Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"The Flying Imams"

What a stupid term. It always makes me think of the "Flying Wallendas" or the Wizard of Oz's "Flying Monkeys". But I must admit that I know exactly to which imams one is referring, the six Muslim clerics booted from a USAirways flight a few months ago due to suspicious behavior noted by other passengers on the flight. Their concern about the clerics' behavior, loud "Allahu Akbars!" while waiting at the gate, agitated appearance, angry comments about America, Osama, and Saddam, their requested seatbelt extenders put under the seats, their switching seats and the worrisome location of those seats, similar in pattern to that of the September 11 attackers, caused the flight to be delayed and the imams to be asked to leave the plane.

If I had been a passenger on that flight, I would have been relieved. The imams, however, were aggrieved, declaring their removal to be an example of racial profiling, and and religious discrimination.

There were investigations, of course, by Minneapolis police, USAirways, and Homeland Security's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration, the Air Carrier Security Committee of the Air Line Pilots Association, and probably others. All investigations cleared the crew of wrongdoing in the removal of the Muslims.

So now the Council of American-Islamic Relations, is planning to sue. It may just be another attempted shakedown of a major company in the name of "diversity and tolerance", but I can't see most Americans supporting USAirways if it caves to CAIR's lawsuit. It's way past time to stop giving in to these extortion attempts.

And now a word to CAIR: you aren't going to win friends with this tactic, but you may influence people, albeit negatively. Give up this lawsuit and let it rest.

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