Posted by Lotg on March 07, 2004
In Reply to: Purdah posted by Warthog on March 05, 2004
: : : : flying while Muslim pp.
: : : : At airports or on planes, the racial profiling of a person who is or who appears to be a Muslim. Also: FWM.
: : : : Example Citations: On Sept. 26, 2002, Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen born in Syria, was returning to Montreal from Tunisia when he was taken into custody at New York's Kennedy Airport. Shackled and interrogated by INS, FBI and other agencies for several days, Arar repeatedly asked for an
: : : : attorney, but was refused one. ...
: : : : Arar never was charged with a crime. But his real offense might have been simply FWM -- flying while Muslim. --Lawrence Swaim, "Laws need to change," The Argus (Fremont, CA), February 4, 2004
: : : : Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society said he used to worry about racial profiling as a driver who is black.
: : : : "Now I have to be concerned about flying while Muslim," he said. --Stephanie Erickson, "Concerned about civil rights," Orlando Sentinel, December 15, 2002
: : : : Notes: This phrase is a play on "driving while black" (or DWB), having a car pulled over (by a police officer) for no other reason than the driver
: : : : is black. This in turn was a riff on "driving while intoxicated" (DWI), an actual offense. Some phrases similar to flying while Muslim are "flying while Arab" and "flying while brown" .
: : : : Earliest Citation:
: : : : "I've faced both kinds of profiling: driving while black and flying while Muslim," said the 28-year-old student. "If we get to the point where we begin curbing our civil liberties and the rights of certain
: : : : people, I think the terrorists have won." -- Joyce Purnick, "Last Week, Profiling Was Wrong," The New York
: : : : Times, September 15, 2001
: : : : http://www.wordspy.com/
: : : I liked 'driving while blind' by The Hamsters (may be a cover (ZZTOP?))
: : : Let's be honest - if your country is targetted by people that dress in a distinctive way, then other people retaining that mode of dress are going to be more suspicious - it is human nature. I mean if there has been a rape - women are more suspicious of the men around them than women - it is a natural survival instinct. Not many Islamist terrorists will dress like the cast of 'Baywatch' - and WASPs are not that likely to be members of al-Qaeda, so it is natural that whatever the reality - Bin Laden lookalikes are more suspsected.
: : : to show that judging by appearances can be very misleading - a Sikh friend aged about 55-60, who has a Bin-Laden style beard and wears a turban quite understandably got rather upset by being mistaken for 'that kind of person' after September 11. Muslims and Sikhs are not historically the best of friends shall we say and dress-code similarities apart - there is not the slightest likelihood of a Sikh being al-qaeda friendly. he had every reason to be narked.
: : Just to make things more difficult. Some years ago I was on my way back from Saudi Arabia, where I had worked for a few weeks. On embarkation, many traditionally dressed Saudi women got on board. Half way through the flight they all began to disappear into the toilets. They all reappeared in traditional western dress! I had observed the very reverse on the way out!!
: : Don't judge a book by its cover.
: ...don't judge a look by the lover!
: (you old retro 1980s romantic, you!)
Warthog, I think you're absolutely right that regardless of PC, in our own minds and hearts, we do associate ideas. Consequently, anyone who looks and dresses like a Muslim may conjure up automatic suspicion.
However, this is very disturbing. Because the big picture is that if someone who looks and dresses like us commits a similar heinous crime, that means we become the suspicious ones. So in that event, what do we do? Suddenly start dressing differently? Imagine if we all had to start dressing like a Sikh to save ourselves from harassment. I wonder how quickly we'd embrace that idea?