11/21/06

Six Imams Thrown Off Plane

With the election of Keith Ellison as the first Muslim US Congressman, Minneapolis has become a hub of Islamic activity. Six Imams were planning to return home from an Imam conference there, when they were ejected from their flight before takeoff.

They don't understand why. Three of them just wanted to pray -- on the plane.

Muslims -- in an intense fit of mock innocence -- just don't understand why they make people on planes nervous.

Anyone care to explain it to them?

The story from the Star Tribune:

Muslim group protests treatment of scholars on plane

Six Muslim imams were removed from a US Airways flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Monday and questioned by police for several hours before being released, a leader of the group said.
Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called Tuesday for an investigation into the behavior of airline staff and airport security in the removal of six Muslim scholars from a US Airways flight a day earlier.

A passenger raised concerns about the imams — three of whom said their normal evening prayers in the airport terminal before boarding the Phoenix-bound plane, according to one — through a note passed to a flight attendant, according to Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for US Airways.

"We are concerned that crew members, passengers and security personnel may have succumbed to fear and prejudice based on stereotyping of Muslims and Islam," Nihad Awad, the council's executive director, said in a news release.

The six were returning from a conference in Minneapolis of the North American Imams Federation, said Omar Shahin of Phoenix, president of the group.

"They took us off the plane, humiliated us in a very disrespectful way," Shahin said after the incident.

Shahin said Tuesday that three members of the group prayed in the terminal before the six boarded the plane. They entered individually, except for one member who is blind and needed to be guided, Shahin said. Once on the plane, the six did not sit together, he said.

"We did nothing" on the plane, Shahin said.

The six were among passengers who boarded Flight 300, bound for Phoenix, around 6:30 p.m. Monday, airport spokesman Pat Hogan said.

Police were called after the captain and airport security workers asked the men to leave the plane and the men refused, Rader said.

Shahin said no one asked the six to leave, but when police arrived, the group complied. ...

1 comment:

bfree4chi@yahoo.com said...

"Anyone care to explain it to them?"

Tzvee,
I hail from the Midwest and imagine it made those Lake Wobegoners mighty nervous. Seems to me that if I have nothing to hide, I would not take offense. Perhaps Brigitte Gabriel could make them understand.