[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Monday announced that two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website] officials and JetBlue Airways [corporate website] have paid a $240,000 settlement [press release] to a man who claims he was discriminated against on a flight. Raed Jarrar [personal blog] alleged that he was illegally discriminated against based on his ethnicity and the Arabic writing on his T-shirt [image], which read "We shall not be silent" in both Arabic and English. TSA and JetBlue Airways agreed to the settlement late last month.
In August 2006, Jarrar was forced both to cover his T-shirt and then to change his seat from near the front of the plane to the rear. Neither the TSA nor JetBlue felt that Jarrar posed a security risk. The ACLU and Jarrar filed suit [complaint text] in 2007. The complaint alleged that one TSA official told Jarrar that "it is impermissible to wear an Arabic shirt to an airport and equated it to a "person wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, 'I am a robber.'"