Travel security measures six years after 9/11 have Muslims facing extra searches at airports everywhere. A Richmond woman says she was pulled for additional screening because of the religious head scarf she wears.

Zainab Nasser, originally from West Africa, works as a librarian and has lived here 10 years. While she believes she was racially profiled, unfairly scrutinized, the Transportation Security Administration calls it a necessary layer to ensure safe air travel.

“I was just so shocked, and everybody there — I could feel everyone’s eyes were on me,” she said.

The hijab is a prominent and controversial symbol of her identity as a Muslim. Zainab Nasser removed her head scarf for TSA officials, away from public view in a private room at Richmond International Airport.

“She goes like this banging on my head on my bun,” Zainab said of the TSA agent. “She said, ‘I’m just going to give you a hard bump to make sure you are not hiding anything in there.’”

She cleared the inspection. Zainab’s key objection is that she never set off the security scan. No alarms sounded when she walked through the scanner, so why was she selected for the extra check? (MORE)


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