The largest civil rights organization of American Sikhs has expressed outrage at a new U.S. airport security policy that allows random searches of turbans.

The Sikh Coalition said it had been informed by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that under new guidelines the religious headdress could be subject to pat-downs even if the turban wearers had passed a metal detector test.

On its website, the Coalition says it is concerned that the new policy amounts to religious profiling. The organization urged Sikhs to sign a petition to the TSA to demonstrate grassroots concern with the new procedures. It also asked all Sikhs to document their experience with the new headgear screening procedures.

The TSA said on its website it does not conduct ethnic or religious profiling.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.