Thursday, June 17, 2010

Man Without a Country? Muslims Second-Class Citizens?

I was reading an article here that chronicles the situation currently faced by an American-born young man. Because he went to study in Yemen, he has gotten caught up on the US's no-fly list. While I'm sensitive to the US's need to protect its airspace, denying an American-born citizen with no other country and no other passport passage home is unconscionable.

The young man is stuck staying in a $16 a night hotel in Cairo. He is stuck eating American fast food chains for every meal. This beneficence is paid for courtesy of the US embassy, bu will have to be repaid. Apparently the embassy never bothered watching Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me. I wonder if this man will be able to claim compensation for the health damage all this fast food is doing to his system? But seriously, a $16 a night hotel? I can imagine exactly what this hotel must be like. And how frustrating this must be... Given the world's flying-focused nature, how is this fellow supposed to get home? I guess he might be able to fly to Canada and then drive across the border?

Now, frankly his mother was either naive or foolish when she sent her sons to study in Yemen, but simply being there doesn't mean this fellow is a terrorist. The US government should have an obligation to give this young man a hearing, present evidence which can be refuted, and then get him off the list. And, this should be at their expense, not his. The mere idea that he will have to pay back monies spent on essentially being held hostage in another country is beyond belief. Is his real crime that he is Muslim at a time when it is not politically correct to be one? Somehow the American government, which seems to believe that it is capable to determining who terrorists are, needs to figure out a way to not infringe on the rights of citizens (and non-citizens). Fighting a ghost is a battle that can never be won, somehow we need to either find the real enemy or accept that the real enemy is unlikely to be vanquished and we aren't willing to give up all of our rights and just to beat him... At least, that's my 2 cents.

Happy Hostages!


At 3:27 PM , Blogger Vlatka said...

I was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and now I live with my American husband in Illinois. All these stories just make me scared to travel and visit my family that I miss terribly. Last time I visit my family I was not able to relax and enjoy my stay there because I was stressed out of going back home, almost having nightmares of being stranded at the airport away from my husband, wondering what if authorities say that my documents are not sufficient to prove my American permanent residence.

At 9:08 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Vlatka, this is scary. And not just for those who have a green card or even naturalized citizens. This young man is American-born. He has no other citizenship. That's what I find a bit scary...

At 2:18 PM , Blogger Vlatka said...

I agree totally when he said: "My home is America and I don't know why I can't go back there.... put me in an airplane with a bunch of U.S. marshals or whatever, in handcuffs. Just get me back home."


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