SALDEF - SALDEF Questions Texas Congressman Who Calls Racial Profiling "Common Sense" | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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SALDEF SALDEF Questions Texas Congressman Who Calls Racial Profiling "Common Sense"


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004

Texas Congressman Calls Racial Profiling "Common Sense"

On March 4th, during a Congressional hearing reviewing the Transportation Security Administration's 2011 Fiscal Year budget, Representative John Culberson, R-Texas, 7th District (Houston), demanded to know why the US Government refused to engage in racial and religious profiling when screening passengers at airports.

Rep. Culberson termed the decision of the US Government not to engage in racial or religious profiling "disturbing[,]. . .something that needs to change[, and that]. . .defies common sense." He wondered what federal law could justify a policy against profiling. He further added that subjecting all persons who fly to security screening "is very frustrating" and that screeners should "zero in on the population that's the problem", persons perceived to be Muslim.

SALDEF expressed these concerns in a letter to Rep. Culberson. To read our letter to Rep. Culberson click here.

You can download the SALDEF letter of concern. See our attachment.


Oct 21, 2009
Respected Narayanjot ji,

It can be termed as a discrimination against sikhs.US has also discriminated against sikhs In Military recruitments earlier by clearly stating that they would have to select either a career with Military or 5ks.
It seems ridiculous.

Once a person has a citizenship of Us , he has to be treated at par with others in all the facets of life. It is ridiculous that sikhs should not be treated as first rate citizens and the treatment amounts to their rating as a second grade citizen. In a democratic set up it is not permissible. I am not aware of the latest regulations of Military recruitment. But it is well known that sikh soldiers have served the world war under the British regime in India.That should give enough credence to support that sikhs can work effectively in Armed forces as well when they are wearing the 5ks.

The checking of Sikhs at the airports is also sometimes very painful.The treatment given to Shahrukh Khan [a cine star in India] at NY airport has been condemned by the Media and intelligentsia here.

May be the Government has to address its security issues but it has to respect the basic norms i.e Respect the right to practice the faith and religion. It is the constitutional rights.

I also ratify the approach of SALDEF. How nice it would have been if SGPC could have joined hands or had played as motherly role in such issues. However, such a discrimination is condemnable.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Taranjeet ji

Sorry it took me so long to come around to read your reply. I agree with everything you say. Profiling which was intensively developed by law enforcement agencies like the FBI has a technical basis to it. If you read up on its development and proper use, it becomes crystal clear that profiling should NEVER be used to predict someone may commit a crime, or label someone as a potential criminal.

To act on a profile when no crime has been committed is also a violation of the constitution -- the 4th amendment I believe. Profiling was developed for the sole purpose of organizing evidence found at a crime scene to create a schema that would help describe a possible "profile" of a possible perpetrator.

Profiling was never meant to be used to label or target individuals and groups. I am astonished, aghast, angered that an elected official can be so dead-set on preserving his personal ignorance.
Aug 27, 2005
Baltimore Md USA
I suppose that there is a fine line somewhere but pertaining to the current state of world affairs some special attentions need to be applied.

The US and much of the world is in a clear and present danger of Muslim terrorists. I do not consider them to be terrorists who happen to be Muslims. Therefore some special attention and alertness must be brought to bear, that is not to say Muslims should be treated as criminals offhandedly but do bear a closer look when travelling and entering the US. Of course anyone can be a terrorist but currently the huge majority are Muslims not Inuits, Japanese or Laplanders. It is because of ignorance that Sikhs are being inconvenienced.

Years ago when I looked and acted like a hippie my belongings were thoroughly searched upon entering the country after a trip to South America. I was outraged and behaved badly because of the special attention I received but the customs agent was justified in his actions. It was most fortunate that he did not check the underwear I had on.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Satyaban ji

With all due respect to you, an elected official in the above article is pandering to the uninformed fears of the underbelly of a monster called "Americanism." As a rule I do not make statements that are reflex criticisms of the American way of life -- whatever that means to you, to me, to others. In fact I consider myself fortunate to have been born in this country for many reasons which only increase as I get to know people from other countries.

However, the awareness of the American electorate remains stagnant when fear of the unknown is allowed to propagate itself in this way.

An elected official has two options as I see it. 1) Grub for votes and inflame his constituency by giving voice to unfounded fear. 2) Demonstrate real leadership by admitting ignorance and getting the information needed to raise the general level of intelligence up at least one notch.

Democracy does not survive in an atmosphere of fear and ignorance. When Hitler imposed yellow stars on the sleeves of Jews he was actually profiling. He made people wear a symbol so that their "true intentions" would be known. This Congressman is playing the same card a different way. He is saying in so many words, We know their true intentions -- "they" are up to something. So let's stop "them" before they "do it." That is not worthy of leadership in a democracy. Please forgive my rant. But his comments are a slap against the US constitution and state of the art science on the matter of profiling. And I cannot find anything to excuse it.

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