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Arabs and Muslims to be fingerprinted?

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Arabs and Muslims to be fingerprinted?

Old 2nd Oct 2002, 04:29
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Arabs and Muslims to be fingerprinted?

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Wednesday October 2, 2002
The Guardian

"The US yesterday introduced a sweeping new security regime at its airports and borders, photographing and fingerprinting visitors from Arab and Muslim countries.
The regulations, which were denounced by critics as ethnic profiling, went into effect at all American airports and border crossings.

They require all visitors from certain predominantly Muslim countries to undergo additional security checks on their arrival in the US.

As their fingerprints are run through computer databanks for matches with known criminals and terrorists, the new arrivals will be photographed and interviewed by immigration officials about their plans for their stay in the US.

If they are allowed into the country for an extended stay, they must check in with immigration authorities within a month and report any change of address or job within 10 days.

The measures were initially aimed at citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and Libya, all of which are included on a state department list of countries sponsoring state terrorism.

However, the justice department said last month that the regulations would also apply to men from Pakistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia between the ages of 16 and 45.

Yesterday, US embassies in Egypt and Jordan warned travellers that they, too, could spend their first moments in America being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned.

"The process is not static. The criteria may change as intelligence reports change," said Jorge Martinez, a spokesman for the justice department.

He said that as many as 200,000 visitors to the US would be subjected to the new measures every year, with the numbers of those affected fluctuating according to security assessments, which will not be made public. However, he was insistent that the new security regime did not target Muslim or Arab travellers.

"I can't specify criteria, but it is not specific to any race or religion," Mr Martinez said.

Critics say that the measures discriminate against Arab and Muslim travellers, and create needless airport delays and embarrassment for travellers who had already been vetted while applying for their visas.

"It creates an illusion of security but does little to produce any results," said Hodan Hassan, a spokeswoman for the Council of American Islamic Relations. "A whole group of people who are already vetted at embassies when they get their visas, when they come to the country are pulled out of line and fingerprinted. It's a rude awakening for many, and does little to help in the war against terror because it creates resentment."

According to a memo from the immigration and naturalisation service obtained by the Associated Press, immigration inspectors should also examine the visitor's past travels - and seek explanations for trips to countries in the Middle East, predominantly Muslim countries such as Afghanistan, Indonesia and Malaysia, and Cuba and North Korea.

Visitors to the US from Muslim countries already face extra scrutiny. Two months after the September 11 attacks, the authorities required travellers from 26 mainly Muslim states to obtain FBI clearance before their visas were processed at US consulates, delaying travel plans for businessmen and students at American universities for six weeks at a time."

That's smart!!!!!!!!!
Have a Bulgarian who embeded boxcutters or scissors into a soap bar in his lugage. If he happened to have Allah for his god, what you're gonna do?
Fingerprint and photograph all Bulgarians from now on???
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 05:25
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I sure had to get fingerprinted and photographed to fly airliners in the U.S. and in the Middle East. Life is just so unfair...

Hey, perhaps these "visitors" would be happier visiting some country where there isn't so much immigration paperwork like maybe the UK, India or Saudi Arabia.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 05:35
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Gee, and who was it exactly that murdered 3000+ people on September 11, 2001? And who in general preaches hate of Christians, Jews, and the US in general? Hmmm.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 05:57
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Fingerprinting? Thats nothing. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, all Japanese-Americans were involuntarily interned at camps. At least there was no sabotage...
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 06:22
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Seems fair enough to me. When I worked in Middle East I had to be fingerprinted.Why is it these people always want to live in our infidel countries??
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 06:32
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Let us not fall into the trap and generalize here. I worked in 2 Arab countries and never been fingerprinted or had my picture taken to fly their airlines. To say that over 250 million Arabs are now labelled as 'hostile' and all hate the west because of the action of a few terrorists is just as ridiculus as saying that since the Germans caused the death of so many millions of Jews, then all of us Christians are war criminals.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 07:05
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Right ON Boilermaker !!!
You have said it !!!
If we choose to go on this road then where are we headed ??
If I look like Timothy Mc Veigh, should I worry I might be next ??
Maybe you ...
Good luck to all

Last edited by NTM; 2nd Oct 2002 at 07:43.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 10:26
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>...inspectors should also examine the visitor's past travels - and
> seek explanations for trips to countries in the Middle East,
> <snip> .. and Cuba ....

I thought Cuba was a popular US holiday destination?

Err What I mean is a popular holiday destination for US citizens not a popular holiday destination in the USA.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 10:33
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You make a good point boilermaker, but keep in mind that the Islamic fundamentalists are to Islam as the nazis are to Christianity.Meaning that they claim to be part of their "given" religions (acting "in the name of God"), when in fact this is just a cover so they seem to be a larger group than they really are.

Got a lot of thoughts on religion and what it means, but this 's an aviation forum, so I won`t go there.

But keeping in line with the thread; anything that enhances security should be a nice welcome, even if it seems to discriminate people.It`s sort of a choice between 2 evils; putting people through the "hassles" of security checks or not knowing who is onboard, and having a potential lethal outcome.

My 2 cents anyway...
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 13:34
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I hope you are all proad of yourselves. How can anyone condone racism in any form. If fingerprints, stool samples etc.. are deemed necessary then so be it, but for all passangers, not targetted countries/races/religions. This world is to full of examples of 'targetted' groups. (Jews, Serbs, Gypsies and so on)
What next? Extermination?

PS Before I get accused of it, I am neither Arabic or Muslim. Just a fellow being from Earth.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 15:11
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Brilliant plan - thoroughly endorse it. Simply get a female with fundamentalist tendancies and she can get around the plans.

Fact is that if the authorities cannot apply it to all, it is quite simply ridiculous as there are just as many crazied idiots from white, black, Asian and any other subgroups you can think of - McVeigh is simply one example. Quite frankly it is useless as if you want to get lost in the US among the masses of people it is perfectly possible. What is required is a system that highlights people who abuse their visa/entry rights whatever their nationality, and keep tabs on all foreigners generally.

Bubette - those who murdered 3000 people are Al-Qaeda. They are not the Arab population who are not to be held collectively responsible.

Welcome to the land of freedom of which Stalin would have been proud.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 15:34
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A recent Reuters (no friend of the US) poll shows that most Arabs believe that the US deserved the attack. Only militant Muslims and Arabs carry out suicide bombings--and this does include women, as Israel's experience shows, as well as the recent discovery (again see Reuters' news photos) of women smuggling arms in Afghanistan.

Mosques funded by the Saudis and preaching Wahabism, and this is most mosques throughout the world and particularly Europe preach hatred, with the consequential action of Christians, Jews, and Westerners in general. No other religion teaches so much hate.

And let's look at the facts--how many Chinese suicide bombers have you seen recently? Again, last I checked, it was militant Muslim and Arab men who are most likely (and I realize this doesn't mean all, but if all have to be checked so that murders don't happen, I have no problem with this). Look at all the Christians murdered in Pakistan, by militant Muslims, just because they were Christian?

I have been subject to profiling (not this go around), and it is my pleasure to be checked and frisked if this increases security (or the feeling of such) for my fellow Americans.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 15:36
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Its not an 'American' reaction, its just the leadership.

In general, Americans are warm, generous and hospitable people, but they've suffered a severe trauma and are easily stirred by the propaganda of an unstable leadership. Perhaps once they pause to give thought to the full implications of racial profiling, unilateral military action, and the undemocratic machinations of lobbyists, the reaction of ordinary Americans will return the USA to the rule of the people, by the people, for the people that they have enjoyed since the end of the War Between the States. The control of public opinion through the media (including our own) by pressure groups with their own hidden agenda, is a far greater threat to democratic freedom than Al Qaida will ever be.

Fingerprinting and meting out 'special treatment' to particular classes of people can only inflame passions and increase the danger to freedom.

Through difficulties to the cinema



1. When was the last time you sat in a Masjid and listened to the sermon? ('Mosque' is an insulting name of Spanish origin for a Muslim place of worship)
2. There are plenty of cases of suicide bombers who aren't Arabs - Rajiv Ghandi was killed by a Tamil for example. And not all Arabs are Muslim, especially in Palestine where 23% of the population are Greek Orthodox or Maronite Christians. The PFLP is predominantly Greek Orthodox and are one of the more militant groups.

Last edited by Blacksheep; 2nd Oct 2002 at 15:46.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 16:05
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I read even the English translations of the sermons---imagine what we don't hear officially, in Arabic. And I know that not all Muslims are Arabs (see above, re Pakistan), and I said *militant* Muslims. There is nothing wrong with targetting a group who is known to target the US. Enough with the searching of grandmothers, nursing mothers, and esteemed news columnists! (I refer to George Will, recently searched).
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 08:12
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No doubt one could secure 'translations' of inflammatory sermons preached in particular churches all over the globe but that wouldn't make them representative of Christianity.

Meanwhile, my good friend Haji Ali, a kindly Professional aeronautical engineer and true gentleman nearing retirement, and who happens to come from Pakistan, will visit his (US Citizen) daughter, her husband and their baby daughter for the Festival of Eid Al Fitr this year and be subject to this humiliation. Merely because he has a brown face and a "Bin" in his name. Truly the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave eh?

What is the point of all this paranoia? If a dedicated terrorist wishes to enter the USA and carry out some despicable act, he'll gladly leave his fingerprints with immigration and get on with the job anyway. Fingerprinting people on the basis of ethnic origin and religion is not only a violation of human rights, its damned un-American too! Try and imagine why anyone might want you to develop an unreasonable loathing of a quarter of the world's population. When you read or listen to others, (including me) try using the critical mental faculties that the Lord equipped you with at birth. Don't be a follower, be a thinker. Its more human...

Through difficulties to the cinema
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 10:41
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I have just returned from a short holiday in Miami, using staff concessions. I am a darked hair guy in my late 30`s, who gets an excellent tan by just seeing some decent sun, plus taking a few holidays this year (part time working) the skin gets that golden tan look. Now I am British with no Arab or Asian blood.
At MIA security I go though the arch and bag though X-ray. I do not set any alarms off, however, I`m pulled over and asked to remove shoes etc...I do gladly. The security agent spoke very little English. Guess what...I`m clear. Whilst sitting there I watched security pulling over the dark haired male paxs, while our blond or coupled/family paxs pass though.
In MIA the bag does not get tagged to say its been checked so as I board the aircraft, again I am pulled for another check. Again anyone blond etc is not stopped. As they dive in to my hand baggage they find my Airline ID, which is put on the table and the security agent only lightly checks the odd pocket, and I`m quickly body checked.
I have no problems in being checked but there seems to be a farse here and I got checked twice some other paxs didn`t get checked once. If the bag had been tagged saying it had been checked then by the aircraft side they could check someone else.
But guess what....Terriorist come in all different shapes and sizes and colour.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 17:00
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Terrorists come in all shapes and sizes. Really! Any blonde Aryan ones yet?
If you read the local papers in the moderate UAE, for example, the tone is disinctly anti-american. I don' think its much different in Bahrain.
There was that small incident there with the US Ambassdor that resulted in a riot and the cars in the Embassy compound being torched....
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 17:17
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Get over it Blacksheep and others. Save your angst for the victims of terrorists. It's all too easy to play the racist card. The actual reality is that the most likely terrorist come from the countries mentioned and guess what? they are all professed muslims!
This is the real world we live in and that is where most of the threat comes from, Arab men. No amount of politicial correctness can make that go away.

What would I know? Being a blue eyed, fair skinned man? Well because I was Irish, every time I went through British airport I was singled out and my bags searched. Did I resent that? No because certain of my countrymen were and some still are inclined to destroy property and kill innocent victims in order to pursue their cause. So I had to put up with it. I know where the real blame lies.

Sure security at airports is often stupid but what are your solutions? Fingerprint everybody? Do nothing? Come on, what is your magic solution? Presumably you have one or is it just the fact that this is simply another means to bash America.

Quite simply the enhanced security will make it more difficult for a terrorist to gain access to the US. At the cost of a little inconvenience to the legitimate traveller. Sure a terrorist can be any creed or colour but for the most part the average suicide bomber with a hatred of American and it must be said Western European values is an Arab Muslim. That is simply an undeniable fact.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 17:24
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Blacksheep, what humiliation? I've been searched, and frisked; it wasn't bad at all.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 18:16
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I thought Cuba was a popular US holiday destination?

What I mean is a popular holiday destination for US citizens not a popular holiday destination in the USA.
Nope. Hasn't been the case since the Cuban revolution. There are significant restrictions on the ability of US citizens to travel to cuba. See: http://travel.state.gov/cuba.html

Regarding racial profiling. The reality is that our security resources will always be limited. So we have to prioritize. Young arabic men performed terrorist actions in Munich '72, the Geneva OPEC oil ministers conference, Lockerbie, TWA 847, Achille Lauro, the first World Trade Center bombing, Sept. 11, USS Cole, Dahran air base bombing, Beirut marine barracks, Beirut embassies (US & French), etc., etc. So, should we focus our attention on 85-year-old Polish grandmothers? Or should we focus our attention on young arabic men?
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