T Nation

The Flying Imams'

Interesting story about the “Flying Imams’” in MN.

The real target of the 6 Imams’ ‘discrimination’ suit
By Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune

March 14, 2007

Katherine Kersten: Teach character to cut racial gap in school results
The "flying imams’ " federal lawsuit, filed this week in Minneapolis, has made headlines around the country. The imams are demanding unspecified damages from US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, both with deep pockets. But their suit includes other defendants, as yet unnamed. These people, unaffiliated with the airline industry or government, are among the imams’ most vulnerable targets.
Recall the November 2006 incident that gave rise to the suit. The imams engaged in a variety of suspicious behaviors while boarding a US Airways flight, according to the airport police report. Some prayed loudly in the gate area, spoke angrily about the United States and Saddam, switched seats and sat in the 9/11 hijackers’ configuration, and unnecessarily requested seatbelt extenders that could be used as weapons, according to witness reports and US Airways spokeswoman Andrea Rader.

After extensive consultations, the pilot asked authorities to remove the imams for questioning, which they did, releasing them later that day.

“The pilot did what he had to do,” passenger Rita Snelson of Maplewood told the Star Tribune. "I told the airline afterward, ‘Thank you for watching over us.’ "

The imams’ lawsuit, however, asserts that US Airways and the MAC acted solely out of religious and ethnic discrimination. It includes 17 separate counts.

It also rehearses a catalogue of harms allegedly suffered by the imams, including fear, depression, mental pain and financial injury. They have not only endured exhaustion, humiliation and ridicule, but also have lost sleep and developed anxiety about flying.

Their lawsuit appears to be the latest component in a national campaign to intimidate airlines and government agencies from acting prudently to ensure passenger safety. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is advising the imams, is also calling for congressional hearings and promoting federal legislation to “end racial profiling” in air travel. If the legislation passes, airport personnel who disproportionately question passengers who are Muslim or of Middle Eastern origin could be subject to sanctions.

But the most alarming aspect of the imams’ suit is buried in paragraph 21 of their complaint. It describes “John Doe” defendants whose identity the imams’ attorneys are still investigating. It reads: “Defendants ‘John Does’ were passengers … who contacted U.S. Airways to report the alleged ‘suspicious’ behavior of Plaintiffs’ performing their prayer at the airport terminal.”

Paragraph 22 adds: “Plaintiffs will seek leave to amend this Complaint to allege true names, capacities, and circumstances supporting [these defendants’] liability … at such time as Plaintiffs ascertain the same.”

In plain English, the imams plan to sue the “John Does,” too.

Who are these unnamed culprits? The complaint describes them as “an older couple who was sitting [near the imams] and purposely turn[ed] around to watch” as they prayed. “The gentleman (‘John Doe’) in the couple … picked up his cellular phone and made a phone call while watching the Plaintiffs pray,” then “moved to a corner” and “kept talking into his cellular phone.”

In retribution for this action, the unnamed couple probably will be dragged into court soon and face the prospect of hiring a lawyer, enduring hostile questioning and paying huge legal bills. The same fate could await other as-yet-unnamed passengers on the US Airways flight who came forward as witnesses.

The imams’ attempt to bully ordinary passengers marks an alarming new front in the war on airline security. Average folks, “John Does” like you and me, initially observed and reported the imams’ suspicious behavior on Nov. 20. Such people are our “first responders” against terrorism. But the imams’ suit may frighten such individuals into silence, as they seek to avoid the nightmare of being labeled bigots and named as defendants.

Ironically, on the day the imams filed their suit, a troubling internal memo came to light at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The memo revealed that our airport is at particular risk of terrorist attack because of its proximity to the Mall of America, its employment of relatively few security officers and other factors. The memo advised heightened vigilance to counter “this very real and deliberate threat.”

The imams may not be the only ones losing sleep and growing more afraid of flying.

[quote]hedo wrote:
Interesting story about the “Flying Imams’” in MN.

The real target of the 6 Imams’ ‘discrimination’ suit
By Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune

March 14, 2007

Katherine Kersten: Teach character to cut racial gap in school results
The "flying imams’ " federal lawsuit, filed this week in Minneapolis, has made headlines around the country. The imams are demanding unspecified damages from US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, both with deep pockets. But their suit includes other defendants, as yet unnamed. These people, unaffiliated with the airline industry or government, are among the imams’ most vulnerable targets.
Recall the November 2006 incident that gave rise to the suit. The imams engaged in a variety of suspicious behaviors while boarding a US Airways flight, according to the airport police report. Some prayed loudly in the gate area, spoke angrily about the United States and Saddam, switched seats and sat in the 9/11 hijackers’ configuration, and unnecessarily requested seatbelt extenders that could be used as weapons, according to witness reports and US Airways spokeswoman Andrea Rader.

After extensive consultations, the pilot asked authorities to remove the imams for questioning, which they did, releasing them later that day.

“The pilot did what he had to do,” passenger Rita Snelson of Maplewood told the Star Tribune. "I told the airline afterward, ‘Thank you for watching over us.’ "

The imams’ lawsuit, however, asserts that US Airways and the MAC acted solely out of religious and ethnic discrimination. It includes 17 separate counts.

It also rehearses a catalogue of harms allegedly suffered by the imams, including fear, depression, mental pain and financial injury. They have not only endured exhaustion, humiliation and ridicule, but also have lost sleep and developed anxiety about flying.

Their lawsuit appears to be the latest component in a national campaign to intimidate airlines and government agencies from acting prudently to ensure passenger safety. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is advising the imams, is also calling for congressional hearings and promoting federal legislation to “end racial profiling” in air travel. If the legislation passes, airport personnel who disproportionately question passengers who are Muslim or of Middle Eastern origin could be subject to sanctions.

But the most alarming aspect of the imams’ suit is buried in paragraph 21 of their complaint. It describes “John Doe” defendants whose identity the imams’ attorneys are still investigating. It reads: “Defendants ‘John Does’ were passengers … who contacted U.S. Airways to report the alleged ‘suspicious’ behavior of Plaintiffs’ performing their prayer at the airport terminal.”

Paragraph 22 adds: “Plaintiffs will seek leave to amend this Complaint to allege true names, capacities, and circumstances supporting [these defendants’] liability … at such time as Plaintiffs ascertain the same.”

In plain English, the imams plan to sue the “John Does,” too.

Who are these unnamed culprits? The complaint describes them as “an older couple who was sitting [near the imams] and purposely turn[ed] around to watch” as they prayed. “The gentleman (‘John Doe’) in the couple … picked up his cellular phone and made a phone call while watching the Plaintiffs pray,” then “moved to a corner” and “kept talking into his cellular phone.”

In retribution for this action, the unnamed couple probably will be dragged into court soon and face the prospect of hiring a lawyer, enduring hostile questioning and paying huge legal bills. The same fate could await other as-yet-unnamed passengers on the US Airways flight who came forward as witnesses.

The imams’ attempt to bully ordinary passengers marks an alarming new front in the war on airline security. Average folks, “John Does” like you and me, initially observed and reported the imams’ suspicious behavior on Nov. 20. Such people are our “first responders” against terrorism. But the imams’ suit may frighten such individuals into silence, as they seek to avoid the nightmare of being labeled bigots and named as defendants.

Ironically, on the day the imams filed their suit, a troubling internal memo came to light at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The memo revealed that our airport is at particular risk of terrorist attack because of its proximity to the Mall of America, its employment of relatively few security officers and other factors. The memo advised heightened vigilance to counter “this very real and deliberate threat.”

The imams may not be the only ones losing sleep and growing more afraid of flying.

[/quote]

We are all going to drown in our own politcal correctness. When did common freakin sense become a crime. What these assholes did was a spit in the face to everyone that lost a family member on 9/11. My girlfriend can’t take lipstick on the plane and she deals with it, but these terrorists(yes they are terrorists) are sueing. Give me a break. Be glad me and a few others I know weren’t on that plane, it would be their families that sued because they would be with 72 virgins right now. I would have derived great pleasure from choking the smug smiles off of their terrorists faces. It would be the last American air they ever breathed. Screw um.

How dare that author attempt to smear the good name of Islam, by suggesting that these poor oppressed minorities might have had any intention beyond flying safely and praying loudly! What has this world come to when innocent people going out of their way to behave exactly like terrorists need to worry about being reported to, and getting harrassed by the authorities? This is a sad day, I tell you. Sad indeed!

Jumper-

While I don’t agree that this lawsuit has any merit, you really sound like a dumb, hillbilly redneck with your comments. I’m guessing you live in Alabama in Tennessee? maybe Arkansas?

[quote]samsiavashi wrote:
Jumper-

While I don’t agree that this lawsuit has any merit, you really sound like a dumb, hillbilly redneck with your comments. I’m guessing you live in Alabama in Tennessee? maybe Arkansas?[/quote]

I’m frum that thur Arkansaw, an’ evin eye no Alabammer ain’t in Tennessee, dummy!

[quote]samsiavashi wrote:
Jumper-

While I don’t agree that this lawsuit has any merit, you really sound like a dumb, hillbilly redneck with your comments. I’m guessing you live in Alabama in Tennessee? maybe Arkansas?[/quote]

Please enlighten me with what comments are dumb! So everyone from AR, TN, and AL are stupid, right, or just the rednecks. So I hate terrorists and those that support them. So I love my country and have been and still are willing to die for all its peoples(white,black,asian,hispanic,redneck,etc) safety. Is that a bad thing? Like Charlie Daniels said, "what this world needs is a few more rednecks, people who aren’t afraid to take a stand, what this world needs is a little more respect, for the Lord, the law, and the working man. " I tell you what is stupid, the fact that people like you can’t recognize the enemy. What is wrong with being a redneck or a hillbilly? Should I be ashamed of where I am from or who I am? Sorry I am not intellectually superior as you, because of where I am from. Since I am also part American Indian you can also call me a dumb wagon burner too. Who is being narrowminded me or you?

[quote]samsiavashi wrote:
Jumper-

While I don’t agree that this lawsuit has any merit, you really sound like a dumb, hillbilly redneck with your comments. I’m guessing you live in Alabama in Tennessee? maybe Arkansas?[/quote]

You agree the lawsuit has no merit, but how do you feel about these assholes spitting in the faces of all those that lost love ones on 911, or better yet all Americans. Better yet, what would you have done if you were on that plane and they started pulling those stunts? We all deal with the security measures that we have because of them why can’t they? Because they are assholes!

[quote]jumper wrote:
samsiavashi wrote:
Jumper-

While I don’t agree that this lawsuit has any merit, you really sound like a dumb, hillbilly redneck with your comments. I’m guessing you live in Alabama in Tennessee? maybe Arkansas?

You agree the lawsuit has no merit, but how do you feel about these assholes spitting in the faces of all those that lost love ones on 911, or better yet all Americans. Better yet, what would you have done if you were on that plane and they started pulling those stunts? We all deal with the security measures that we have because of them why can’t they? Because they are assholes![/quote]

Agree! Screw these assholes that come to this country and think we should have to put up with their rude arrogant ways.They should try to fit in ,or get out.

These jackasses clearly went looking for trouble and found it.

The good Muslims in the US should denounce these guys but instead they appear to be getting support from the mainstream Muslim groups.

It makes all Muslims look bad.

I don’t think they did anything wrong. If they want to pray before they get on a plane, they should be allowed.

And if the passengers suddenly get the urge to beat the hell out of them, then they should be allowed.

I don’t understand the need to pray on the floor of an airport. I bet if a Christian started passing out bread and wine and had Communion there would be hell to pay.

These guys could have prayed in the privacy of their hotel once the landed.

I hope the judge throws this law suit out.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5297822.stm


http://verystrangenews.com/?p=42
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6108574.stm
http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2786520&postcount=13

No comment.

[quote]lixy wrote:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5297822.stm


http://verystrangenews.com/?p=42
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6108574.stm
http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2786520&postcount=13

No comment.[/quote]

http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/092701hjpic.htm

no comment