Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nun Too Soon

How’s this for a European-American hybrid post? I found this photo on Hodja’s blog, posted there by Skjoldungen, our occasional Danish translator.

Searching a suspected terrorist

The caption above the photo reads (my translation — there should be enough Vikings lurking here to correct me if I’m wrong):

The reality itself is sometimes more absurd than the most insane fantasy could dream about.

And so from the USA! Here one sees a woman (?) security guard, who searches — to all appearances based on her outfit a member of Al Qaeda or Hizbollah — an elderly nun at the airport. Or else checks that her virginity is intact?

It’s getting crazy over there!

You gotta watch them nuns — never know what those suckers might do…

Hat tip: Kepiblanc.

[Nothing more here]


Fr. Gregory Jensen said...

I am an Eastern Orthodox priest.

For a while after September 11 I wore a my usual attire, a cassock and pectoral cross, when I traveled.

Invariably, when I went through airport security, I would be asked by the TSA agent to step behind a screen and remove my cassock. I never did, preferring to remove my cassock in public and stand there in slacks and a t-shirt.

After a while I simply gave up the cassock and cross--if for no other reason then to spare the TSA agent the embarrassment having me disrobe.

Now I wear a Roman collar and black suit when I fly. Alas, I am still searched about one out of every 2 or 3 times I get on a plane.

One time I was standing there in all my clerical glory being patted down in front of God and the airport. On my right another man was also being searched. He looked over at me and said: "Oh good! TSA is searching a priest and an federal agent. That'll keep us all safe." (Turns out he was an FBI agent).


I enjoy your blog.


Fr Gregory Jensen

Anonymous said...

Deception is the key to all warfare, even the old Chinese knew about that already thousands of years ago.

Can anyone guarantee that a person, just because he or she is wearing the clothes of any random religion (let's take the nun in the picture) is NOT a terrorist? Is anyone willing to put a 100% guarantee of that with his life? No? Didn't think so.

Even if she's white it's not a 100% guarantee. Trust no one. And there have been white Europeans connected to certain terrorist groups in the past.

Clothes can be changed and obtained easily. Oldest trick in the book.

Wizzard of Aus said...

This is complex - at the first view, I was infuriated. Searching a Nun? A Hijab wearing muslim airport security guard? This is completely inappropriate!

But then I had the same idea as Takekaze - we need to not isolate groups as "innocent" groups - for fear that those who would do us harm adopt the guise in order to circumvent our attempts to protect ourselves.

However, let us not take our desire for security to far - targetting our own in fear of misuse of their appearance of inncoence is not a good strategy - I doubt there are any here who believe that if the situation were reversed (A christian security guard to search a fully burqa'd muslim) that there would not be outrage - or even that her protectors would allow such an indignity/ blemish upon their own honour.

Finally I thought that it does not help to justify our own position upon the ethics of those we comdemn - we must not allow our own actions to be determined by the morality of those we are opposed to. So as much as it seems repugnant, we must be able to search the most innocent of those amongst us, in order to avoid the misappropriation of their innocence. But equally at the same time, this means we must use "behaviour profiling" to search all individuals that fit the "threat" category - namely Muslims.

That is distasteful - it is offensive that we must treat the entire group as potentially guilty based on the actions of a subset of the group - yet this was not our choice. We did not initiate this situation - but we must act in a way to bring about its end. So despite the fact that it runs against our own ethics to target an entire group based on an affiliation - We do it because the cost of not doing it is worse.

History Snark said...

I sorta agree with those who say that everyone must be subject to search. However, looking at the nun, she's no spring chicken. Somehow, elderly women in religious garb seem like a really low risk for terrorism.

But that's just me.

The question that's been on my mind since this pic hit my inbox last night is this: What's the significance of the wheelchair? Does it belong to the nun? That would be the height of silliness.

Ypp said...

This is a clear obvious insult. But... Your commenters seem to enjoy it. With people like that, the virginity tests by veiled security guards will soon become obligatory on every bus stop.

Dymphna said...

It *is* insulting, ypp. But that;s the whole point of political correctness and being allergic to profiling, isn't it?

A combination of insult and ignorance.