A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

random searching

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 11, 2008

This post is for H, whose enthusiasm for returning to the US has been considerably tempered by memories of bigotry and concerns over racial profiling.

Thanks to a terrific article published last month by Inter-News, I now know what to get him as a “welcome back to the US” gift – a t-shirt:

This one is available from a company called Rootsgear. If you feel that you fit the “profile” and would like a t-shirt of your own, you can order one online here.

Here’s the start of the Inter-Press article, which was written by Lyndsey Matthews:

NEW YORK: “There are almost 1.2 billion Muslim people in the world. At least 15 of us are not terrorists,” quipped Obaida Abdel-Rahim, 28. “It could even be more than that. Maybe even a lot more.” The Calgary, Canada-born  Abdel-Rahim owns the Muslim t-shirt business Phatwa Factory, one of several Middle Eastern-accented t-shirt businesses to spring up in saucy retort to the outpouring of anti-Muslim sentiment since 9/11. From Rootsgear’s “100 percent Randomly Searched at the Following Airports” and casualdisobedience.com’s “Enemy Combatant” tees, to the lighter “Lebanese Princess,” and “Allah’s Little Angel,” they are getting their message across.

Abdel-Rahim, who now lives in Gainesville, Florida, said he hopes to use humorous slogans to bust US stereotypes about Muslims.

“The best thing to happen to Muslim clothing since pants under a thawb [traditional men’s robe],” says a slogan for Phatwa Factory, which he started in 2006.

“I’d like Muslims to know that it’s okay to laugh,” he said, “and non-Muslims to know that we have a sense of humor.”

Two good goals – and a dozen great t-shirts. You can read the rest of the article here or here.



6 Responses to “random searching”

  1. M. said

    LOL! I just read that article in the DS.

    Make sure he flushes his laptop. You know, just in case 🙂

  2. M, we’ve ALL mentioned you when talking about laptop security :D. H found this article online last week, and its been spooking everyone he’s sent it to/mentioned it to ever since:


    My laptop has definitely been copied by the nice agents at TLV, and I’ve had classmates lose theirs to the same, but you are the only one I know whose laptop was taken in the US.

    Its a distinction, of sorts 😛

  3. intlxpatr said

    They TOOK his laptop???

    Yours was copied???


  4. moose said

    You’ve all been Bushed!

  5. M. said

    Yes, intlxpatr, they took my laptop (got it back a month later). Quite the story.

    The day I arrived in SFO at the time, the Washington Post actually ran a story on the same issue. Too bad it wasn’t published a day or two before my trip. Apparently, I was let off easy. Some had their laptop confiscated for a year. And their phones. Oh well, I’m sure the customs agents had quite the blast looking through all my research notes and pictures of my trips to Hawaii 😛

  6. Hi khalti,

    Well, mine wasn’t taken, so it wasn’t so bad. Like M, I’m sure the Israelis really loved having to wade through all my family photos, academic research, etc. etc. etc.

    Moose, I think that’s only true for M, since his happened in the US.

    M, I’m glad it was returned to you. The friends I have who have had their laptops seized say their universities were utterly unhelpful when it came to getting them back. I hope yours was more pro-active – or at least more sympathetic!

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