As expected (happily, JW gets to keep its state-of-the-art Maxwell Roadster, which Robert placed in bet), CAIR responds appropriately: “CAIR Files DOT Complaint After Muslims Kicked Off AirTran Flight,” from the Earth Times, January 2:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) following an incident Thursday in which nine Muslim passengers were removed from an AirTran Airways flight at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.[…]
In its DOT complaint, CAIR wrote:
“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. We believe this disturbing incident would never have occurred had the Muslim passengers removed from the plane not been perceived by other travelers and airline personnel as members of the Islamic faith.”
Maybe not, but this begs the question: why were/are travelers apprehensive of flying with Muslims in the first place? Could it be that, since 1984, 20 of the 27 airplane hijackings have been carried out by Muslims? Moreover, since 9/11, the lion’s share of dramatic and fatal terrorist attacks carried around the world””such as the Bali nightclub bombing, where 202 were killed, or the Madrid train bombings, where 191 killed, or the Chechen hostage crisis, where 344 civilians, including 186 children were killed, or the London train bombings, where 52 were killed, or the Sharm al-Sheikh bombings, where 64 were killed, or most recently the Mumbai bombings, where some 200 were killed, not to mention 9/11’s 3,000″”have all been committed by Muslims? Maybe CAIR should investigate this “phenomenon” first, before insisting that obvious Muslim males and little old women should be perceived by airport security equally?
“There is a big difference between ‘see something, say something,’ which we all support, and reporting suspicions based solely on stereotyping and bias,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
The problem with waiting to “say something” until you actually “see something,” is that you will probably be too little too late to make a difference.
Awad said CAIR publishes a “Know Your Rights and Responsibilities” pocket guide that includes advice for airline passengers who believe they have been treated in a discriminatory manner.
The guide states: “As an airline passenger, you are entitled to courteous, respectful and non-stigmatizing treatment by airline and security personnel. You have the right to complain about treatment that you believe is discriminatory.” It also recommends that passengers ask for the names of all persons involved in an incident and to ask specifically if they have been singled out because of their “name, looks, dress, race, ethnicity, faith, or national origin.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488- 8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com