Here we go – yet – again.
Earlier this month Iyad Abuhajjaj, 36, a Palestinian who lives in California, was detained — and ultimately arrested — in Tampa after deplaning a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix.
Seems that on his laptop he was watching scenes of interrogations – and gruesome torture – of terrorism suspects. Both English and Arabic were being spoken. It spooked some passengers, a flap ensued with a flight attendant and he was eventually held without bail in the Hillsborough County jail.
It turns out that those scenes were from a movie, “The Strange Case of Salman abd al Haqq,” he’d been filming with some university students.
He took considerable umbrage over the incident and suspects he was singled out because of his ethnic background and thick accent.
Of course he was.
Common sense and post 9/11 reality would predispose anyone to look askance at a young Arabic male watching terrorist-interrogation torture scenes at 30,000 feet. And, no, there’s no need to apologize over rational suspicions or to feel like stereotype-stalking, ethnocentric Nazis. If anyone should apologize, it’s Abuhajjaj.
But he’ll have to issue that from the Hillsborough County jail. There was an outstanding warrant out for his arrest stemming from accusations of a death-threat and Internet-account misuse. “The Strange Case of Iyad Abuhajjaj” continues.