Samaoen Osman-Crawford, Cape Town
(source: STAR -January 07, 2010 Edition 1)
The failed actions of misguided militant Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab will have severe repercussions on all air travellers visiting the US.
Abdulmutallab botched a bombing attempt on a flight between Amsterdam and Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, an attempt that was made possible through severe lapses in security screening measures at airports in Lagos and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
The US authorities have reacted in a knee-jerk reaction, tarring all with the same brush. All air passengers bound for any US destination will be subjected to extra random screening measures.
After 9/11, these random screening measures are based upon racial profiling, xenophobia and racism. Now US authorities have gone even further: Any passenger from 14 countries will be subjected to full-body patdowns. Passengers from Nigeria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Somalia are now lumped together with nationals from Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, whose governments are listed by the US as state sponsors of terrorism. What about US support for Israel, which committed serious war crimes in Gaza and Lebanon, according to the 2009 Goldstone Report? And what about US support for cruel dictatorships and terrorist states? What double standards. This blacklist of 14 countries targets people from Muslim nations. On that basis alone, it is xenophobia and racist and must be rejected. The Bush administration did the same after the 9/11 attacks in the US and created a new “global apartheid system”. Now, the Obama administration, despite Obama’s much-vaunted 2009 Cairo speech to build bridges with the Muslim world, is following the same path. Shame on you, Obama, and your administration. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
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