With many questions still lingering about the attempted bombing of a flight arriving in Detroit on Christmas Day, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has appealed to airline crews and security personnel to avoid ethnic and religious profiling.
The organization expressed its concern after two recent incidents in which passengers were allegedly targeted based either on their national origin or on otherwise ordinary behavior.
The first incident is reported to have happened in Arizona, where two men who were described as "Middle Eastern" and who spoke in a foreign language, were removed from a US Airways flight and questioned by the FBI before being released.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, police removed a Nigerian passenger from a flight after he became ill and spent what others considered too much time in the aircraft’s bathroom, the organization adds.
"While everyone supports robust airline security measures, racial and religious profiling are in fact counterproductive and can lead to a climate of insecurity and fear," said CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper.
The appeal coincides with a statement by former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge in which he suggested the alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab may not be eligible for constitutional protections based on his foreign nationality and the gravity of the charges he is likely to face.