Truth to Power

TSA finds that stupid is expensive

Passenger forced to cover Arabic T-shirt receives $330,000 compensation

An airline passenger forced to cover his T-shirt because it displayed Arabic script has been awarded US$240,000 (A$337,000) in compensation, campaigners said Monday.

Raed Jarrar received the pay out on Friday from two US Transportation Security Authority officials and from JetBlue Airways following the August 2006 incident at New York’s JFK Airport, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced.

“The outcome of this case is a victory for free speech and a blow to the discriminatory practice of racial profiling,” said Aden Fine, a lawyer with ACLU.

Jarrar, a US resident, was apprehended as he waited to board a JetBlue flight from New York to Oakland, California, and told to remove his shirt, which had written on it in Arabic: “We will not be silent.”

He was told other passengers felt uncomfortable because an Arabic-inscribed T-shirt in an airport was like “wearing a T-shirt at a bank stating, `I am a robber,’” the ACLU said.</em>

They need to track down the numbnuts passengers who felt “uncomfortable” at squiggly lines on a piece of cloth and make them pay as well.

Stupid should hurt more.


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