NEW YORK – One week after two Muslim men held a press conference alleging racial profiling at Giants Stadium, two non-Muslim men have come forward with similar charges.
Mathew Varughese, 26, of Westchester, N.Y., and Pierre Mainville, 28, of Stamford, Conn., said Friday that authorities profiled and unfairly detained them at a Sept. 19 Monday Night Football game between the Giants and the New Orleans Saints.
“We had the Red Scare of the ’20s, the Yellow Scare of the ’40s and now we have the Brown Scare,” Varughese, a Manhattan attorney, said at the noon Harlem press conference, alluding to previous episodes.
Varughese and Mainville, a financial analyst, said they attended the game with two other men, and halfway through the second quarter, they were singled out by security guards, removed from their seats and questioned by FBI agents and stadium security for about 40 minutes.
A stadium security guard questioned them about their religious backgrounds and nationality, both men said.
The FBI initially said the men were held because they had been seen taking pictures of the field, said Varughese. Later, he added, a security guard told them they had been detained because a fan reported seeing several Muslim men praying. None of the men had cameras at any time, said Varughese, and none was Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent.
Varughese is American-born, Protestant and of Indian descent. Mainville is biracial, Roman Catholic and from Connecticut. The two other men did not attend the press conference for privacy reasons, Varughese said, but he described both as American-born and Christian; one is of Indian descent, the other of Dominican descent. . .
The men said they want to raise awareness about profiling and, hopefully, help to end it.
“We respect the FBI doing its job, but profiling is illegal and doesn’t make us safer,” said Wissam Nasr, executive director of the New York branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which sponsored the press conference. “We all remember that day in London when a Brazilian man was shot dead in the train. That’s profiling at its worst, and that’s what happens when countries accept profiling.”
MN: MUSLIM GROUP ALLEGES BIAS AT CELESTICA
Saint Paul Pioneer Press, 11/12/05
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has asked the Minnesota attorney general’s office to intervene on behalf of 16 Muslim workers at the Celestica Inc. electronics plant in Arden Hills who it says were disciplined for leaving their jobs for religious observances. The group said the workers were either suspended or fired earlier this month by the company and an outside contractor in violation of their civil rights. Celestica and the outside firm, Adecco Staffing, denied firing workers, but confirmed employees were disciplined for taking unauthorized breaks. Celestica was involved in a similar dispute with Muslim workers last summer. About 60 of Celestica’s 700 workers in Arden Hills are Muslim.
SEE ALSO: Celestica Fires, Suspends More Minnesota Muslims