Posts Tagged settlement
An Iraqi-born resident of the United States who was ordered to cover a T-shirt with Arabic script before boarding a plane in New York has received $240,000 in a settlement with two officials of the Transportation Safety Administration and JetBlue Airways.
The Iraqi, Raed Jarrar, was headed for a JetBlue flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Oakland, Calif., in August 2006 when, according to court papers, he was told at a security checkpoint that his T-shirt, which said “We will not be silent” in Arabic and English, would have to go.
One federal employee, according to Mr. Jarrar’s account, told him that wearing a shirt with Arabic script to an airport was like going to the bank in a shirt that said “I am a robber.”
Ultimately, the JetBlue workers gave Mr. Jarrar another T-shirt to wear over the first one, and led him to a seat at the back of the plane, even though his original ticket had been issued for a seat at the front.
In an interview, Mr. Jarrar, 30, a legal resident, called the experience “very painful.” At the time, he said, he was a new immigrant to the United States and had been reading histories of discrimination and the civil rights movement, which he thought of as “things that happened in the past, and in this other place and time.”
“When it happened to me,” he said, “it was very much of a shock.”