14 New Jersey women alleging anti-Muslim bias at Newark Airport security

Source: North Jersey

, NorthJersey

Fourteen women were pulled off a security line at Newark Liberty International Airport one morning last December as they waited to board a flight to Chicago. Security agents, they said, pored through their luggage and cupped their hands around their legs, torso and breasts, while from behind a clear window other travelers laughed and snapped pictures with their phones.

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The women said they felt like animals in a zoo. After two hours of searches, they missed their flight.

Many of the women had never met before that day, but they had one thing in common: They were identifiable as Muslims because they wear a hijab, or Islamic head scarf. Now, they have joined together to file a complaint against the Transportation Security Administration, the federal agency that oversees airport security, claiming they were profiled because of their religion.

“I don’t even want to remember that day,” said Meriem Bendaoud of Bayonne, who was traveling with her 19-year-old twin daughters, Sara and Amina. “It was horrible. It took us two hours in front of everybody. It was disgusting. We were cornered, all of us.”

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