I have been saying for some time now that the Flying Imam rage incident was staged to help garner support for anti-profiling legislation. Just before the Flying Imams incident happened I noted that Nancy Pelosi had come out in favor of such legislation, and suggested here and here in late November that a push for such legislation was what was behind the incident. I also spoke about this on the Hannity radio show, where it was hotly denied by the truth-challenged Edina Lekovic, on December 4.
Piece this out for me: CAIR allegedly wants to engineer an incident it can sell to the public as evidence of discrimination and get the End Racial Profiling Act pushed through — and for the task it chooses a guy who admits that his mosque used to help out Osama Bin Laden, who’s been accused of raising money for Hamas, and who doubts that 9/11 was carried out by Muslims? And instead of just praying, he and the other five imams resort to hijack-type behavior that’s suspicious enough to spook multiple air marshals and pilots?
Doesn’t that actually make things more difficult for their Democratic allies in Congress? I can buy that CAIR would do this to raise their own profile; they probably are that stupid and it’s not like they have anything to lose in terms of reputation at this point. But they’ve got to know that this makes things considerably harder for Pelosi, Conyers, and Feingold in getting the bill passed. Not to mention the fact that grassroots pressure on Bush to veto the bill if it ever comes before him will be tremendous now, thanks in great part to this very incident.
Good questions. However, these facts about Omar Shahin and the other imams have not penetrated the mainstream media -- witness this Washington Post article from a few days ago that quotes indignant Muslims complaining that nobody minds when Christians pray in public, dismisses the questions about the imams' seat assignments and seatbelt extenders, and says nothing at all about the unsavory connections of Omar Shahin. CAIR probably calculated that the media reaction would mostly run along the lines' of MSNBC's Contessa Brewer's comparing the imams to Rosa Parks. Some rightwing bloggers make a fuss? Well, what do you expect from hatemongering Islamophobes?
No one in the mainstream media, after all, has ever -- ever -- asked CAIR about its derivation from the Islamic Association for Palestine, a Hamas group, or about the CAIR officials who have been arrested and convicted on various terror charges. (Why were they hired, if their Islam differed so markedly from that of "moderate" CAIR?) No one in the mainstream media has ever asked Ibrahim Hooper hard questions about his statements about wanting to see the U.S. become an Islamic state sometime in the future. CAIR enjoys a free pass from media, government, and law enforcement. Why would Hooper and Co. think the Flying Imams incident would be any different?
And so far, for the most part it hasn't been. Watch for anti-profiling legislation to pass. Then we can all count how many airplanes will have to come down before it will be repealed.