Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Imams removed from U.S. Air

This morning the news reported that the six Muslims removed from the U.S. Airways plane last night were Imam's attending an Imam's conference in Minneapolis. As they boarded the plane they were reportedly speaking in Arabic and repeating Allah, Allah. Officials concluded that they were simply reciting their required evening prayers. They were apparently not amused by the extra scrutiny.

I sympathize with them. They have a constitutional guarantee to freedom of religion. I would probably be upset too if I was singled out for scrutiny. Oh, but wait—I have been singled out for scrutiny and I'm not even Muslim or Arab!

Once I was randomly pulled out of line, asked to take off my shoes, and “wanded” (again) just before boarding. On another occasion I was pulled out of a long line in what did not appear to be a random check—it was probably because I was fidgety (I have ADHD) and was sweating profusely (minor heart problem). My bags were opened and searched in full view of the public.

On yet another occasion officials actually came on the plane looking for a specific seat number—it turned out to be my seat! (my wife had to bring me to the airport four or five hours before my flight was scheduled to leave and officials were apparently concerned about the fact that I had checked in so early).

While I’ve never been pulled off a flight for interrogation, those of us who are Christian or of Norwegian descent are not blowing people up or flying airplanes into buildings either. The fact is that all of us who fly are being inconvenienced these days because of the jihadists.

These Muslim Imam’s now have a perfect opportunity. They could probably get themselves booked on any TV talk show they want—anything from Oprah to O’Reiley. They could explain about how they are moderate Muslims who love America and then they could vent their anger at the real cause for their removal from the airline—the jihadists who kill innocent people in the name of Islam!

Or, the Muslim Imams’ could take another route. They could publicly complain about how terribly they were treated and how humiliated they felt. They could have CAIR file a complaint with the authorities, and maybe even explore legal options, etc, etc. In other words, rather than taking the opportunity to publicly demonstrate that they stand with us in our fight against jihadists, these Imams could rant and rave against the system that is trying to keep us safe and make us look like the bad guys. Unfortunately, so far this is the route they have chosen to go.

I don’t like having to stand in long lines to get on a plane or to go into a public building and I certainly don’t like being singled out and pulled out of line so my bags can be publicly searched, but the problem is not with the TSA or the FBI or airport security. The problem is that there are thousands and thousands of people who want to kill us in the name of Islam!

Excuse me, but I can’t help wondering whether those, like the Imams, who can’t seem to understand this are operating on agendas different from other Americans who are just trying to save our lives.

7 comments:

Thief said...

Seconded, sir.

john said...

So you're mad that you have to stand in lines? Or you're mad that they're mad that they were wrongly accused and then not even allowed on another flight?

I know this won't be enough for you, and I'm not sure why I bother at this point, but according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune article at least one of them did profess that he "loves America" as you claimed he should:

"They have no reason to refuse service to us just because of the way we look," he said "It's terrible. We want America to stay the way it is because we love this country."

It's possible to both love this country and be upset about being treated poorly.

professor ed said...

John: Thank you for posting the link to the Star Trib. article. After reading through it, I got a sense of he said, he said. Due to our post 9-11 hightened level of security, the Imams should have been more understanding of being singled out. It sounds to me like the airline/airport followed standard operating procedure. As there appears to be some disagreement as to what was actually said, heard, and done, I recommend a thourgh investigation by, possibly, the FAA. But, again, it appears to me the Imans overeacted to a set of procedures that has unfortunately become more prevelent in current air travel. In my opinion, the call for a boycott is a counter-productive, emotional, over-reaction to current S.O.P. I agree with Dennis that the Imans should take this opportunity to criticize the Islamo-Faciest who are responsible for our increased air security.

Dennis said...

John,

First, I never said I was "mad" about anything. I don't like standing in lines and being searched, but I understand it so I don't get mad about it.

Second, according to the article to which you linked, witnesses said that the Imams had been taling about Saddam Hussein and the War in Iraq--Nothing wrong with that, but when, according to witnesses, it was combined with Muslim prayers, anti-American rhetoric and talk about how one would do "whatever is necessary to fulfill his commitment to the Qur'an" I think the authorities had reason to investigate the matter further, don't you?

The fact is that this Imam is lying through his teeth in alleging that they were refused service just because of the way they looked. That's nonsense! But in true liberal fashion, you choose to believe him rather than the pilots, flight attendents, passengers and other eyewitnesses.

Do you honestly believe that officials had no reason to investigate this matter further?

john said...

If the airline had let them back on the plane, or agreed to book them another flight, I would probably agree that they're overreacting (although we don't know all the facts so that would still be hard to determine). But the airline refused to even let them buy a ticket for another flight, which seems excessive to me.

I'm not sure I understand the feeling that every Muslim should speak out against terrorism. I would agree in some cases that they are more silent than they could be, but these are just a few people trying to get home from a conference. They're stuck in another city and were told they couldn't even buy a ticket from the airline when they were kicked off their flight. Would speaking out about the evils in the world be your first thought in this situation? And why don't we hold other groups to this standard? Do all Christians speak out publicly against abortion clinic bombers?

Dennis - You didn't say you were upset, but you sure sounded that way. Maybe I was wrong.

You're getting a little emotional here, so let's look at the facts. According to the witnesses, they were praying before boarding the flight and were discussing Iraq, Saddam, etc. (By the way, I don’t think the Saddam reference, Quran reference, etc. were in the article when I first read it – if they were I missed it. It’s been updated since I first read it.) Fact is, though, if they looked like Southern Baptists nobody would have said a word. So while the Imam may be simplifying the matter, appearance certainly had something to do with it.

I have no problem whatsoever with them "investigating this matter further" - it was the right thing to do. I never stated otherwise. But I also believe denying them another flight once it is found they have done nothing wrong is also wrong.

By the way, my politics (which are only liberal compared to extreme right-wingers) have nothing to do with it. I'm just looking at the facts as we know them.

In true moderate fashion that's the way I feel.

slimmons said...

Before we assume that they are simply being denied service, I'd like to hear from the security. Perhaps they weren't cooperative with the investigation or something that caused the airline to refuse them service. I don't think an airline simply chooses innocent people to deny rights to. If they do then they should be investigated and punished but it's clearly not in their best interests so I find that a highly unlikely scenario.

Terror-Free said...

Islamonazi CAIR Relentlessly Undermining Airline Security

http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/videos/MS112106-2.php - MSNBC video

Free Patriotic Corner Banners: http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/cb/