Have we become such a terrified and wimpy nation that simply asking them what they were doing is no longer the preferred method of dealing with the strange or unknown?
As an American, I have familiarized myself with the most common outward activities of every religion and subculture enjoyed by other Americans. Once upon a time, before I realized I would never grow tall enough, I wanted to be an airline stewardess. Back then, Delta and American Airlines required their potential stewardesses to take a variety of multicultural classes before they were accepted into the actual training - this was back before "multiculturalism" had become a cuss word and an insult. . Those classes are when and where I got my basic education about differing beliefs and cultures.
Do airlines no longer require that sort of education and experience before hiring people?
Or would they rather waste time and money on security theater rather than asking a simple, free question?