Racial profiling occurs too often amongst Muslims. They have been the scapegoats of America ever since terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. As each new terrorist threat occurs, Muslims are feared more. This fear is based upon stereotypes and implies that Muslims are dangerous people and can lead to unjust acts by Americans. When racial profiling is being used, they are treated unfairly and their rights are practically nonexistent. Racial profiling towards Muslims occurs mostly in airports, is embarrassing, and often unjustified.
Traveling creates some of our best memories. Even in airplanes, striking up an interesting conversation with the passenger beside you makes for a great memory. As for Shoshana Hebshi, her plane ride was not very pleasant. Part Arab, and traveling on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 crash, Hebshi was taken off the airplane, strip-searched, and jailed, along with two of the passengers seated beside her who were of Indian-American background. According to an article by USA TODAY, “ Hebshi and the two other men were detained after people on the plane complained about two of them going to the restroom.
Flight attendants had alerted the pilot that the men going to the restroom were ‘possibly of Arab descent’.” Passengers on the plane feared that they were terrorists just
because two Arab-looking men needed to use the restroom. The fear instilled in them from 9/11 has not diminished and with all the new threats, has only grown. Hebshi had done nothing suspicious at all but was detained anyway due to racial profiling. Americans are looking for someone to blame and finding ways to justify their fears. Humiliation can cause one’s life to drastically alter. Feelings of shame and indignity are hard to forget. They have a huge impact on future thoughts and actions. USA TODAY stated that Hebshi felt“ frightened and humiliated” during the process of being taken off the plane and jailed. When racial profiling occurs it is usually in front of the public eye. It is embarrassing to have everyone think of you as something you are not, a criminal of some sort. Hebshi had no idea why the armed men were coming for her. Even as she was being handcuffed, she was clueless.
When she did realize what was happening she felt guilt and shame. There was no reason to feel guilty, but the thoughts of others are reflected back onto her. To have everyone around you, even strangers, think that you might be a violent terrorist is quite humiliating. She will have to live with this memory for all her life. Next time she boards a plane or even decides to go on a trip, she will have to plan accordingly, making traveling a hassle. Hebshi’s life is impacted negatively due to racial profiling. Authority figures are here to protect our rights but when racial profiling occurs our rights go straight out the door. Many times there is no legitimate reason for a Muslim to be suspected of terrorism. Josh Nathan-Kazis wrote an article about the NYPD spying on Muslim students. All students with a Muslim background were being monitored, Azaryan 3
simply based upon racial profiling. According to Kazis, “ NYPD had collected intelligence on Muslim student groups in many colleges. It also reported that the department had sent investigators to create files on mosques n New Jersey and Long Island.” Without reason the New York police department was keeping tabs on Muslim students. Kazis also argues “ the NYPD may have systematically violated the rights of Muslims”. This refers to the 1985 Handschu agreement, which is a set of guidelines in New York City that regulate police behavior pertaining to police activity. Jewish students support Muslim students who are targeted, stating that “It’s an issue for Muslim students today but it could be an issue for a different group of students tomorrow.” This support brings the two communities together and creates a more united front.
Though racial profiling is common everywhere, in America it is a large issue concerning Muslims and the fear of terrorism. Authority figures use racial profiling in airports against Muslims and Muslim-looking people in hopes to create a safer flight ever since the attacks on September 11, 2001. The use of racial profiling is unjustified and unfair towards Muslims. Being openly disrespected in public is humiliating and can impact a person’s life greatly. The United States government is doing what it can to protect us and make us feel safe, but surely there is another way of going about security without compromising civil rights. Who will be the next scapegoat for America?
“Ohio Woman Sues FBI, Airline for Racial Profiling.” USA Today. Gannett, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. Kazis, Josh N. “Jewish Students Decry Spying on Muslims.” The Jewish Daily Forward. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.
Cite this Racial Profiling
Racial Profiling. (2016, Oct 04). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/racial-profiling-4/