November 15th, 2010 17:00 EST
DHS to Address Airport Pat-Down Issues Raised Muslims
Homeland Security officials today defended airport screening procedures amid a backlash of complaints that they are too invasive, but officials said that changes to some tactics will be made soon.
[Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano] emphasized that the government has "an open ear" and is also considering changes to address issues raised by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which issued a travel advisory for airline passengers and is particularly concerned about the physical pat down of women wearing hijabs.
A growing pilot and passenger revolt over full-body scans and what many consider intrusive pat-downs couldn`t have come at a worse time for the nation`s air travel system.
Thanksgiving, the busiest travel time of the year, is less than two weeks away.
Grassroots groups are urging travelers to either not fly or to protest by opting out of the full-body scanners and undergo time-consuming pat-downs instead. ...
Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has issued its own travel advisory over pat-downs many "describe as invasive and humiliating."
Muslim women who wear a hijab and are selected for secondary screening because of a head scarf should remind TSA officers "that they are only supposed to pat down the area in question, in this scenario, your head and neck. They should not subject you to a full-body or partial-body pat-down," the group said.
By Chris Strohm