Six Imams Ejected for Praying

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.

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.

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.

Is praying stupidity or a temptation to cause a problem?

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.

People scared of flying?

With good reason, apparently.

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.


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.

There’s no such thing as an atheist in a departure lounge. :slight_smile:

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.

Well, I’m glad we got that settled.

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.

Here’s some more info on the six traveling imams:

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.


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:


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?

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.

Would you not agree that this is not an everyday occurrence for most Americans?
Or this?

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?

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.

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.

When they tried to board the bicycles, I would start worrying.

Are they cute? Can I be a hostage?

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”.

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.