WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, August 31, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will offer a “Know Your Rights as a Hajj Traveler” community training webinar for those taking part in the pilgrimage to Mecca. The free webinar will be held at 1pm EDT. Hajj travelers and others are encouraged to attend.
The training will provide information on airport security agencies, screening, body scanners, your rights at customs and US entry points, the terrorist screening database, no-fly and selectee lists, the complaints process, and more. Common scenarios will be discussed.
Trainers include CAIR-OK Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure and CAIR National Staff Attorney Maha Sayed. NOTE: This webinar is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
WHAT: ‘Know Your Rights as a Hajj Traveler’ Webinar
WHEN: 1 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, August 31
CAIR also offers an informational pocket guide, “Your Rights and Responsibilities as an American Muslim,” which states in part:
“As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel. It is illegal for law enforcement officials to perform any stops, searches, detentions, or removals based solely on your race, religion, national origin, sex, or ethnicity.”
Other CAIR Hajj-specific travel recommendations for Muslim travelers include:
* Check any baggage containing Zamzam water bottles that you bring back to the U.S. Airlines will NOT allow you to carry liquids in large quantities on the plane, so be sure to check Zamzam and other liquids. (Zamzam water is drawn from a well within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and has religious significance for Muslims.)
* If you are bringing back dates, make sure they are processed and sufficiently dry. You may consider vacuum sealing your dates to ensure freshness and to minimize the likelihood of contamination.
* When packing, ensure that your shoes are cleansed of any soil. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has strict rules regarding entry of soil and chemicals into the country.
* If you are bringing back items worth more than $800 per person, declare them using the CBP Declaration Form made available by airline staff when landing. If you do not declare items worth more than $800, CBP may confiscate them.