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Are air passengers being racially profiled?

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August 25, 2006 01:56 IST
They used their cell phones and laptops on board an aircraft. They didn't heed the crew and were moving around when the crew asked them to be seated with their seat belts fastened.

That was reason enough for the pilots of Northwest Airlines to send an SOS to the Dutch authorities.

Soon, two F-16s were escorting the flight back to Amsterdam. Twelve Indians were arrested and it was 24 hours before the authorities could clear them, saying no terror-related charges were filed against them.

This was not the first such incident. Earlier this month, two Arab-speaking men were forced off a flight on suspicion that they were terrorists. Upon investigation, no such link was found. Five years ago, the crew of a Malayalam film was detained when they were on a flight from Dallas to New York in the US. The reason: They were conversing in an alien language.

With such instances on the rise, one of the first questions that arise is whether there is a bias against Asians among Western security agencies, both European and American? What do you think of the recent happenings? Is there a racial bias against Asians?

Have you faced the brunt of any racial bias from security personnel at airports? Share you experience and thoughts with our readers. Click here.


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