Arabic writing on your t-shirt? Good luck getting on a plane.
I’ve got a t-shirt that says “Peace” in Arabic. If I attempt to board a flight while wearing it, at least a JetBlue flight, apparently I will not be allowed on the plane. Raed Jarrar showed up for his JetBlue flight with a t-shirt that said, in Arabic and English, “We will not be silent,” and was told, “You can’t wear a t-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘I am a robber’ and going to a bank.” When he asked, “Isn’t it my constitutional right to express myself in this way?” he was told by an airline employee, or perhaps a TSA agent, “People here in the US don’t understand these things about constitutional rights.”
I find this really incredible. Does the U.S. expect “good Iraqis” to adopt the English language and alphabet along with our form of government? If I’m listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on my ipod in the airport and the person next to me gets anxious and complains, can I be stopped from flying for that too? Things are getting really ridiculous.
I wish it were clearer whether this were a JetBlue policy or something coming from TSA. Raed Jarrar’s account focuses on JetBlue, but I was on the phone with a ticket agent just now and she denied that JetBlue has any such policy, saying it was probably TSA.