MADRID, Spain — A Spanish university professor with a long beard and dark complexion said Thursday he was briefly forced off an airliner during a layover on the Spanish island of Mallorca by passengers who feared he was an Islamic terrorist. Pablo Gutierrez Vega said he was humiliated when three German passengers on an Air Berlin flight approached him during a layover in Palma de Mallorca on Aug. 30 en route from Seville, Spain, to Dortmund, Germany, and asked to search his carry-on luggage. The men told him that other passengers were frightened by his appearance, said Gutierrez Vega, 35, a law professor at the University of Seville.
So who says the terrorists haven’t won? We’re now officially so f——-g scared of anything and everything that we’ve bypassed the realm of the ridiculous and landed directly in the domain of the sublime. Are we now going to live in mortal fear of every darkly-complected, unshaven male? Does merely “looking” like a terrorist in fact make one a terrorist looking for a place to happen? Have we gone completely off the deep end? Apparently so.
This silliness ranks right up their with everyone named “David Nelson” being on the federal “no-fly” list. Of course, no one can or will explain just how the obviously very un-Islamic name of “David Nelson” came to be viewed as such a threat, but being a fairly generic name, you’ve got to know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of David Nelsons getting hassled every time they try to board an airplane.
By now, all of us who travel have a story of the excess and silliness created and forced upon us by the security screening process. Yes, some of the stories ARE downright silly and offensive. In the name of security, and using 9.11 as their justification, airline passengers have been subjected to all sorts of demeaning and degrading behavior…and we have no recourse. In order to fly, we’re subjected to pointless, intrusive, and insulting invasions of privacy. How long until cavity searches become de rigeur? Just wait…
WE DESERVE BETTER…and so does Pablo Gutierrez Vega.