WASHINGTON, 11 January 2007 – A month after the removal of six imams from a US Airways flight spurred accusations of harassment, the federal government has given airport security trainers cultural awareness training about the annual Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

“The cultural awareness training involved reminders about how to screen people with head coverings, policies regarding transport of Zamzam water and the proper respect to show when handling a Qur’an,” Amy Kudwa, a transportation security administration spokeswoman, told reporters.

Throughout January, as many as 20,000 American Muslims will be returning to the United States from their Haj pilgrimage. . .

The Council of American-Islamic Relations says its officials gave airport police and FBI, the TSA, Homeland Security Department and customs officials lessons about the pilgrimage and what they can expect from returning Muslims.

The meeting was part of CAIR’s nationwide initiative following the removal of six imams from the US Airways flight. Federal officials questioned the men and released them without charges.


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