr Shabir, 27, a self-employed property developer from Cyncoed, Cardiff, said: “They called us over to the side and checked our passports. They also took our names, addresses and date of birth and asked us where we were going. I asked them why. They said there was nothing to worry about and it was routine and all normal, but it wasn’t because we were the only ones.”
He said they were taken around the corner out of sight of other passengers. But after they had given their details they thought the police and security officers had finished with them so Mr Hussain joined the check-in queue….
Mr Ashraf, 29, an accountant from Riverside, Cardiff, said: “I asked the police officer why we were being pulled aside and he basically said he was airport police and he could do what he wanted.”
Mr Hussain and Mr Akram, 29, also from Cyncoed, were taken to separate rooms upstairs where they claimed they were asked to empty their pockets and to hand over mobile phones and bank cards.
They said they agreed police could make a note of the last 10 numbers they had dialled as they had nothing to hide.
Mr Hussain claimed the questions he was asked included whether he believed in radical Islam, did he associate with or know any radicals, is hatred incited in his mosque and was he a practising Muslim.
Mr Akram said: “They asked me if, at the mosque, they were talking about the English Defence League and Welsh Defence League. I said that at the mosque, they just teach us about religion. Then the policeman told me there was a rally happening that day.”
The Welsh Defence League had planned a march in Newport on October 24, but the protest fizzled out.
The group was only allowed to proceed to the gate shortly before the flight was due to leave. In the days after they said they were interrogated, both Mr Hussain and Mr Akram claimed they had trouble using their bank cards because they had been security flagged.
Mr Hussain said: “We (the UK) have gone to Afghanistan to promote our way of life – that is a very tolerant society that is very accepting. While here, the picture is different and is getting worse. It’s a very sad situation.”
Yeah, things are just peachy in Afghanistan as compared to Wales. Why don’t you emigrate to that paradise, Mr. Hussain?