A Swedish Muslim wearing a hijab claims airport security staff tugged on her headscarf in full view of others rather than taking her to a private place.
State employee Saama Sarsour explained that the female official at the northern Arvidsjaur airport asked her what was on her head when the metal detector beeped as she passed through. When asked to remove the headscarf, Sarsour requested that the guard scan her body first and then take her into another room out of the public’s eye to remove the scarf.
However, the guard responded by grabbing the hijab and yanking it, leaving Sarsour in a state of shock.
Sarsour, an employee of social security agency Skatteverket, told her employer, and together they came to the decision to report the incident to the police, who decided not to launch a harassment investigation.
Airport CEO Ralf Lundberg would not say whether workers at the airport had been educated about religious consideration. He explained that they have all gone through the correct training and education procedures to ensure no one brings dangerous items through security, adding that they did their job as instructed.
Sweden’s biggest airport company, Swedavia, said normal procedure is to check passengers in private. It explained that the penal code states frisking should be done in seclusion, which is why separate rooms have been put in place for this.