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CAIR: Plane Incidents in Ariz., Mich. Raise Profiling Concerns

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/27/2009) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on airline passengers, crews and security personnel to avoid ethnic and religious “profiling” in the wake of the attempted bombing of a flight arriving in Detroit on Christmas Day.
CAIR made that call following two incidents in which innocent passengers were targeted based either on their national origin or on otherwise ordinary behavior.
In Arizona, two “Middle Eastern” men were removed from a US Airways flight in Phoenix and questioned by the FBI after another passenger overheard the men speaking in a foreign language. The men were questioned and released.

SEE: ‘Middle Eastern’ Passengers Removed from Plane in Phoenix
In Michigan, police removed a Nigerian passenger from a flight after he became ill and spent what others considered too much time in the aircraft’s bathroom.
SEE: Detroit-Bound Airline Passenger Was Ill, Not a Threat
“While everyone supports robust airline security measures, racial and religious profiling are in fact counterproductive and can lead to a climate of insecurity and fear,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:


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