Anti-Muslim discrimination? Maybe, but CAIR’s involvement, and particularly the representation here of the Flying Imams as having been taken off their flight because they opposed the war in Iraq, make this story very suspicious. I suspect it could be part of the larger effort, of which the Flying Imams incident was also a part, to criminalize all scrutiny of Muslims in airports, no matter how suspiciously they’re acting, and to prevent any Muslim from being denied entry into this country, no matter what — i.e., to outlaw “religious profiling,” a move that is endorsed by Nancy Pelosi and others.
“German Muslim Held, Denied U.S. Entry,” by Garance Burke for Associated Press, with thanks to Mackie:
A German businessman of Syrian descent who wanted to surprise his daughter with a holiday visit was detained for four days in a Las Vegas holding cell before being sent back home without explanation. A civil rights group called authorities’ treatment of Majed Shehadeh a case of anti-Muslim discrimination.
Shehadeh, 62, flew from Frankfurt to Las Vegas last Thursday, hoping to meet with his wife and drive to Bakersfield, Calif., where his American-born daughter had just gotten news she’d passed the California bar exam. Instead, he wound up shivering in a holding cell without ever being told why he couldn’t enter the country, he said.
Roxanne Hercules, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, confirmed Tuesday that Shehadeh was denied entry, but would not discuss specifics of his case. She said Shehadeh’s visa waiver could have been denied because “he could have a criminal record, or it could be a terrorism issue.”
The detention follows a series of similar incidents involving Muslim passengers, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
In October, an Islamic scholar from South Africa was denied entry at San Francisco International Airport. A month later, six imams were taken off a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix after a passenger reported overhearing them criticize the U.S. war in Iraq.
Note the highly tendentious description of the Flying Imams incident, repeated uncritically by AP. Not a word about the Hamas/Al-Qaeda connections. Not a word about the seatbelt extensions or other suspicious behavior.
“Overall these cases send a message that Muslims are second-class citizens who can be detained and kept from their families,” said Affad Shaikh, a civil rights coordinator for CAIR….
Nor does AP, of course, offer a word about this “civil rights” group CAIR. Nothing about the terror arrests of some of its employees. Nothing about the statements of Sharia supremacism made by some of its leaders.
Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they could not comment on why he was denied entry. FBI and airport officials in Las Vegas also declined comment.
An aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein later told the family that Shehadeh was on a “look-out list,” Mulligan said. Feinstein’s office confirmed Tuesday that the family contacted her, but wouldn’t comment further.
“I said you’ve got to be joking me, he’s never even had a speeding ticket,” said Mulligan, a retired math teacher for the U.S. military. “I mean, we’re Muslims, and we travel a lot. Maybe the countries we travel to are not the countries they want you to visit.”
Once in the holding facility, Shehadeh said he was stripped of his shoes, jacket and prescribed heart medicine and locked in a cell with about 25 other detainees. There was one toilet in the middle of the room, and access to a telephone was extremely limited, he said.
On Sunday, he was released and sent back to Frankfurt on the same charter airline.
Shehadeh’s daughter Majida Shehadeh said she was glad her father made it home, but feared he wouldn’t be able to return to visit.
“I used to be happy I moved here,” she said. “But now I can’t wait for when I leave here. The mentality is not what it was like beforehand.”
Yes, the gratuitous murder of several thousand office workers can tend to change one’s attitude.