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December 04, 2006

Tragic Carpet Ride: Editorial Slams Imams For Conducting "Test Run"

I don't know if this was truly a "test run" or it was simply an act of provocateurism to re-win Muslims the precious civil liberty to act weird on airplanes without repercussion.

Maybe their weird actions were just misconstrued. It doesn't matter. If they are allowed to get away with this, it would mean that no Muslim acting strangely -- including bona fide hijackers and terrorists -- could ever be questioned or tossed off an airline again. The Muslim Grievance lobby is pressing for the strange proposition that the people we must most closely watch for terrorism must not be watched at all -- or else it's "Islamophobia."

Whether a true test run or not, the outcome is the same -- they are probing airline security to see exactly what will and won't draw attention, and trying to push the boundaries of what they can do on an airplane. Whatever their motives, they are objectively aiding the terrorists.

Good piece, and I'm glad someone said it:

The facts pretty much speak for themselves.

An airline gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department that six Muslim men began praying very loudly and repeatedly shouting “Allah” as passengers began boarding Flight 300 bound for Phoenix Nov. 20. The six imams refused to sit on their assigned seats, moving around the cabin and arranging themselves in a pattern reminiscent of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings. Three asked flight attendants for heavy seat belt extenders, but then didn’t use them to buckle up. Witnesses overheard them talking about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

Such obviously suspicious behavior was deliberately intended to trigger a response from the airline. The motivation became apparent Nov. 28 when members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations held a “pray in” at the U.S. Airways ticket counter at Reagan National Airport to protest the imams’ well-deserved removal from the flight, charging that their civil rights had somehow been violated. CAIR spokeswoman Rabia Ahmed complained that Muslims “have to walk around on eggshells in public” to avoid being “misconstrued as suspicious.”

And Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Falls Church-based Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, called the incident “a gross example of blatant Islamophobia and the violation of the civil rights of Muslim passengers,” characterizing the legitimate concerns of the flight crew and other passengers as “irrational fears.”

That’s obviously bunk and it needs to be debunked right now. The six imams were hardly “walking on eggshells” and their behavior was certainly not “misconstrued” by anybody familiar with what occurred Sept. 11.


At a rally in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington a few years back, Bray — a self-proclaimed champion of civil rights — reportedly told protesters, “Let’s all go into jihad, and throw stones at the face of the Jews.” Or maybe we “misconstrued” that, too.

Airlines have the right — and the duty — to protect their passengers. The security protocols established as a direct result of Sept. 11 inconvenience and sometimes even humiliate everybody who flies. If you don’t want to submit to the indignity, stay off airplanes.

And the only way to counter ideological jihad is to speak the truth: U.S. Airways did the right thing by removing these six provocateurs from the plane.

Again, I don't know about the "deliberately intended to provoke a reaction" or the "test run" stuff. I doubt that, at least in the way it seems to read.

But the fact is -- pushing for the right of perfectly innocent Muslims to act strangely and in a coordinated fashion on airplanes, without any check whatsoever, grants the same right to terrorist Muslims. If we're going to profile based on "behavior," then it's the behavior we have to look at. We can't tell the innocent from the vicious through a chemical test. We can only make best guesses based on patterns of behavior.

There is a price that falls on Muslims due to 9/11 -- suspicion, "humiliation," etc. One can sympathize with a Muslim who doesn't like being treated suspiciously just because of his religion.

However, if we don't watch Muslims a little more carefully than we did before 9/11, then we're going to have a price paid -- in human life, and perhaps in the hundreds or even thousands again.

I'm afraid I have trouble comprehending the mindset that says it is preferrable that hundreds die than that a single Musilm suffer so much as the humiliation of an arched eyebrow at an airport security check.

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posted by Ace at 12:24 PM

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