Main | Tuesday, January 06, 2009

ACLU Wins Arabic T-Shirt Case

In July 2007, I told you about Raed Jaffar, who was thrown off a JetBlue flight at JKF because his t-shirt said "We Will Not Be Silent" in both Arabic and English, which made the passengers and crew uneasy. One TSA official likened Jaffar's wearing the shirt to a bank robber who walked into a bank wearing a "I Am A Bank Robber" shirt. There was a lot of discussion here about who was in the wrong, but no consensus seemed to be found.

With the help of the ACLU, today Jaffar won a $240,000 joint settlement from the TSA and JetBlue.
"The outcome of this case is a victory for free speech and a blow to the discriminatory practice of racial profiling," said Aden Fine, senior staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group and lead attorney on the case. "This settlement should send a clear message to all TSA officials and airlines that they cannot discriminate against passengers based on their race or the ethnic content of their speech."
Jaffar has a blog about his experience on the ACLU site.

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