Sikhs Complain of Bias at Airport Checks
Followers of the Sikh faith say they have been unfairly singled out for elaborate security checks at airports, sometimes being forced to remove their turbans, an integral part of their religious identity.
Some say racial profiling at airports has been part of a backlash against people of Middle Eastern appearance since the Sept. 11 attacks, which have been blamed on Islamic extremists.
Sikhs are often mistaken for Muslims because both groups wear turbans.
The Sikh Communications Council and the Sikh Coalition each say they have received more than a dozen reports of Sikhs being asked to remove their turbans at airports. For Sikhs, the removal of a turban is as intrusive as a strip search, said Ed Vasquez, spokesman for the council.