Many’s the time, when posting a story about a jihadist who justifies his actions by reference to Islamic texts and teachings, I have written, tongue firmly in cheek, that no doubt Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is already on his way to meet with the perpetrator and disabuse him of his misunderstanding of the Religion of Peaceâ„¢. But of course the real-life Honest Ibe has never made any such trip. However, I would be willing to bet the Jihad Watch company car, our state-of-the-art Maxwell Roadster, that CAIR will be all over this one, if they aren’t already. It’s a tailor-made legal jihad case.
But the bottom line is: will be err on the side of safety in airport security, or on the side of political correctness? Would you rather fly knowing that someone may have been erroneously ejected from a flight, or knowing that someone had been kept on a flight after acting suspiciously, so as to avoid any hint of “racism”?
By the way, I have a black beard and usually travel with a Qur’an and other Islamic books. Sometimes, although not always, I work with those books during the flight. However, I take pains to conceal any incendiary titles from other passengers, so that no one is alarmed by some guy with a beard on the flight reading The Qur’anic Concept of War. And if I am ever ejected from a flight because someone is alarmed, I will not hesitate to put up with the inconvenience uncomplainingly. Better someone is inconvenienced than that innocents are murdered. Isn’t it, Ibrahim? Isn’t it?
“9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet: Others on Flight Say a Remark Was ‘Suspicious,'” by Amy Gardner for the Washington Post, January 2 (thanks to Paul):
Officials ordered nine Muslim passengers, including three young children, off an AirTran flight headed to Orlando from Reagan National Airport yesterday afternoon after two other passengers overheard what they thought was a suspicious remark.
Members of the party, all but one of them U.S.-born citizens who were headed to a religious retreat in Florida, were subsequently cleared for travel by FBI agents who characterized the incident as a misunderstanding, an airport official said. But the passengers said AirTran refused to rebook them, and they had to pay for seats on another carrier secured with help from the FBI.
Kashif Irfan, one of the removed passengers, said the incident began about 1 p.m. after his brother, Atif, and his brother’s wife wondered aloud about the safest place to sit on an airplane.
“My brother and his wife were discussing some aspect of airport security,” Irfan said. “The only thing my brother said was, ‘Wow, the jets are right next to my window.’ I think they were remarking about safety.”
Irfan said he and the others think they were profiled because of their appearance. He said five of the six adults in the party are of South Asian descent, and all six are traditionally Muslim in appearance, with the men wearing beards and the women in headscarves. Irfan, 34, is an anesthesiologist. His brother, 29, is a lawyer. Both live in Alexandria with their families, and both were born in Detroit. They were traveling with their wives, Kashif Irfan’s sister-in-law, a friend and Kashif Irfan’s three sons, ages 7, 4 and 2.
AirTran spokesman Tad Hutcheson agreed that the incident amounted to a misunderstanding. But he defended AirTran’s handling of the incident, which he said strictly followed federal rules. And he denied any wrongdoing on the airline’s part.
“At the end of the day, people got on and made comments they shouldn’t have made on the airplane, and other people heard them,” Hutcheson said. “Other people heard them, misconstrued them. It just so happened these people were of Muslim faith and appearance. It escalated, it got out of hand and everyone took precautions.”…