JetBlue, TSA employees settle Arabic T-shirt case for $240,000

An air passenger on JetBlue who was forced to cover his t-shirt because it displayed Arabic script, has been awarded a payout of $240,000. Two TSA officials and JetBlue will be forced to pay the sum to Raed Jarrar, a US resident, who had accused them of illegally discriminating against him based on his ethnicity and the Arabic writing on his shirt. In 2006, Raed was waiting to board a flight at New York’s JFK airport wearing a shirt that read “We will not be silenced” in English and Arabic. Lawyers say that he was ordered to remove the shirt after staff and other passengers felt uncomfortable with the Arabic slogan. Jarrar eventually covered the shirt, and was made to sit at the back of the plane. Lawyers for Jarrar say the settlement is a blow to the practice of racial profiling and a victory for free speech.

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