Profiling At US-Canadian Border Hampers Livelihood of Muslims

Posted on March 20, 2007


Source: The Globe and Mail (Canada)
March 20, 2007 Tuesday

The federal government must pressure U.S. border authorities to stop racial and religious profiling of Canadian Muslims and Arabs, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations said yesterday. [more]

“The livelihood and future of Canadian citizens cannot be halted without just cause.”

Mahmoud Zeitoun, a student at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., said the incident took place March 15.

Zeitoun, who was born in Lebanon but is a Canadian citizen, said he was headed to Colorado to act as a dentist’s patient while she performed an exam to practise in her field in the U.S.  After answering routine questions about why the group was entering the country, and his planned return five days later, Mr. Zeitoun said U.S. officials told him he could enter on the condition that he depart through a major port between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., which conflicted with his planned return time.

When he asked to speak with a supervisor, he said he was told that he needed a visa to enter the country. Canadians travelling to the United States are not normally required to possess visas, unless they are visiting for work purposes.

Mr. Zeitoun said the dentist and the assistant left on the next flight, but he was detained for 12½ hours and asked whether he had ties to the Lebanese group Hezbollah or knew anyone who harbours hatred toward the United States.  “These questions were just so out of my range,” he told Thunder Bay radio station CKPR yesterday. [more]

Please click here to read the whole article from the Globe and Mail.

 Mr. Zeitoun’s laptop computer was also taken from him, and has not been returned to him. He may not finish the semester since all of his projects were on the laptop. He is hoping the federal government will help him get his rights back. Please click here to read the remainder of his radio interview.