NIQAB SECURITY OUTRAGES AT CANADIAN AIRPORTS
By Dr. Daniel Pipes
Curious how the niqabi's hidden identity would be handled, I looked back as the trio was dealing with the security agent. To my astonishment, the agent did not demand to see the niqabi's face, but was content to see those of the man and child. I wanted dearly to video this procedure on my mobile phone, but dared not, thinking that this could well get me hauled in on some charge that I, ironically, was breaching security.
This experience comes to mind as I follow a current story about a similar situation at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport. The Toronto Sun explained on August 1 how Mick Flynn of Bradford, England, was boarding a flight there on July 11, when he witnessed two women with their faces covered board an Air Canada Heathrow bound flight without being asked to remove their veils. In fact, in the video that Flynn has posted online, a man traveling with the group hands in all the passports and is the only one to interact with airline staff, while two veiled women simply walk through.
Unlike me, Flynn did something about this outrage:
In a public statement, Air Canada insisted:
This, of course, is mumbo-jumbo. Then, to make the story even richer, Air Canada has threatened a lawsuit against Flynn for his video.
A day later, the Sun followed up with a report from Pearson:
The veteran Pearson worker said there are many factors that have led to what he deems a security risk: The lack of a clear policy from airline management, worries about political correctness, and often aggressive behaviour from men traveling with veiled women.
Transport Minister John Baird issued a statement promising to look into the matter.
On August 3, Baird came out with a more assertive statement:
"I'm the Minister of Transport, they validate my ID every the time," Baird told Ottawa radio station CFRA.
As for setting up special rooms where Muslim women can remove their veils away from other passengers, Baird dismissed the idea as unworkable. "I have no intention of establishing special rooms at every single gate so that we can validate someone's identification," said Baird. "This is Canada, we're an open society, we're a society where men and women are treated equally."
(1) It's hard to say something original about this preposterous situation. Obviously, niqabis must not get a free pass onto planes. If anyone wants a few dozen reasons why, just go to my blog on "Niqabs and Burqas as Security Threats."
(2) For an amusing counterpoint, also dated August 3, note the complaint of Kim Riddlebarger, Senior Pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, California, who recently attended a United Reformed Churches in North America synod in London, Ontario:
(3) As regards the video taken by Mick Flynn, it's fascinating to see the impact of a single low-quality video. Next time, I must not let the opportunity pass me by. (August 3, 2010)
© Daniel Pipes 2010
Republished with the Permission of Daniel Pipes
Reprinted from the Daniel Pipes Mailing List, August 4, 2010
URL: http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2010/08/niqab-security-outrages- at-canadian-airports
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