I am just about to board a Southwest flight. If I get removed for working on “Jihad Watch” in the gate area, I’ll let you know.
Irum Abbasi may have been wrongly singled out. Nonetheless, the involvement of Hamas-linked CAIR in her case is just one of many red flags. In reality, no one should be shedding any real tears for Irum Abbasi, especially Irum Abbasi. She says, “I have lived in the United States for 10 years. I am a U.S. citizen.” So if she is a loyal U.S. citizen, she should understand that what happened to her is an unfortunate consequence of the fact that devout, observant Muslims worldwide, including hijab-wearing women, have carried out jihad terror attacks in the name of Islam, and so people who are entrusted with the safety of airline passengers have every reason to err on the side of suspicion. Those who are thus inconvenienced should consider it a small price to pay in order to head off the next terror attack.
I speak from experience. More than once I have been held and questioned at airports because of my work. Once I was working on this website on my laptop, someone saw “jihad” on my screen, and presently I was surrounded by police and large dogs, and hauled off for questioning.
Another time I was in an airport, having hurried from a venue where I had just given a talk. I don’t ever speak from a written text, but I sometimes do carry notes — a page or two of quotations from various Muslim Brotherhood operatives, etc., including jihadist and Islamic supremacist statements by some putative American moderate Muslims, as well as quotations from the Qur’an and Hadith, etc. I had this material in my suit pocket, and it dropped out without my noticing when I took off my suit jacket to go through security. So a few minutes later I was again in the friendly presence of police and TSA personnel. One gentleman was holding up my notes and asking me why I had this material. I started laughing, because I realized that there was absolutely nothing in the notes to show that I actually opposed what was written there — and realized that it might take awhile to straighten the whole thing out.
And it did. But I didn’t mind. Because I knew what they were doing. I knew they weren’t holding the bearded, swarthy fellow with notes full of jihad hate because they were racists and bigots, and didn’t like people of Middle Eastern descent, or hated Muslims, or what have you. They were doing their job, which was to protect the American people. Irum Abbasi and Hamas-linked CAIR should realize that, and I think they do. They should also realize that we are on to them.
“Muslim woman removed from Southwest flight sues,” from AP, October 7 (thanks to all who sent this in):
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Muslim-American woman who was removed from a plane in San Diego last spring sued Southwest Airlines on Thursday, alleging she was discriminated against because she was wearing an Islamic head covering.
Irum Abbasi, a psychology graduate student at San Jose State University who is a U.S. citizen, filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Diego.
“Suspicions were aroused because of her religion,” Abbasi’s attorney, James McElroy, said at a news conference. “She would not have been removed from the plane if she had been a blond-haired, blue-eyed woman.”
Abbasi, a mother of three, was taken off the San Jose-bound flight in March as it was about to depart after a flight attendant thought she heard her say “it’s a go” on her mobile phone.
Abbasi “was horrified, embarrassed, humiliated and confused,” the lawsuit stated.
In fact, Abbasi had said “I have to go” because the plane was about to depart, according to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
Abbasi was searched and given clearance to reboard the flight within three minutes, but the pilot claimed the crew was uncomfortable flying with her and refused to allow her aboard.
She was given an apology, a voucher and a boarding pass for the next San Jose flight. As a result, she missed a critical research experiment that she needed to be able to complete for her graduate studies, the lawsuit said.
Chris Mainz, spokesman for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co., said the airline apologized to Abbasi for her inconvenience and her concerns were addressed “in good faith.”
“In this case, our employees raised a safety concern based on the customer’s behavior, and we had a duty to thoroughly address those concerns before clearing the customer to travel,” Mainz said in an emailed statement….