Good Discrimination

28 11 2006

Filed under: Imams, US Air, War on Terror

We are at war. We need to realize this so we can understand it is perfectly acceptable to temporarily forfeit some of our civil liberties until we can at least neutralize the threat, if not win the war. Part of that temporary forfeiting of liberties would include profiling at airports. Too much is at risk not to.

The six imams kicked off of a US Air flight in Minneapolis are a good example. They claimed they were only praying and were humiliated by U.S. authorities. Since then, they have been protesting and trying to draw attention to the “unfair” treatment.

It looks like these Islamic religious leaders were engaging in much stranger behavior than simply praying. Audrey Hudson reports a better picture of what happened in today’s Washington Times:

Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted “Allah” when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix.

“I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud,” the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department.

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.”

A pilot from another airline said: “That behavior has been identified as a terrorist probe in the airline industry.”

What a shocker. The imams are trying to play the race card and claim unfair racial profiling. Even if some racial profiling were involved, which it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be a bad thing. I’ve lived overseas and traveled extensively. Other countries are not shy about it at all. Liberals are constantly looking to Europe for “guidance” on laws in our country, which is like comparing a Bentley to a Lada, but they can’t bring themselves to jump in on profiling because it would cost them votes.

The reason these men were not allowed flight was because of a combination of strange behavior.

Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized. One flight attendant told police she “found this unsettling, as crew knew about the six [passengers] on board and where they were sitting.” Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor, the flight attendant said.

The imams said they were not discussing politics and only spoke in English, but witnesses 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.

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.

A flight attendant said one of the men made two trips to the rear of the plane to talk to the imam during boarding, and again when the flight was delayed because of their behavior. Aviation officials, including air marshals and pilots, said these actions alone would not warrant a second look, but the combination is suspicious.

“That’s like shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. You just can’t do that anymore,” said Robert MacLean, a former air marshal.

“They should have been denied boarding and been investigated,” Mr. MacLean said. “It looks like they are trying to create public sympathy or maybe setting someone up for a lawsuit.”

As Aviation security officials pointed out, thousands of Muslims fly in this country every day and pray in airports in a quiet and private manner without creating unecessary scenes. These Imams went out of their way to get attention, create a scene, and then cry victim.

Jay Stephenson:

I think they have set a good example of how to correctly use behavior as a way of identifying potential threats.

Michelle Malkin:

Watch the MSM coverage of this publicity stunt carefully.

Captain Ed:

The imams did not intend on conducting a terrorist attack. Instead, they have conducted an attack on American security protocols…

Unfortunately, members of Congress seem more intent on pandering to the victimology rather than supporting the airlines for doing their job.

Hot Air has a video of Michelle Malkin discussing this on O’Reilly and today’s Vent takes a deeper look.

I can’t blame authorities for taking the actions they did. Sept. 11 was too costly to simply overlook this combination of actions by these men. Even if they were caucasion men, I’d still be suspicious with the combination and protocol violations.

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