Friday, December 25, 2015

Here's an idea

May I make a suggestion?  Maybe, just maybe, the U.S. would do better in the battle for hearts and minds if we stopped behaving like flaming assholes.
As Mohammed Tariq Mahmood sat in the departure lounge of London’s Gatwick Airport last week, he was surrounded by giddy children, ecstatic for the 11-hour flight that would ferry them to Disneyland. 
But they never [boarded the plane]. A border control officer, on orders from Washington, intervened, Mahmood said, telling him and his brother that their family of 11 had been barred from the flight.
The family, he said, had applied online for a visa waiver using DHS’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The waivers were granted, he said, and the family was able to check in for their flight and clear security without any problems.
Barring a Muslim family on their way to Disneyland from entering the country?  At the last minute?  When they are about to board the plane?  After they've gone through all the proper channels and been granted visa waivers?  With no explanation?  Seriously?
U.S. officials strongly denied that the Mahmood family was targeted based on their religion.
Right.  OK, maybe it really didn't have anything to do with their looking like they could possibly be Muslim.  Maybe the Disney folks tapped the DHS on the shoulder and said, "You know, the lines here at the magic kingdom are really getting out of hand.  Could you help us out?"

Yeah, I'm sure that was it.

[UPDATE: It appears that what might have triggered this latest round of douchebaggery at DHS is a Facebook post, one that was almost certainly a joke, and most likely not written by any of the members of the family that were barred from the country.  I wonder, if I were not a citizen, would I be barred from entering the U.S. for writing this blog post?]

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