Airport laptop seizures anger Muslims

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, a frequent traveler who wears a robe and the traditional amamah headwear of a Shi’a leader, is accustomed to scrutiny at international airports.

But he was not prepared for what happened to him on Oct. 22 as he returned to Detroit Metropolitan Airport from an extended trip to his native Iran. After searching his luggage, customs personnel wanted to see more.

“They said, ‘Well, we need to check your computer,’ ” Elahi recalled. “They said they had to go to an office and check it. They came back and said, ‘Well, do the password.’ … He took it back, and it took another 20 minutes. And then he came back and said, ‘Well, you know, unfortunately, the computer died as I was looking at it.’ ”

Elahi was confronted with what many local Muslims and residents of Arab descent say are increased searches and seizures of laptops at airports and border crossings without warrant or warning. Civil rights groups are challenging the tactic, as the Bush administration and citizens continue to grapple with the conflict between civil liberties and national security seven years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

full article: www.insight-info.com

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Bush’s Middle East foreign policy creates moral tragedies

The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, recently called the United States “a hegemonic power that has lost the high moral ground.” Our politicians have ruined not only our economy but also our image and integrity. President George W. Bush didn’t practice what he preached of a “humble foreign policy” but applied instead the attitude of “might is right.”

imam mohammad ali elahi and imam khomeini

 

Our country, once a beacon of hope and freedom for the world, has squandered our prosperity to create conflicts and instigate civil wars among other nations by funding one group against another. This is a moral tragedy.

The successful presidential election in Lebanon indicates the failure of the Bush foreign policy. The people of the region are searching for reconciliation. The United States should get on the right side of the struggle and be part of the triumph of peace. The president said he gave up golfing “in solidarity” with the families of soldiers in Iraq. I hope the president resumes his golfing soon. A more constructive display of solidarity would be to stop these wars, fix the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan and don’t start yet another war in the Persian Gulf.

There is no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons. United Nations atomic watchdog chief, Mohamed El-Baradei, accused the Bush administration of adding “fuel to the fire” with bellicose rhetoric. The national intelligence estimate in November 2007 confirmed that Iran’s nuclear program has no military aspect — it is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran, just like any other country, has the right to produce peaceful nuclear technology.

full article by Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi