First off, I always cringe when a Muslim activist starts whining that he’s being abused by the authorities. This case is no different. Hesham El-Meligy was born in Egypt. As far as I can tell, he works for the New York Comptroller’s Office. He went to take the Staten Island Ferry the other day and was stopped for a security check. This is not unusual and everyone is subject to random bag checks. But Hesham claims this ‘felt’ different and he refused the check. He wound up being checked anyway and was ticketed for trespassing and disorderly conduct as well. They then allowed him to board the ferry. I’m not sure they should have.
I’m shock a representative from CAIR wasn’t waiting a the dock with a lawyer.
Those security people could not possibly have known he was from Egypt, so claiming he was singled out for his Egyptian heritage is a specious argument. What he means is he was picked out of the line because he looked like a Middle Eastern Muslim and he’s offended. He felt he had a right to skip the search and when they wouldn’t let him, he made a scene. This guy is the founder of the Islamic Civic Association on Staten Island and in a bizarre twist, he’s also the chairman of the local Libertarian Party. I’m betting the search was random and in today’s ever increasingly dangerous world, when a security guard asks to search your bag, you let him. Period.
It’s almost like they don’t know that we didn’t do random security checks until people from the Middle East started attacking us, and you would think this pinhead would be a little sensitive knowing he’s in New York.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A religious and political activist on Staten Island claims he was placed in handcuffs, frisked and issued two summonses by NYPD officers based on the way he looks.
If he’s a Muslim religious activist then he knows what he did was stupid. He was trying to say that it wasn’t a random search. I believe the officers when they say it was a random search, but if it were up to me I would tend to look closer at those who look like all the guys who flew planes into buildings, shot up innocent Americans, and who chant death to America over little old ladies with blue hair and aluminum walkers.
Hesham El-Meligy, a Muslim who was born in Egypt, was temporarily detained and searched by police at about 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George, after he refused a random bag check.
After a search of his backpack, he was issued summonses for trespassing and disorderly conduct and allowed on to the ferry, police said Thursday.
El-Meligy, founder of the Islamic Civic Association on Staten Island and chairman of the Staten Island Libertarian Party, said he believes the bag check wasn’t so random.
He took to Facebook hours after the incident, saying he felt singled out because his Egyptian heritage.
“I have no doubt that many (people) are in fact stopped randomly, but the manner this was done in my particular case made it feel different,” said El-Meligy.
He said there were at least five people in front of him carrying purses and backpacks when an NYPD officer walked in to the crowd, extended his arm and ordered him to a table for a bag search.
“I said ‘no thank you,’ said El-Meligy. “He replied that he’s not asking me, but telling me, and I replied again, ‘no, thank you.’”
There’s no way to know if the security guards did indeed profile, but a) I’m for profiling and b) meh. This guy claims since the ferry is run by the government, his constitutional rights were violated. I would refer him to the Patriot Act. Unconstitutional or not, it is the law and your choices are limited. Either comply with the rule of law, get shot or wind up in jail. Sorry, that is the reality of today’s environment.
I might also add, if you don’t want to be treated like a potential terrorist, don’t act like one. Instead of complaining about security targeting him, considering the outcome of 9/11, he should be thankful they are actually doing their jobs. If he finds this unbearable, then work to overturn the Patriot Act. NYPD says he was not singled out for any reason… it was a random check. El-Meligy says his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. He was given a choice to submit to the search or not ride the ferry.
Random searches of bags in the New York City subways, commuter railways and on buses were first enacted in 2005, under Mayor Michael Bloomberg as officials expressed alarm about the latest bomb incidents in the London transit system.