Tuesday, March 20, 2007

calls to MacKay: racial profiling of cnd at us border

mackay has to step up to the plate to stop this ...

Muslims petition MacKay
Macleans.ca staff | Mar 20, 2007

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations has called on Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay to ensure Canadian Muslims and Arabs aren't the targets of racial profiling when crossing the U.S. border.

The group is urging MacKay to either bring up the issue with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff or issue a travel advisory warning Canadian Muslims about travelling to the U.S.

"Our government must act to ensure that Canadians are not profiled, barred entry and indiscriminately added to American no-fly lists," the council's executive director, Karl Nickner, said in a release. "The livelihood and future of Canadian citizens cannot be halted without just cause."

The move comes after a 22-year-old northern Ontario student said he was detained for over 12 hours at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The student said he was held and interrogated like a suspected terrorist by U.S. authorities.

Mahmoud Zeitoun, a student at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., said he was detained on March 15 while on his way to Denver to act as a patient for a dentist taking an exam to practice in the U.S. Zeitoun was told he would only be granted entry into the U.S. provided he would leave between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., but the requirements conflicted with his travel plans.

The dentist and her assistant were allowed to travel, but Zeitoun said he was detained for 12 1/2 hours and was asked whether he had any ties to Hezbollah or anyone expressing hatred toward the U.S.

"These questions were just so out of my range," he told Thunder Bay radio station CKPR on Monday. "And the thing is, if you don't answer, they're going to say you're lying."

Zeitoun said officials also seized his laptop and informed him he'd been marked as rejected from entering the country after he was detained for five hours two years ago while trying to cross the border in Sault-Ste.-Marie.

With files from Canadian Press


janfromthebruce said...

Wow. Unbelievable.