Raymond commented on this story here, but it reminds me of a story of my own: Once I was facing a long flight delay, with hours in the airport. So I started working. As it happened, while I was working on this site, Jihad Watch, someone saw “jihad” on my laptop screen and contacted police. Presently I was surrounded by police, at least one of whom had a large police dog with him, and they told me to come with them. Just at that moment I lost my Internet connection, so I was unable to show them who I was or what I was working on, and had none of my books or anything else with me, even any of my business cards. I had nothing with me except a Qur’an and some jihadist literature.
Ultimately I was able to explain to them what I was doing, and they let me go. Did they apologize? No. I would not have expected them to. I did not become irate or make “inappropriate comments.” I did not contact CAIR or MPAC. I did not sue or threaten to sue. On the contrary, I thanked the police officers for their alertness and vigilance.
Why are these nine passengers different? “We felt very disrespected,” one of them says. Once again, it is all about their honor, and not about the need to protect innocent civilians from jihad attack. And so now yet another bad precedent is set. These nine passengers may have been completely innocent, but to apologize for questioning them is to make it harder to question the next suspicious passenger. Once again political correctness comes before security concerns.
WASHINGTON — AirTran Airways apologized Friday to nine Muslims kicked off a New Year’s Day flight to Florida after other passengers reported hearing a suspicious remark about airplane security. One of the passengers said the confusion started at Reagan National Airport just outside Washington, D.C., when he talked about the safest place to sit on an airplane.
Orlando, Fla.-based AirTran said in a statement that it refunded the passengers’ air fare and planned to reimburse them for replacement tickets they bought on US Airways. AirTran also offered to take the passengers back to Washington free of charge.
“We apologize to all of the passengers “” to the nine who had to undergo extensive interviews from the authorities and to the 95 who ultimately made the flight,” the statement said. “Nobody on Flight 175 reached their destination on time on New Year’s Day, and we regret it.”
AirTran said the incident was a misunderstanding, but the steps taken were necessary.
Two U.S. Muslim advocacy groups, however, were critical of the airline’s actions. The Muslim Public Affairs Council called on federal officials Friday to open an investigation. And the Council for American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation, saying “It is incumbent on any airline to ensure that members of the traveling public are not singled out or mistreated based on their perceived race, religion or national origin.”…
Family members were upset that AirTran didn’t allow them to book another flight. The airline said in a news release Friday that one of the passengers became irate, made inappropriate comments and had to be escorted away from a gate podium by local law enforcement.
“We felt very disrespected,” Irfan said. He said FBI agents had cleared their names and asked AirTran to put them on another flight, but to no avail….