British Muslim women were subject to an explosives search for at Florence airport earlier this month.
The woman had travelled with family members for a weekend break on June 3. A majority of whom were women in hijabs. She confirmed to Tell MAMA staff that they had no issues entering Florence. But searches were carried out under their hijabs before they could return home.
A video of the incident was also passed to our staff confirms the allegations. We learn from the video that airport security
“This is Italy. This is policy. But this is how they teach us how to do it. And we have to do it. It is nothing personal”.
The women were informed that they could complain about the policy. Despite their upset, they did not object to the search, they only sought to establish its justification.
One victim told security, “In London we check under the hair – they put their hand under the hair and touch,” in reference to a drug test.
A member of the security staff then replied: “This is not a drug test. This is for bombs”.
When asked “what is the problem now?” One of the Muslim women replied “My problem? Is that you guys are racist”.
It’s clear from the video that frustrations grew when staff did not address the complaint of racial profiling. The woman who sent this video to Tell MAMA had to delete the video before she was allowed to fly. She emailed it to a family member before deletion.
Tell MAMA will raise the issue further on behalf of the victim with the Italian Embassy.