Saturday, November 03, 2007

Arabic Speakers Are Detained, Miss Flight, Sue American Airlines

And they have a case, if this report from the Detroit Free Press is accurate:
DETROIT (AP) -- Six men of Iraqi descent who were heading home from doing training for the U.S. military have sued American Airlines, saying employees detained and publicly humiliated them after another passenger voiced suspicions.

The men worked for Defense Training Systems, a unit of International Logistics Services Corp. of Anchorage, Alaska. Their work involved teaching Marines about Iraqi culture, customs and etiquette, said their lawyer, Lawrence T. Garcia.

"These are some of the most pro-American people around," Garcia said. "There's no reason to suspect that these people were a threat on this airline. ... This is the face of prejudice and racism that happens today."
Apparently, they were detained merely for looking middle eastern and speaking Arabic. Folks, real burglars don't wear little black masks while carrying sacks with big dollar signs on them. Real terrorists have gotten much more sophisticated since 9/11. We probably won't see them coming, which is why airport security doesn't, and shouldn't, rely on profiling.

Looks like they work for this program:
Cultural Awareness Training: Instructor led classroom training on Iraqi tribes their customs and cultural elements, basic Arabic language skills. Subsequent live simulated training w/ custom scenarios based on recent lessons learned in theatre to reinforce cultural training. Each participant is given a color-laminated language and cultural tips reminder card suitable for carry in theatre.