Frisk the Turban

Indian Minister Asks Obama To End Turban Frisking


An Indian lawmaker from Punjab said Tuesday she had asked President Barack Obama to put a stop to the U.S. border practice of frisking Sikh turbans.

Sikhs worldwide have long protested the American security measure as discriminatory and unnecessary in a world with machines for body scanning and metal detection.

New U.S. guidelines put into effect two weeks ago no longer require air passengers to remove turbans if doing so makes them uncomfortable, the U.S. Transport Security Administration said.

But they may still have their turbans patted down — something Sikhs say is happening increasingly amid global terror alerts. And in some cases women are asked to unpin their hair. Religious groups say it is a form of racial profiling.

The U.S. president said he would have a "close look" at the issue, parliamentarian Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Tuesday after the two spoke during an honorary dinner Sunday in New Delhi when Obama was visiting India.

"I'm very hopeful for a change. It sends a really negative message to Sikhs from the moment they step foot on American soil," she said.

"It is a humiliating experience. For us it's like telling us to remove our clothes," she said.

The turban — along with a comb, a sword, a specific undergarment and a metallic wrist bangle — are part of the required dress for Sikh men, according to the religion, which is a mix of Hindu and Islam founded in the 15th Century in Punjab. Sikh women are forbidden to cut their hair.

Men have long accepted they cannot carry a sword aboard planes, Badal said, and so have modified the religious requirement by carrying pendants or blades embedded in their comb "as a symbolic symbol."

Comment: If they can run their hands all the way up to my b*lls ... they can frisk a turban!


  1. You sure have a way with explaining your positions.

  2. I was perhaps a bit crude.

    Still reacting to my airport security episode last week

  3. Some may think I was kidding about my frisk at Charlotte last Friday. Another company employee had the same experience (related independently to another manager who mentioned it to me). And now other complaints are surfacing as well: Flight attendants union upset over new pat-down procedures:

    A flight attendants union with 2,000 members is upset over what it calls "invasive pat-downs" recently implemented by the TSA.

    "We're getting calls daily about peoples' experiences, our members are concerned," said Deborah Volpe, Vice President of the Association of Flight Attendants Local 66.

    Volpe confirmed that the union is offering advice to its flight attendants, who mostly work for Tempe-based USAirways, involving the security moves.

    According to a union email obtained by ABC15, it tells flight attendants if they opt out of using the body scanner through security and are required to undergo a pat-down to ask the pat-down be conducted in a private area with a witness.

    "We don't want them in uniform going through this enhanced screening where their private areas are being touched in public," said Volpe. "They actually make contact with the genital area."

  4. Is it mere coincidence that Bike Bubba chooses now to do a product endorsement? I wonder what the TSA would do if someone went through with one of those?

  5. This may be of interest also: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/dont-let-strip-and-grope-become-the-new-normal/

  6. Tobin, I don't even want to think what they would do. Hint, though; plastic and plastic explosive looks about the same in some RF illumination. I am guessing that the TSA would think the wearer might be a new "Eunuchbomber," like the guy who tried to blow up his skivvies on the flight to Detroit a couple of Christmasses ago.

    (who knew that terrorists had taken inspiration from Bob Probert's excellent crossing into Canada?)


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