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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-01-06 10:40 AM
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Terror Fears Hamper U.S. Muslims' Travel
THESE PEOPLE ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS!!! Will we ever overcome the fear?


Taleb Salhab and his wife say they too were dragged away in handcuffs at the border crossing in Port Huron, Mich., as their two preschool daughters wailed in the back seat of their car. The Salhabs were discharged after four hours of questioning, with no explanation from customs officers.


The delays, humiliation and periodic roughing up have prompted some American Muslims to avoid traveling as much as possible. Some even skip meeting anyone at the airport for fear of a nasty encounter with a law-enforcement officer. Those who do venture forth say they are always nervous.
"I find myself enunciating English like never before, totally over-enunciating just because I want the guy to know that I am an American," says Maz Jobrani, an Iranian-born, Berkeley-educated actor. "Middle Easterners are just as scared of Al Qaeda as everybody else, but we also have to be worried about being profiled as Al Qaeda. It's a double whammy."


"If I had sneezed or looked the wrong way, who knows what would have happened," Mr. Salhab said in a telephone interview. "I feared for my life." Now, he said, every time his daughter, 4, sees uniformed officers, she asks if they are going to take him away.


But underneath the one-liners, the treatment grates. Mr. Ahmed, 35, now avoids flying on the day of a show lest he be barred from his flight. The stress reached a level that the whiskers in his beard started to fall out, he says. ("Your body is trying to de-Muslimize," Mr. Jobrani said jokingly, sitting next to him in a Los Angeles coffee shop. "Next, your skin will get lighter.")

Mr. Ahmed was handcuffed in the Las Vegas airport in November 2004, and, he said, a young black police officer leaned over and said, "Yo man, now you know what it was like to be a black man in the 60's." It is an apt comparison, Mr. Ahmed feels, noting that after the 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist bombing by a white former soldier, Timothy J. McVeigh, not every blond with a buzz cut was pulled over.

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Nimrod2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-01-06 12:09 PM
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1. Self K to see if anyone is interested? NT
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