September 26, 2012, Anaheim: Each year thousands of Muslim-Americans perform their Hajj pilgrimage and use Los Angeles International Airport as their airport of choice. The pilgrims will start leaving for Hajj beginning the first week of October and start returning in early to mid November. To ensure a pleasant travel experience, Shura Council met with U.S. Customs and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) representatives at Los Angeles International Airport to discuss this years' Hajj travel arrangements.
Referring to a Hajj document developed by the Shura Council specifically for the U.S. Customs and the TSA, the Chairman of the Shura Council, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi said, "reciprocal education and awareness is foundational to make travel experiences most enjoyable and less stressful."
Bruce Mulraney, Section Chief for the U.S. Customs at Los Angeles International Airport thanked the Shura Council for offering educational resources and expertise for the past several years helping them to serve Muslim pilgrims appropriately. Mr. Mulraney encouraged the Muslim pilgrims to take advantage of several useful documents from the U.S. Customs, such as Know Before You Go or Top 10 Traveler Tips.
The TSA was also informed about the specifics of Hajj travel and an informational package about Hajj related issues was also provided to them. Shura Council was reassured by Ms. Danielle Bean of the TSA for its gender-specific policy related to secondary searches and suggested that travelers avail their useful 3-1-1 program. She also encouraged the community to report any untoward incident to TSA's round-the-clock Command Center at 310-242-2939.
International travelers coming into Los Angeles International Airport can also call on the U.S. Customs Passenger Services Manager at 310.665.4545 or the LAX International Terminal Watch Commander 310.568.7547 to report complaints or give compliments.
Shura Council's delegation included Imams, representatives of Hajj Tour Operators including the Chairman and the Executive Director of Shura Council - Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi and Br. Shakeel Syed; Imam Sayed Mustafa al-Qazwini, Br. Abdul Wahab (Dar es Salam) and Br. Ghassan Gaddor (MAYA Travels).