Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

SALDEF US Airport TURBAN SEARCHES !!!! Sikh Organizations Coordinating Joint Action

Discussion in 'Sikh Organisations' started by spnadmin, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Sikh Organizations Coordinating Joint Action

    (Washington, DC) October 22, 2010 – Earlier this month, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials told representatives of the Sikh Coalition, UNITED SIKHS, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), that Sikhs should now expect turbans to always be searched at American airports.

    While procedures which allow Sikhs to pat down their own turbans and have their hands swabbed by a TSA screener shall remain in place, what has changed is that Sikhs must go through an additional hand wand of the turban as an additional screening procedure 100% of the time. This is true even for Sikh travelers who voluntarily choose to be screened by going through the new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) [ http://www.tsa.gov/approach/tech/ait/index.shtm ] machines. The AIT machines (otherwise know as whole body imaging machines) are being placed in airports nationwide over the coming years.

    SALDEF, Sikh Coalition and UNITED SIKHS oppose this policy and question its necessity. Targeting turbans for additional scrutiny sends a message to other passengers that Sikhs and their articles of faith are to be viewed with suspicion by fellow travelers. The policy is a serious infringement on our civil rights and liberties.
    *What to Expect at the Airport*

    Air travel checkpoints in the United States employ different screening technologies.
    While most checkpoints only have metal detectors, many airports are now installing AIT machines. The AIT machines are new whole body imaging devices that will be installed in every airport in the United States over the coming years.

    According to the TSA, regardless of whether a Sikh clears the metal detector or the new AIT machines, they *will still have to go through an additional procedure in which their turban will be checked for non-metallic items.* During this second screening procedure, a Sikh will have a choice of either:

    * a pat-down of their turban by a TSA screener;
    * patting down their own turban and having their hand swabbed for traces of chemical explosives; or
    * requesting a private screening (in a room outside of public view) of their turban.

    In addition, after this extra screening of the turban, a third screening procedure (under AIT screening policies) will subject Sikhs to a metal detecting wand that will be scanned over the turban. Please remember, that under current procedures, a Sikh can always ask that they pat down their own turban rather than have a screener pat it down.

    If a Sikh traveler opts out of the AIT screening, they will immediately be subjected to a full body (rigorous) pat-down by a TSA official plus a hand wand screening. If you are asked to undergo a full-body pat down, you have the right to ask for this screening to occur in a private room or other setting away from the rest of the traveling public.

    *The TSA's Rationale*

    The TSA says that because a turban is "non form-fitting," it is more capable of concealing dangerous items than other forms of clothing. The TSA also says that its new AIT machines cannot see through the folds of a turban to determine if it is concealing a dangerous item.

    Our organizations vigorously question these rationales. First, the Department of Homeland Security's own website states that the AIT machines are capable of screening threat items "concealed under layers of clothing." Second, on Christmas Day 2009, a person was able to smuggle explosives onto a plane headed to the United States in his undergarments. If explosives can be concealed in undergarments, all garments should be targeted for extra scrutiny, not just turbans.

    *Going Forward*

    Each one of our organizations will continue to oppose this unjust policy. We will call upon Sikhs in the coming weeks to communicate directly with the TSA and their members of Congress.

    Each one of our organizations are also aware that the Sikh American community is as invested in the national security of the United States as any other community.

    Nevertheless, the TSA cannot target turbans for extra scrutiny without cause. We will continue to vigorously question the necessity of this policy given the weak rationales presented for it.

    *Coordination Amongst Sikh Organizations*

    Our three organizations would like the community and government to know that it is our intention to work hand-in-hand to combat unlawful profiling of Sikhs by the TSA. We will jointly strategize and communicate with both the government and the Sikh community about our work on this issue. *
    * Donation Now! [ https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2563 ]

    * Visit our website. [ http://sikhcoalition.org ]
    * Connect with on Facebook [ http://facebook.com/thesikhcoalition ]
    * Watch our videos [ http://www.youtube.com/user/SikhCoalition ]

    The Sikh Coalition
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Loading...


  3. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    I wonder how many cases they've had so far of finding anything except a kangha inside a turban?

    Ishna
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    It is ridiculous! And if there is something to be known it should be shared. :) In fact, your point should be put as a question to SALDEF. I bet they have data.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. aravind ummannoor

    aravind ummannoor
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    HAVE A UNITED ACTION AGAINST ANY ATTEMPT TO HURT ANYONE .swordfight
     
  6. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    And this is why Americans are the dumbest people in the world.
     
  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Harvir ji

    The organizations that are currently opposing these efforts are US citizens. To include Sikh Coalition, UNITED SIKHS American Region, and SALDEF. Please explain how they could be fighting the fight against injustice and also be counted with the "dumbest" citizens in the world.

    Here is how "dumb" they are. They are even asking other "dumb" Americans to donate generously to a "dumb" US organization.

    End of Year Matching Challenge (from Sikh Coalition)

    A handful of generous Sikh philanthropic leaders have set forth a challenge to the Sikh community. They committed giving $180,000 if the community can match the amount. Essentially, every dollar you give will be doubled - up to this $180,000. We are asking that as supporters of Sikh rights that you help us meet this challenge. Let's not miss this opportunity.Please give generously, today [ https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=2563 ].

    Our 1,000 Stars program [ http://sikhcoalition.org/1000stars/ ] has also recently been launched. This regular funding ensures the Coalition's doors stay open and we're able to fight day in and day out. If your family would like to become a sustaining donor by giving $100/month, please visit http://sikhcoalition.org/1000stars/ [ http://sikhcoalition.org/1000stars/
    (Sikh Coalition press release)

    Do you think it is time to check your own karma?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Harvir ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Can you please elaborate what your comment has to do with the original thread?

    Your calling Americans dumb includes all the Sikhs that live here and also the organisations that are fighting for equal rights for all. This also includes myself and many other Sikh Americans who participate in this forum.

    Does your Avatar depict your picture? If it does then it shows that you are not keshadhari and do not wear a turban except, perhaps as your Sunday's best when the situation demands.

    As you are not keshadhari, you would never be able to fathom how many Sikhs have been harassed at the airports the world over because of their turbans.

    Please add something to the debate from which we can all learn from. This is a very serious matter.

    Thanks and regards.

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 5
  9. Seeker9

    Seeker9 United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Cleverness is not wisdom
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    973
    Does anyone know the background to this?

    I'm all for progress but what did they do before this?

    And why can't they're be a more dignified way to check a turban made of cloth

    I just did a Google on chemical explosive detection at airports and a range of articles came back including one from 2005! Surely there must be a better way to do this than what looks like hysterical overkill to me....

    If someone is wearing heavy thick boots will they get special treatment as well?
     
  10. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Let me try to explain the current frustration surrounding this issue in a concise way. It won't be easy.

    SALDEF as recently as this year worked out an agreement with the federal government to take a more rational approach to turban searches. This changed dramatically and suddenly and seems to be falling apart within the last 2 weeks. (Probably spurred on by an international terrorist attempt involving a printer cartridge fitted as a bomb, and destined for the US before Saudi intelligence gave an alert and it was intercepted in I believe Dubai.)

    These extreme security procedures went into effect suddenly and affect everyone, not just turbaned Sikhs. Obvioiusly, for turbaned Sikhs this becomes even more of a problem and more of an invasion of the person, of privacy.

    Before the recent accommodations worked out by SALDEF, turban searches could be and often were very invasive and embarrassing. Of course a wand check and/or a chemical check of a turban will tell you all you need to know. More than that suggests profiling. SALDEF's point has been that greater scrutiny of Sikhs because of their turbans is profiling. And profiling is actually dangerous because resources used for illogical searches are resources that are wasted for the apprehension of real criminals.

    To answer the specific question. Enforcement was in the past arbitrary and inconsistent. In one airport a wand check would be customary, and in another things would escalate to public removal of a turban. The agreement, accompanied other agreements to require mandatory training for TSA agents at every major US airport, now seems to have been tossed aside. It also suggests that some law enforcement agencies of the federal government have chosen to unlearn what Sikh organizations thought they had taught well and effectively (even by Congress).

    To date there have been no reported cases of a US Sikh being a terrorist. Sikhs are unduly exposed by this shift in policy to greater profiling. To make matters worse the TSA is stating that nothing has changed.

    Thus SALDEF must go back to the drawing board, and SALDEF must do this in a political climate that increasingly more hostile to any policy or practice on the part of the federal government that can be used by extreme right-wing elements, who are now even more vocal and more hostile, since the recent Tea Party victories of the November elections. This includes bloggers and lobbyists who anti-immigration, anti-Asian, anti-minority, and think everything is a conspiracy. And that is why Tejwant Singh ji has stated that this is a serious matter.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Seeker9

    Seeker9 United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Cleverness is not wisdom
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    973
    It is indeed a very worrying matter....there has been a sharp rise in right-wing support in Europe as well

    One always expects some sort of blip at times of economic crises but they do appear to be better co-ordinated and better supported and successful this time

    I find it all very worrying and wonder what sort of future my boys will see as adults....
     
    • Like Like x 3
    #10 Seeker9, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  12. a.mother

    a.mother Canada
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    286
    I don't think Harveer007 ji meant that way what we understant.
     
  13. Seeker9

    Seeker9 United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse
    Cleverness is not wisdom
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    649
    Likes Received:
    973
    Yes I think it was just an attempt at humour that completely missed the mood and the seriousness of the discussion
     

Share This Page