DHS Destroys 11 Flutes, calling them banned agricultural products

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Add this story to United States Government Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Customs/TSA at JFK Airport) overreach.

U.S. Customs Destroys 11 Musicians Flutes calling them banned agricultural products

Boujemaa Razgui, a flute virtuoso who lives in New York and works with many US ensembles, was returning to base over the holiday when Customs officials at Kennedy Airport asked to see his instruments.

Boujemaa Razgui playing one of his hand made flutes he uses in concert.

Bourjemaa carries a variety of flutes of varying ethnicity, each made by himself over years for specific types of ancient and modern performance. He is a regular guest with the diverse and enterprising Boston Camerata.

At JFK, the officials removed and smashed each and every one of his instruments. No reason was given.

Via – Arts Journal

A few minutes ago, we reached the flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui by phone to discuss the assault on his instruments by US Customs at JFK airport.

A Canadian citizen, based in New York and with a green card employment permit, Bouzemaa was flying home from Marrakech, Morocco, when his baggage was opened by Customs at JFK.

‘I told them I had these instruments for many years and flew with them in and out,’ he said. ‘There were 11 instruments in all. They told me they were agricultural products and they had to be destroyed. There was nothing I could do. The ney flute can be made with bamboo. Is that agricultural?’

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24 Comments on DHS Destroys 11 Flutes, calling them banned agricultural products

  1. A Canadian, he wasn’t even a Republican! Let’s hope this attaches to Democrat candidates, not just lame duck Obama.

    PBS/NPR will be torn as to which side to take.
    Will we read about it in the Arts section of the NYT?
    Drudge?
    Fox News Channel?

  2. Hanovre – I was about to mention the ideological connection w/Taliban. Aren’t these the same idiots (Customs) who destroyed a grand piano a few years ago?

  3. @Always On Watch, my thoughts exactly.

    IOW, if a musician tried to bring in a 17th century Stradivarius, which are made from various woods and compounds, these knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers wouldn’t think twice before destroying it.

    “We’s jess follerin’ orders.”

  4. Still, they didn’t have to destroy them as he was Canadian. A simple: I’m sorry but we cannot have that enter the country and ship it back to Canada. But no, they(US Customs) had to take a proactive role and destroy them.

    I really am ashamed of this country fort he first time…well not exactly, more like the ’08 elections to this point in time.

  5. There’s a new detention pod at the airport following the airing of your grievances for the destruction of your irreplaceable personal property. Your BAC, mouth swabs and colorectal exam will be administered shortly and thanks again for flying American.

  6. Please do not criticize this property destruction by the Transportation..SECURITY..Administration. I am sure the flutes were in some way harmful to our National Security and had to be destroyed. TSA makes us more secure by this action, so please do not criticize the government for this.

    It is my sincere hope that TSA branches out and secures MORE areas of American life, not less. Traffic enforcement and land use control would be very good areas that TSA might want to take a closer look at. It will only make us safer. Who is not for safety?

  7. Pity that Jorge W Bush’s first instinct in most situations was to expand government. Most gov’mint institutions start out benign then have a tendency to become malignant. The TSA could easily morph into a secret police.

  8. The first image that popped into my mind was of the old American Tourister commercial with the suitcase in the gorilla cage…sure makes me feel secure knowing they’re on the job.

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