‘You are not safe’: Muslim woman claims airport security asked her …
A Muslim woman filmed airport security staff in Rome telling her to remove her hijab and be inspected because she was “not safe”. Aghnia Adzkia was returning to London, where she is a student, after visiting friends in the Italian capital when the row broke out. She said staff initially asked her to remove her hijab at the security gate at Ciampino airport.
When Aghnia, who is from Indonesia, refused she was eventually offered the option of going to a private room with a female security officer to be checked. But she felt she had been racially profiled by security and asked them to explain why the hijab inspection was necessary.
Muslim woman films her row with airport security over hijab inspection (Photo: CEN / @aghniaadzkia)
Aghnia filmed part of the argument in which a female security agent can be heard saying: “You are not safe.
“You could hide something in your hair.
“If you don’t take it off, we do not know if there’s something inside, okay ? You are not safe for us.”
Aghnia decided to abandon her flight as she was already late for boarding and re-booked a flight from another of Rome’s airport’s, Leanardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino.
But she was again asked to remove her hijab by security. This time she opted to comply. Posting on social media about her experience, Aghnia said: “I wanted to prove to them that I have nothing to hide and I am not a terrorist.
A female airport security agent tells Aghnia: “You are not safe for us” (Photo: CEN / @aghniaadzkia)
“In the meantime I saw two nuns wearing headscarves, but they weren’t asked to take them off.
“Is this what you call fair treatment and respect ?
Where are my human rights?”
But an official at the Indonesian Embassy (KBRI) argued that, when in Rome, Aghnia should have complied with the security officers’ wishes.
Airport policies on removing items of religious clothing vary in different countries and airports.
Aghnia claims she was racially profiled as she saw two nuns wearing headscarves walk through security unchecked (Photo: CEN / @aghniaadzkia)
In the UK, government advice issued in 2010 states that Some female visitors, particularly those of the Muslim faith, will wear veils or other face coverings for religious reasons.
“They must not be made to uncover their faces or hair in public or in front of a man as this could cause serious offence and distress.
“When required for security or identification purposes, the removal of the veil or face covering must be done in private with only female staff present.
“Following the removal of headwear, the person must be given the opportunity to use a mirror, and to have privacy and time to put it back on.”