To fight airport harassment Amnesty International has created Skins of Peace

If you're traveling to America or Europe as a foreigner right now you might be getting mistreated at airports. Why? Because of your passport. There's a perception that arabs and muslims are all a bunch of terrorists and that Islam is a religion that preaches hate. In order to combat this, Amnesty International New York, came up with an idea that will turn these passports into messages of tolerance and peace.

Skins of Peace is a collection of passport covers with messages inspired by The Quran, translated into English so customs officials will be able to understand it. The campaign is also seeking out UGC, asking designers from around the world to contribute to this process, no matter what their background or religion is. There are specs to create your own or download them on the site.

Neat idea, if not heavily flawed.

First off, customs agents aren't really interested in the skin of a passport and will make you remove it or just flip it open without looking. It might make someone feel good for donning their passport in a nice message but the chances of a TSA agent even registering it are slim. Secondly, if Islamophobia is as bad as Amnesty International says, having Muslims and Arabs present their passports with passages from the Quran on it (however beautiful and peaceful those passages might be) might have the opposite effect. And while I can't speak for Europe, I have plenty of foreign friends from all countries and all walks of life who are getting harassed every time they go through customs here. I'm sure it's worse for those who come from the Arabic world, but the problem is across the board. There should be a concerted effort to overhaul behavior from anyone working in customs and the TSA.

Client: Amnesty International USA

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