The American Civil Liberties Union and a leading Islamic group on Wednesday accused security officials at New York's JFK airport of racially profiling Muslims.
"The price to pay for racial profiling is too high," Dennis Parker of the American Civil Liberties Union told a news conference. "All people should be treated in the same way regardless of their race, their ethnicity or their religion."
The news conference, convened by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, highlighted the case of an Iraqi-born U.S. family, whose members said they were held for six hours, questioned and searched at John F. Kennedy Airport.
Arwa and Sumia Ibrahim and their mother, Nagham Alyaqoubi, said they were held with 200 other people at JFK after returning from holiday in Jordan on Aug. 15, days after Britain foiled a plot to bomb U.S.-bound planes.
The 20-year-old twin sisters, who traveled home via Dubai, said people from several other flights from different countries were also detained.
"Of the 200 people required to go through this procedure, we would estimate that 98 percent, if not more, were Arab, South Asian or Muslim," Sumia Ibrahim said.
"We really do feel our rights were violated as U.S. citizens," she said. She said she and her sister, who moved to the United States when they were five, were also asked their views on the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The women said U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials took away their passports. They said they felt degraded and humiliated by the whole experience and are considering legal action.
UPDATE -- Aug. 25: From CNN: U.S. flights diverted, delayed by security issues.
Posted by Forkum at August 24, 2006 04:41 PM