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November 29, 2001

Unbelievable: EEOC forces airport security to hire foreign Arabs from terrorist nations

WASHINGTON, DC -- If the U.S. government really wants to protect us from murderous terrorists, why did it force an airline security company to hire non-citizen Muslims from terrorism-friendly nations to operate airport metal detectors?

And can we expect more of those kinds of wacky "anti-discrimination" rulings now that the federal government has taken over airport security?

Those are the questions being asked by Libertarians after a shocking news report revealed that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission used "religious-bias" regulations to prevent potential terrorists from being removed from sensitive airport security jobs.

"Anti-discrimination laws have gone too far if they make it illegal to discriminate against potential foreign terrorists," said Steve Dasbach, the Libertarian Party's national director. "You have to ask: How many American lives are federal bureaucrats willing to risk because of their ever-growing, crazy patchwork quilt of anti-discrimination laws?"

According to a copyrighted story on WorldNetDaily.com, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forced Argenbright Security, Inc. to rehire seven Muslim women.

The women, who worked at security checkpoints at Dulles Airport, had filed a religious-bias complaint with the EEOC after they were fired in 1999. Four of the women were from Sudan, a nation on the State Department's terrorist blacklist. Another woman was a citizen of Afghanistan; another was from Egypt.

Argenbright Security said it fired the women because they refused to take off their traditional Arab head-coverings while operating airport metal detectors and X-ray baggage-screening devices.

The company said it had received complaints from customers who were nervous at the sight of Middle-Easterners staffing airport security stations after the two 1998 African embassy bombings.

The EEOC forced Argenbright Security to rehire the women, give them a written apology, pay them $2,500, and schedule Muslim "sensitivity training" for all employees.

Ironically, Argenbright Security is now under investigation by the Justice Department, following the September 11 terrorist attacks, for failing to properly screen its security personnel.

Given the Argenbright Security case and current anti-discrimination laws, what can we expect once the airport security workforce is completely federalized?

We may get a bureaucracy that is more interested in protecting potential Arab terrorists against alleged religious discrimination than protecting the lives of Americans, said Dasbach.

"It sounds crazy, but it's true," he said. "In the past, the EEOC has ruled that employers can face a $300,000 fine if they fire an illegal immigrant with discriminatory malice (even though it is against federal law to hire illegal immigrants in the first place); that it is illegal to fire employees for being mentally ill or emotionally unstable; that it is illegal to refuse to hire ex-convicts; and that it is illegal to ask prospective employees if they are former drug addicts or current alcoholics.

"And now it is illegal to fire foreigners because their Middle-Eastern appearance terrifies airport passengers.

"In other words, thanks to the EEOC, your last line of defense against murderous terrorists may soon be immigrants from terrorist nations who have been hired as baggage screeners at your local airport. Does that make you feel more secure?"

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