Editorial: Strong security measures good

Recent strengthening of airport security measures have made many Americans feel safer. However, some measures are targeting Muslim and Arab Americans and some have been made to leave planes before taking off and others have been prevented from boarding altogether.

While it is important that security measures work to prevent future terrorist attacks, it is wrong to single out these groups of people because of the actions of a few. Thankfully, the airlines have acknowledged that some situations were inappropriately handled and they are making strides to ensure that no one is discriminated against based on actual or perceived national origin, religion or race.

There have been a great number of ?knee-jerk? reactions to the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. The nation is in a state of shock and for many, their first reactions were perhaps not the best. But now that some time has passed, people must realize the dangers of discriminating against entire groups of people who are innocent.

Making people leave a plane because some other passengers are uncomfortable with them being on the same flight is unacceptable. Many of the airlines whose pilots removed supposed Arab and Muslim passengers have since apologized. In the future, airlines should perhaps allow those concerned to take another flight instead of inconveniencing someone who does not have a problem.

Also, airlines have made statements telling their pilots and crews not to target people based on appearances but instead to watch for suspicious activity. After all, anyone in the world could be a terrorist and that is the scary thing. If focus remains on only a select group of people, people of several other groups considered innocuous could slip through the system and cause the same sort of tragedies.

The airlines should be supported in their move to strengthen security while maintaining appropriate judgement.