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Iraqi says had to change t-shirt before US flight

Reuters | August 30 2006

An Iraqi architect on Tuesday said he was forced to change his t-shirt before boarding a flight in New York because the shirt had "We will not be silent" written on it in Arabic and English.

Raed Jarrar wrote on his Internet blog (http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com) that he was required to change out of the shirt prior to boarding a JetBlue flight from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to California this month because officials told him people were offended by the shirt.

In an interview with New York Public Radio on Tuesday, Jarrar said, "I grew up and spent all my life living under authoritarian regimes and I know that these things happen. But I'm shocked that they happened to me here, in the U.S."

Jarrar could not immediately be reached for comment.

JetBlue said it was investigating the August 12 incident.

"We're not clear exactly what happened," JetBlue spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said.

The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee said the U.S. Transportation Department and the Transportation Security Administration were also investigating the incident after the committee lodged complaints on behalf of Jarrar.



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