Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Very Disturbing

As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:
On Monday, Omar Shahin and five other imams had gone to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to fly home to Phoenix after attending a conference in Minneapolis of the North American Imams Federation. Shahin is president of the group.

But after passengers raised concerns about the imams — three of whom said their normal evening prayers in the airport terminal before boarding the Phoenix-bound plane — the imams were removed from the flight and questioned by authorities.

This morning Shahin returned to the Twin Cities International Airport to buy six more tickets for the flight to Phoenix, but a US Airways ticket agent and supervisor refused to sell him the tickets.

In an exchange witnessed by a Star Tribune reporter, the unnamed supervisor said Shahin's tickets had been refunded and that he needed to get tickets on another airline.

Having grown up as a member of a religious (and ethnic) minority in Minneapolis/St. Paul, I'm not at all surprised.


Anonymous said...

Instead of sitting on your blog all day, how about you park your red van in a single spot instead of 2 so your neighbors guests have parking spots this weekend.

FreeMarket said...

This particular situation was handled all wrong. However, racial profiling is a useful tool and should be continued. It should not be the only tool used, but it should be one of the tools in the arsenal of the TSA. Procedures and guidelines should be laid out to minimize discomfort for the overwhelming majority of religious folks that don’t want to blow up airplanes.

David W. Keelan said...

Apparantly you didn't hear that a passenger on the plane who is an Islamic speaker overheard the conversation between these men.

Other news reports say that the men claim they continued their prayers on the plane. They were not praying on the plane. They were discussing current affairs in the Middle East and cursing the United States.

Should that have gotten them kicked off the plane? I don't know. However, I am a white male and I am still very careful about what I say in the security line, to other passengers, and on the plane.

The point is that this was not about men praying and being discriminated against as they claim.

Read the USA story to get the whole picture before you make your mind up based on the limited information posted here.


Steve, did you move your red van for you neighbor?

Anonymous said...

Islamic isn't a language. Perhaps you mean Arabic???? Or Urdu??????

Steve Fine said...

Or what about Farsi, or Hindi or English or Freench for that matter. The majority of Muslims are not Arabs. Indoniesia is the World's largest Islamic country.

Many Arabs are not Muslims, in fact there are Jewish and Christian Arabs.

So lets not deal in steriotypes. A persons's faith or ethnicity should not make them the object of suspicion. Especially offcial Government suspicion.

Anonymous said...

Right, Steve, let's sacrifice ourselves on the altar of political correctness while radical Muslims blow us up. If 19 Swedish Lutherans had hijacked planes on 9/11, I'd all be for profiling Swedish Lutherans. Why should we pretend that the threat comes from everywhere when in fact the threat comes from the radical element of one religous group.

Steve Fine said...

Does the names Timothy McVeigh ring a bell? Ever heard of the IRA, the weathermen, the Aryan Nation, the Order, the anthrax attackers, the Beltway Snipers?

Those who are willing to give-up our civil liberties for a false perception of safety are not worthy of the bravery and the sacrifices made by those who created and protected our nation.

The Founding Fathers didn't respond to threats by destroying liberties, they created them. Have you ever heard the Revolutionary War cry: Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death?

Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said, and I am paraphrasing here, Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety end up with neirther and deserve what they get.