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Old 11-21-2006, 06:44 PM
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Six Imams Ejected for Praying


From here, I learn two things:

1. It only takes one moron to screw things up.
2. 63% of the people taking the poll thought the airline did the right thing and 65% think no investigation of the incident is needed.

That's ridiculous.
  #2  
Old 11-21-2006, 06:58 PM
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Yep, that is pretty crappy. Unfortunately, the airline being a private company has a right to refuse service. I don't know why 63% of Americans have a problem with public prayer. Americans need to realize that we need these moderate Muslim clerics if we are ever going to get some control on the extremists.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:03 PM
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Hunh, I thought everybody prays before getting on a US Scareways flight. I know I do.

OK, cheap shot, I know it.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Yep, that is pretty crappy. Unfortunately, the airline being a private company has a right to refuse service. I don't know why 63% of Americans have a problem with public prayer. Americans need to realize that we need these moderate Muslim clerics if we are ever going to get some control on the extremists.
So somebody just handed you your ass, and you lost it already?
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:27 PM
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So somebody just handed you your ass, and you lost it already?
Huh?
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:31 PM
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Huh?
Sorry.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:41 PM
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Unfortunately, the airline being a private company has a right to refuse service.
you sure about that? you shouldn't be.
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Old 11-21-2006, 08:05 PM
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If anyone blows up a plane, they're not going to be praying out loud. They will dress and act like westerners. They may not even look Arab. The guy in the long robes praying out loud to Allah? That's the guy you don't need to worry about.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:25 PM
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The article didn't give much detail. I want to know what the imams' actions were. Did they stand to pray? Sit? Kneel? Kneel and chant? Were they loud? Were they in a circle? I'm having a hard time picturing what they did that would lead anybody to believe they were going to cause trouble on the plane.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:31 PM
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I saw an interview with one of the complaining passengers on the evening news. He said his little kid got scared at the strange men doing scary stuff. Dad felt completely justified in raising a ruckus, wasn't at all embarrassed at the possibility the six men might be harmless victims of hysteria.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:33 PM
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It seems extremely doubtful that anyone would attempt a terrorist act in this manner, and the p.r. fallout is unfortunate.

"...a US Airways manager said three of the men had only one-way tickets and no checked baggage...An airport police officer and a federal air marshal agreed that the combination of circumstances was suspicious, and eventually asked the men to leave the airplane, the police report said...But Shahin and Marwan Sadeddin, another of the imams, strongly denied doing anything out of the ordinary."

Um, having no checked baggage and one-way tickets is out of the ordinary, and one wonders to what degree our Six Traveling Imams* were either a) hoping to provoke some incident, or b) idiots.


*for some reason I am reminded of an SCTV routine involving Identical OPEC Oil Ministers.
  #12  
Old 11-21-2006, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluethree
The article didn't give much detail. I want to know what the imams' actions were. Did they stand to pray? Sit? Kneel? Kneel and chant? Were they loud? Were they in a circle? I'm having a hard time picturing what they did that would lead anybody to believe they were going to cause trouble on the plane.
The article's eighth paragraph may clear that up for you:
Quote:
An airport police report said the flight's captain had already decided he wanted the men off the plane after the passenger passed a flight attendant a note pointing out "Arabic men."
And the "number of things that gave the flight crew pause" appear to be:
  1. Being an Arabic man
  2. Praying in the terminal
  3. Making critical comments about the war in Iraq
  4. One way tickets
  5. No checked baggage

Interesting. I know some guys from Egypt who have a similar complexion to mine. I pray in terminals (mainly because I'm a bit afraid of flying). I have been known to make some critical comments about the war in Iraq. I occasionaly fly on one way tickets. And I usually don't have any checked baggage. Guess I'm a terrorist too.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:40 PM
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So, Jackmanii, to what degree am I an idiot or provoking an incident on purpose when I travel on vacation? When returning to Korea, I don't have time to be hanging around for my checked baggage to come through if I want to catch the train to Busan and manage to make it to work the next day.

I also find it odd that a random passenger was aware that three of the Imams had only one-way tickets and no checked baggage.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:43 PM
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I think these Imams should be a little more understanding. A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind. While that activity might be normal in a country that sees a lot of devout Muslims praying all the time, that is not the case here. For one of them to claim that this incident illustrates that they are prevented from practicing their religion in the U.S. is ridiculous.

On a brighter note, if their called boycott gains momentum, I know what I'll be trying to fly on.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:46 PM
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I had no idea US Airways passenger flights even had ejector seats.

"Sami'a Allahu liman hamidah--" *PWOOOMPH*

I'm glad I usually fly Delta.
  #16  
Old 11-21-2006, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii
Um, having no checked baggage and one-way tickets is out of the ordinary, and one wonders to what degree our Six Traveling Imams* were either a) hoping to provoke some incident, or b) idiots.
Has the US really reverted to "act like everyone else, or suffer the consequences"?
  #17  
Old 11-21-2006, 09:56 PM
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I never have any checked baggage. No wonder my son gets pulled out of the line every time we fly. Every time!







So, it was only 4 times total, but still.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan01
A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind.
The four chaplains on the S.S. Dorchester?

It certainly does not bring to mind the nineteen terrorists from September, 2001 who each boarded their respective planes individually, making no attempt to pray at all, much less publicly, and certainly not together.

Maybe we need to rachet up our unfounded paranoia just another notch.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan01
A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind.
Well, what does it bring to mind? Am I missing something, or is it common knowledge that terrorists pray in airports before boarding doomed flights?
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:03 PM
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Yeah, tom. Maybe I should too. Just Sunday, I got mistaken for a Yemeni by, get this, a Yemeni! Maybe next vacation, I'll just swim there.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:17 PM
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Well, what does it bring to mind? Am I missing something, or is it common knowledge that terrorists pray in airports before boarding doomed flights?
Gosh, guess you showed me. I can see now that it really brings nothing to mind, so I don't know what synapses fired in my mind instigating me to type what I did. Now that your oh-so-poignant question has resulted me in seeing the light I suddenly realize that when I thnk about it, a bunch of Muslim guys in the U.S. praying before getting on the same plane should have resulted in the same benign non-thoughts that would have been triggered by six kids with Harvard sweatshirts reading books, six teenage girls listenting to iPods, six teenage boys playing video games, six men all drinking coffee, or 30 people carrying black briefcases. Whew. Now I feel so...so..politically correct. Ordinarily that would bother me, but now that I've turned my brain to the "off" position, it's not so bad. At least I can see your point better.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan01
Now that your oh-so-poignant question has resulted me in seeing the light I suddenly realize that when I thnk about it, a bunch of Muslim guys in the U.S. praying before getting on the same plane should have resulted in the same benign non-thoughts that would have been triggered by six kids with Harvard sweatshirts reading books, six teenage girls listenting to iPods, six teenage boys playing video games, six men all drinking coffee, or 30 people carrying black briefcases.
Going by numbers alone, any of those groups (except for the men drinking coffee) are more likely to be American Muslims than American Mormons. Are you afraid of Mormons hijacking the plane? Would you pass a note to the flight crew if you saw a few guys with black nameplates with white lettering? Would you go into a melt-down panic if you heard them say a prayer starting with "Heavenly Father" or "Eternal Father?" Anyway, where would they hijack it to?
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Monty
Going by numbers alone, any of those groups (except for the men drinking coffee) are more likely to be American Muslims than American Mormons. Are you afraid of Mormons hijacking the plane? Would you pass a note to the flight crew if you saw a few guys with black nameplates with white lettering? Would you go into a melt-down panic if you heard them say a prayer starting with "Heavenly Father" or "Eternal Father?" Anyway, where would they hijack it to?
No. No. No. And, I haven't the foggiest.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:30 PM
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So, Jackmanii, to what degree am I an idiot or provoking an incident on purpose when I travel on vacation? When returning to Korea, I don't have time to be hanging around for my checked baggage to come through if I want to catch the train to Busan and manage to make it to work the next day.

I also find it odd that a random passenger was aware that three of the Imams had only one-way tickets and no checked baggage.
What you call a "random passenger" is identified in the linked story as a US Airways manager.

There have been a number of incidents/scares since 9/11, including one several years ago about Young Arab Men Plotting Mayhem In A Cracker Barrel Restaurant (or was it Shoney's?), another inflight incident where some traveling troupe of (?Central Asian?) young males decided to parade en masse up and down the aisle of the aircraft shortly before the plane made its landing approach, the action by a number of foreign exchange students from a slightly provocative origin to ignore their scheduled destination and vanish into the American interior, and so on.

A common thread in these occurrences (apart from the varying degrees to which the authorities and/or common citizens may have overreacted) seems to be dopey and/or provocative behavior by the "suspicious" people involved. I am willing to entertain the idea that people can go overboard in their reactions and generate incidents unnecessarily (and a round of apologies in this case is appropriate, if for no more than public relations purposes). I also feel limited sympathy for people who help bring on their own troubles through stupidity and/or a temptation to cause a problem, and then play the victim card.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:05 PM
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I also feel limited sympathy for people who help bring on their own troubles through stupidity and/or a temptation to cause a problem, and then play the victim card.
Is praying stupidity or a temptation to cause a problem?
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii
What you call a "random passenger" is identified in the linked story as a US Airways manager.
Remind me to never copy off of you during an essay exam. I was wondering how the passenger who complained couldn've known all that info about them--you know, the info that added up to make them suspicious. After it happened, a manager reported the rest of the stuff.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:15 PM
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I think these Imams should be a little more understanding. A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind.
People scared of flying?

With good reason, apparently.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:15 PM
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For one of them to claim that this incident illustrates that they are prevented from practicing their religion in the U.S. is ridiculous.
Damn right! Nobody said they can't practice their religion - they just can't do it and then travel on a plane. Simple!

Oh, wait. But then they could complain about being prevented from exercising their right to travel within the U.S....

No problem! Nobody is FORCING them to take a plane. They could take the bus! Or hitchhike. Or walk. See? We're being reasonable!

Oh, wait. But when they're hitchhiking it might damage the pyches of some poor citizens with delicate children to see men dressed in Islamic robes walking around in public. Hey, no problem! They have the right to wear whatever they want, so they can just take off the robes and wear something else!

We're a free country, and these imams are perfectly free to go fuck themselves. They just better do it our way and not complain about how we treat them afterwards.

[/SARCASM]

This situation is ridiculous and reeks of paranoia. As long as these people were not conducting a human sacrificial rite or blocking traffic, I have no problem with them praying pretty much wherever they choose.
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:16 PM
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People scared of flying?

With good reason, apparently.
There's no such thing as an atheist in a departure lounge.
  #30  
Old 11-22-2006, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magellan01
I think these Imams should be a little more understanding. A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind. While that activity might be normal in a country that sees a lot of devout Muslims praying all the time, that is not the case here. For one of them to claim that this incident illustrates that they are prevented from practicing their religion in the U.S. is ridiculous.
Praying isn't something muslims do just because they're trying to show off how devout they are, it's a requirement of the faith. Prayers must be made several times a day, preferably at specific times. This is not really an option if one is a devout muslim. And these guys were not just adherents, they were Imams or religious figures. Of course they're going to pray before the flight, as it would have been fairly difficult to orient oneself toward Mecca while strapped into seat 24B.

Personally, I think Magellan01, and a couple of other folks who have posted to this thread, should be a little more understanding.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:17 AM
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I can see now that it really brings nothing to mind, so I don't know what synapses fired in my mind instigating me to type what I did.
Well, I'm glad we got that settled.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:42 AM
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Praying isn't something muslims do just because they're trying to show off how devout they are, it's a requirement of the faith. Prayers must be made several times a day, preferably at specific times. This is not really an option if one is a devout muslim. And these guys were not just adherents, they were Imams or religious figures. Of course they're going to pray before the flight, as it would have been fairly difficult to orient oneself toward Mecca while strapped into seat 24B.

Personally, I think Magellan01, and a couple of other folks who have posted to this thread, should be a little more understanding.
Do airports not have meditation/prayer rooms for passengers? I remember seeing a sign for a prayer/meditation room at an airport a few years ago but can't remember where that might have been.

I think it was a huge overreaction to pull these men off the plane, but if they unrolled their rugs and were praying by the departure gate, I can understand it being a little strange for people who aren't used to seeing that. Not that it justifies any of the airline's actions, in my opinion, but I can see why some people may have been uncomfortable with a strange situation.
  #33  
Old 11-22-2006, 12:47 AM
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Here's some more info on the six traveling imams:

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/015982.php
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:58 AM
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The terrorists are winning.

They have won again.

The only way to fight terrorism is not to be terrorized.

We, on the other hand want to kill a lot of people, blame everyone, and become a nation of complete cowards, and bullies.

God bless America.

Tris
  #35  
Old 11-22-2006, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Kabong
Personally, I think Magellan01, and a couple of other folks who have posted to this thread, should be a little more understanding.
It doesn't seem that I am the one not being understanding. But there's always room for more, more, more. So let's take a closer look at my position. What, specifically, do you disagree with:

This:
Quote:
I think these Imams should be a little more understanding.
Do you think that there is no room for them to be more understanding? To accept that people might be nervous about six Muslim guys praying before getting on an airplane? And that some people might even overreact a little?


This:
Quote:
A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind.
Do you really thinnk that it is unreasonable for a scene like this to trigger thoughts of 9/11? Keep in mind, it actually did trigger those thoughts. So that leaves us with the "reasonable" qualifier.


This:
Quote:
While that activity might be normal in a country that sees a lot of devout Muslims praying all the time, that is not the case here.
Would you not agree that this is not an everyday occurrence for most Americans?


Or this?
Quote:
For one of them to claim that this incident illustrates that they are prevented from practicing their religion in the U.S. is ridiculous.
Are you of the opinion that this one incident indicates that Muslims cannot practice their religion in the United States? Or is this more and isolated incident. Is, perhaps, the person who made this statement overaercting himself?
  #36  
Old 11-22-2006, 02:02 AM
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Back in the '70s and '80s I recall spending quite a bit of time in LAX, picking friends up, dropping them off, stuff like that. It was a time, as I recall, of young people exploring their spirituality, and a lot of them were very enthusiastically proclaiming their Christianity. It was not an uncommon occurrence to see a group of young Jesus Freaks heading out on a church junket, or class trip, gathered in a circle in the departure gate area, holding hands, bowing their heads, and praying. And both before and after their prayer, they would talk about just about any subject under the sun, from what tourist traps they were going to see, to how glad they were that Nixon was no longer around, to whether the U. S. A. should assert total control over the Panama Canal, to how much their outlook on the world had improved since they had "found" Jesus.

I grew up with a spiritual mindset that placed more weight on "do your praying in the closet" than on "wherever two or more of you are gathered in My Name," and it made me a bit uncomfortable to witness it, but I never even considered complaining to airport or airline staff. I sucked it up and took it in stride. I just looked the other way during the praying, so as not to feel that I was intruding on an activity that I had no interest in participating in.

I like to think that had I been in the Minneapolis airport, I would have been able to take similar behavior from Muslims in stride to a comparable degree.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Plan B
Here's some more info on the six traveling imams:

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/015982.php
It should be noted that this cite is to an extreme right-wing, neo-con blog.

There are a lot of us here in the Minnesota area who do consider it not very reliable.

I'd suggest people keep that in mind when looking at it.
  #38  
Old 11-22-2006, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Monty
Going by numbers alone, any of those groups (except for the men drinking coffee) are more likely to be American Muslims than American Mormons. Are you afraid of Mormons hijacking the plane? Would you pass a note to the flight crew if you saw a few guys with black nameplates with white lettering? Would you go into a melt-down panic if you heard them say a prayer starting with "Heavenly Father" or "Eternal Father?" Anyway, where would they hijack it to?
When they tried to board the bicycles, I would start worrying.
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:18 AM
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Going by numbers alone, any of those groups (except for the men drinking coffee) are more likely to be American Muslims than American Mormons. Are you afraid of Mormons hijacking the plane? Would you pass a note to the flight crew if you saw a few guys with black nameplates with white lettering?
Are they cute? Can I be a hostage?
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:19 AM
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Remind me to never copy off of you during an essay exam. I was wondering how the passenger who complained couldn've known all that info about them--you know, the info that added up to make them suspicious. After it happened, a manager reported the rest of the stuff.
I'll remind you to read your own post (#12) where you said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty
And the "number of things that gave the flight crew pause" appear to be:
1) Being an Arabic man
2) Praying in the terminal
3) Making critical comments about the war in Iraq
4) One way tickets
5) No checked baggage
And now you claim "the rest of the stuff" (besides praying, I gather) was reported "after it happened".

I don't know how you've decided all this based on the story you presented, but feel free to follow up after you've made your final conclusions as to how it all developed.
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:44 AM
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When they tried to board the bicycles, I would start worrying.
Of course you would. Once they've climbed on their robes ride up and you can see their knees. Ever seen an Imam's knees? Eeeew.

How do people get by living their lives in such terror all the time?

-Joe
  #42  
Old 11-22-2006, 08:49 AM
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Yep, that is pretty crappy. Unfortunately, the airline being a private company has a right to refuse service.
So, an airline would have the right to refuse to allow black people or women to fly on its planes? And if not, does it have the right to refuse service to "Arabic" people who pray in public, as part of their religious obligations?
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by magellan01
Do you think that there is no room for them to be more understanding? To accept that people might be nervous about six Muslim guys praying before getting on an airplane? And that some people might even overreact a little?
Oh for fucks sake.

Would that sentence work if you replaced 'six Muslim guys praying' with any other group and action? Is there any other group that, for you, it's legitimate to go "well it's at least partly their fault, they should have been more understanding?"

You can't start judging the actions an entire group just because a minority of that group are nut jobs, and certainly you can't start tossing people off planes for praying.

Like I've said elsewhere, the terrorists don't even need guns and bombs to cause terror anymore -- a few guys in robes speaking 'foreign' will do it just fine.

SD
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:58 AM
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Are you afraid of Mormons hijacking the plane? [...] Anyway, where would they hijack it to?
I hear Branson, MO is a popular destination for Mormons.
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  #45  
Old 11-22-2006, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Magellan01
Do you think that there is no room for them to be more understanding? To accept that people might be nervous about six Muslim guys praying before getting on an airplane? And that some people might even overreact a little?
No. I don't think anyone is going to be very understanding, or is required to be, about being thrown off a flight for no good reason.


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This:

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A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind.


Do you really thinnk that it is unreasonable for a scene like this to trigger thoughts of 9/11? Keep in mind, it actually did trigger those thoughts. So that leaves us with the "reasonable" qualifier.
Yes. My question to you: were any of the 9/11 hijackers middle-aged, dressed in what might be considered Middle Eastern garb, traveling in a group or seen to pray in public prior to boarding their flights?

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While that activity might be normal in a country that sees a lot of devout Muslims praying all the time, that is not the case here.


Would you not agree that this is not an everyday occurrence for most Americans?
Actually, it's an everyday occurrence for this American, working as I do with a number of muslims at my place of business. As to the larger question, while I'm not Christian, my understanding is that praying is an everyday occurrence for most Christians. Muslim praying, probably not so much, but persons thinking that the sight of a muslim praying is some kind of indicator of an incipient hijack event are, quite simply ignorant.


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Or this?

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For one of them to claim that this incident illustrates that they are prevented from practicing their religion in the U.S. is ridiculous.

Are you of the opinion that this one incident indicates that Muslims cannot practice their religion in the United States? Or is this more and isolated incident. Is, perhaps, the person who made this statement overaercting himself?
I'm not actually arguing this point, but if we have freedom of religion in this country that freedom, it seems to me, would encompass being able to pray in public if one needs to, without getting one thrown off an airplane.

Anyway, you want to be afraid of every muslim you see, that's your business. I'm just trying to point out that your fears don't seem to have much of a logical foundation.
  #46  
Old 11-22-2006, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii
I'll remind you to read your own post (#12) where you said:And now you claim "the rest of the stuff" (besides praying, I gather) was reported "after it happened".
And I'll remind you that I'm still wondering how THE PASSENGER knew all of this stuff.

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I don't know how you've decided all this based on the story you presented, but feel free to follow up after you've made your final conclusions as to how it all developed.
Or I could do as you have.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:37 AM
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My take on the story really depends on the facts on the ground - that is, on what these guys were actually up to.

Taken off a flight for praying = absurd.

Taken off a flight for deliberately and provocatively engaging in all sorts of behaviour that, cumulatively, appears suspicious = not absurd.

From the NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/22/us/22muslim.html

"Loudly praying" isn't the whole story.

Question is really whether (a) these guys were just engaged in normal prayer, as they claim, in which case a big heap of apology is owed to them; or (b) they were out to deliberately shit-disturb, succeeded, and then played the victim card - in which case, obviously no apology is owed.

Thing is, none of us here are in a position to know. Rushing to judgment now says more about the person doing the judging than airline security.
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Old 11-22-2006, 10:55 AM
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Did you read the note in that link? So now I'm wondering how Cindy Sheehan plans on getting back to the US. She's been condemning US involvement in Iraq. Most recently, she's been protesting in Seoul in front of the main US military base. I mean, evidently people don't want anyone like that on their flight.

I really liked the "...Allah...Allah..." in the note, too. Wow, the passenger recognized one whole word in an Arabic prayer and decided that's just not something people should be saying.
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty
And I'll remind you that I'm still wondering how THE PASSENGER knew all of this stuff.
You're really fixated on the complaining passenger, aren't you?

But again, there is no evident basis for you claiming that the entire incident stemmed from the passenger's perceptions. To review key portions of your linked story again:

"In the incident Monday, a passenger reported overhearing the imams criticize the U.S. in Iraq and speaking angrily near the gate. The men were interrogated by the FBI and the Secret Service...According to a police report, a US Airways manager said three of the men had one-way tickets and no checked baggage. Some of the men also asked for seat belt extensions even though a flight attendant told police she thought they didn't need them...An airport police officer and a Federal Air Marshal agreed the combination of circumstances was suspicious, and eventually asked the men to leave the airplane" (bolding added),

The impression I get based on the information available to me is that there appears to have been some overreaction on the part of authorities and that some apologies would be wise - and that the complainants seem to have behaved stupidly and/or in a deliberately provocative manner. You on the other hand have apparently leaped to the conclusion that this is entirely a disgraceful example of panic and religious prejudice aimed at our Six Traveling Imams.

Think what you like, but consider applying some logic and consistency when doing so.
  #50  
Old 11-22-2006, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan01
Quote:
A bunch of Muslim guys praying before they get on the same airplane? Sorry, what does that bring to mind.
Do you really thinnk that it is unreasonable for a scene like this to trigger thoughts of 9/11? Keep in mind, it actually did trigger those thoughts. So that leaves us with the "reasonable" qualifier.
The only way that a "bunch of Muslim guys praying" could bring to mind the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon is if the person whose feeble mind was so influenced was operating on a basic level of prejudice and hatred to the disparagement of facts. The previous attackers did not get together and pray publicly, so an association of the two groups can only be rooted in unreasoning (i.e., unreasonable) prejudice. In fact, my memory is that the WTC/Pentagon attackers all arrived separately and deliberately acted as though they did not know each other, so a group of men praying together (thus clearly calling attention, however inadvertantly, to their presence), is the exact opposite of the actions of the terrorists.

That some passenger was driven by unreasoning paranoia to write a note is one thing. That the officials of the airlines would act on that unreasoning paranoia and bring in cops who would further act on that stupid fear goes far beyond what a "reasonable" person should "understand".
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