Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Update on The Flying Imams
I was going to let this be, but a bitchy note from "Anonymous" dictates that I do a follow up on those flying imams who got kicked off of a US Airways flight last week.

Here is an article from the Washington Times that recaps nicely and provides a few more details than we originally got.

For the record, my original post was written based on the 6 or 7 news items I found about the incident initially. Those articles had conflicting information, some claiming the men in question had prayed in the terminal, some on the flight. I continue by my assertion that they get over themselves, however. New details of these men's actions only make me more suspicious. I am supremely pleased that the passengers, crew, and airline acted on the side of prudence and kicked those fellows to the curb.

What additional suspicious activity?

Glad you asked.

It seems that they did do their praying in the terminal, but they acted kinda funny once on board. For example,
Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight
attendants told police the men were not oversized.


Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor, the flight attendant said.

What's more,
[W]itnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

And, particularly odd is this:
The imams who claimed two first-class seats said their tickets were upgraded. The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded,they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.

I don't care who you are, you should be seated in the seat that the airline has assigned you unless crew moves you or authorizes the move. It is particularly strange to me that they snagged the front seats a la September 11. Ask yourself this, when was the last time that you requested an upgrade, were denied, and then took the seat of your own volition anyway? It isn't done and it ought not be done.

Would you feel comfortable on that plane?
Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.

"That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."
But the CAIR I'm-A-Victim Campaign wants you to only take away this message:
Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, called removing the imams an act of Islamophobia and compared it to racism against blacks.

"It's a shame that as an African-American and a Muslim I have the double whammy of having to worry about driving while black and flying while Muslim," Mr. Bray said.

These folks want Congress to pass a law against identifying this sort of suspicious behavior so as to protect the feelings of the offended Muslim Imams.
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas Democrat, said the September 11 terrorist attacks "cannot be permitted to be used to justify racial profiling, harassment and discrimination of Muslim and Arab Americans."

"Understandably, the imams felt profiled, humiliated, and discriminated against by their treatment," she said.

Poor babies. Humiliated and profiled all on one day.

This is stupid. I don't care what color you are or what religion you practice. This is suspicious behavior and should be monitored. I suppose Sheila Jackson-Lee would prefer we wait to raise the hue and cry until there's a hole in the earth and charred bodies strewn everywhere.

I am glad that the passengers, crew, and airline did what they did. We must all practice constant vigilance.

Powerline and Michelle Malkin have more.

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posted by Phoenix | 1:19 PM


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