|Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 01:50 am: ||
The Fifth Column Sher Zieve
In a first of its kind lawsuit, CAIR (Council on America-Islamic Relations) attorneys are representing the so-called “Flying Imams” in suing both US Airways and passengers.
The suit stems from an incident that occurred on a US Airways’ flight in November 2006, from Minneapolis to Arizona, on which six Islamic Imams were reported to have stood up on the plane and prayed loudly, took seats that were not assigned to them (reminiscent of the 9/11 hijackers’ locations) and requested seatbelt extensions (which can be used as weapons) when they were neither required nor justified. They are also reported to have made anti-American and pro-Saddam Hussein and Osama bin-Laden comments.
The actions of the Imams were not only overtly menacing but, seemed designed to instill fear amongst their fellow passengers. Several passengers, including at least one who speaks and understands the Arabic language, reported the Imams’ behaviors to flight attendants. The Imams were, subsequently, removed from the flight.
On Monday, CAIR attorneys filed a “Civil Rights Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive and Monetary Relief” lawsuit in federal court against US Airways, Inc., John Does (the passengers who reported the Imams behaviors) and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The suit also alleges “Defendants had no legitimate non-discriminatory reason to justify their treatment of Plaintiffs; rather, Defendants based their actions on Plaintiffs’ race, religion, color, ethnicity, alienage, ancestry, and/or national origin.”
CAIR and the Flying Imams appear to be asserting that Muslims, in general, have the right (above all others) to do anything and everything they wish on any and all airline flights. Might that also include the rights to wear ski masks, carry weapons and actually hijack planes? Not yet but, the future is unknown.
The verbiage in the suit filed by CAIR strongly suggests that Muslims should not only be allowed to exhibit threatening behaviors to others but, that passengers should be prohibited from reporting any of these behaviors—to anyone. If they do, they will be sued by CAIR or some other Islamic organization. In other words, if Muslims stand up on planes shouting their prayers, make threatening comments against the US and voice their support of Islamic terrorists, the other passengers must remain silent and airline employees may not stop them.
Is CAIR advising us that we must make (or already have made) preparations to die if Muslims are on our flights? Are Muslims now to be granted “rights” not granted to non-Muslims? One has to wonder how long it will be until the ACLU (CAIR’s partner on multiple other lawsuits) enters this fray and demands that terrorist activities be allowed—as they are actually free speech. Then again, maybe it’s already working on it.
No doubt CAIR is already shopping for a US judge who is friendly to Islam. Some Clinton or Carter appointee, perhaps? Included with the other inanities in the filed lawsuit is:
“Defendants, with the intent to cause harm to plaintiffs’ reputation, maliciously, recklessly and without regard to their privacy and integrity, defamed and made false reports against Plaintiffs to justify their illegal action.”
In a post-9/11 world (with due consideration given to all of the other worldwide Islamic bombings and terrorist attacks in myriad other countries), it is neither malicious nor reckless to take notice of and stop threatening behaviors aboard an airline flight. And suffice it to say, the reports made about the Imams were not false. If the Imams truly wanted to preserve their “privacy and integrity” they should not have infringed upon the same privacy and integrity of the other passengers. But, that is precisely what they are reported to have done.
This latest CAIR lawsuit is merely another attempt to place Islam above the law and to bully non-Muslims and the “politically correct” crowd into acquiescing to their demands. If any US court agrees to this bogus and frivolous suit, it will be another huge step in the Islamization of America and another nail in the coffin for the USA. And it certainly seems that this “discrimination” lawsuit was carefully strategized from well before the first Flying Imam set foot on that now famous US Airways’ flight.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 06:10 am: ||
You might find this interesting reading, Mike:
Total Fatalities - 3,223 Total Wounded - 23,417
Diseases Medical Air Transport Required - 18,704
Total Medical Air Transported - 32,544
Total Non-Mortal Casualties - 54,910
|Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 09:49 pm: ||
Flying while Muslim and a Personal Experience of Stupidity on American Airlines
March 23, 2007 07:51 PM
I read the press release from CAIR (from the Providence Journal) about the profiling of Arab Americans on airplane flights and couldn't help thinking of my own experience flying with my husband, an Arab, while the no standing within 30 minutes of Washington DC rule was still in effect. The various experiences of Arabs, Muslims, and those poor people (even Jews or people who have tans!) mistaken for such and the lack of contingency planning when rules aimed at "security" go wrong made me realize that racism and fear are still a huge problem in this country.
On July 6, 2005 we took a flight from Washington D.C. to Miami at 6:00 a.m. on American Airlines. Upon take off we were notified by the pilot that there were very strict security guidelines forbidding anyone from getting out of their seat for any reason until we were 30 minutes out of Washington. He warned us that very strict measures were in place because of the events of Sept. 11. We had been in the air for approximately 15 minutes when the drink service came. I ordered coffee, my husband ordered tea from the server at the front of the cart. After handing me my drink, the stewardess (is this the PC term?) knocked my tray, spilling what turned out to be scalding water on my husband’s lap. Needless to say, since he was wearing linen pants, the excruciatingly hot water immediately soaked in. I told the woman that she had spilled the scalding water on my husband and he needed to get up; she responded by handing me a few cocktail napkins. My husband told her he was burning; she brought a small cup of ice.
I reiterated to that he was burning and needed to get up, to which she responded “I’m sorry but we’re still in the security zone.” We told her again that she had spilled scalding water on him, at which point she looked at her watch and said “I’m sorry, but we still have five minutes.” Finally, when the pilot announced that we were outside of the security zone, my husband made it to the restroom to remove the hot clothes. We were met on the ground by an ambulance and spent most of our vacation in the hospital where my husband was told he had 1st and 2nd degree burns. He was forced to wait ten minutes before he was allowed to get out of his seat. The incompetence of the airline staff was stunning. They were completely unprepared for a medical emergency. It wasn’t until an hour after Paula knocked the burning water on him that she got on the intercom and asked if there was a doctor or nurse on board, and she only did that because I told her to.
And here’s the part that really burns, excuse the pun, in the context of the whole “Flying while Arab” phenomena, the stewardess told me she was so sorry and would have let my husband get up if she had known he was burning so badly, but since he wasn’t “screaming” she said she “didn’t know” how bad it is. I’m sorry, she wanted an Arab man to start screaming in the Washington security zone?!? She wanted him to jump out of his seat while still in the air and risk getting arrested by Homeland “security”? It was a complete failure in judgment that she did not make a medical emergency exception. Whether it was a failure of foresight to develop such a contingency plan, or a lack of training in emergency preparedness among airline personnel, or just her lack of judgment, it amounted to first degree burns.
Did I want my husband to be beaten or head locked or arrested by jumping and screaming? No. As the article mentioned earlier writes:
“In another absurd case of vigilante profiling on airplanes, London-based interior-design guru Seth Stein would be kicked off an American Airlines flight simply because of his tan. According to British newspapers, Mr. Stein never “could have imagined being mistaken for an Islamist terrorist and physically pinned to his seat while aboard an American Airlines flight especially as he has Jewish origins.” He has since been told by airline staff he was targeted because he was using an iPod, had used the toilet when he got on the plane and that his tan made him appear “Arab.” According to media reports, the saddest part of Mr. Stein’s harrowing ordeal was that as he was being head-locked and pinned to the ground; instead of outrage, applause came from fellow passengers.”
Luckily the passengers on our flight were more understanding, but not the airline itself. Despite numerous attempts to contact customer service, no one ever got back to us. I wonder what kind of remuneration the six imams who were arrested for praying or the rabbi who was arrested for praying, or the man with a tan, or the guy wearing the Arabic tee-shirt got. I wonder if Sen. Russell Feingold’s End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) of 2004 addressed this? I wonder if the passenger Bill of Rights includes any such provisions for shameless racial profiling and stupidity on the part of its personnel?
|Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 05:14 pm: ||
LIBS: LAWSUITS 1ST, SAFETY 2ND
By DEBRA BURLINGAME
WHY must Democrats constantly defend against charges that they can't be trusted on issues of national security? Well, consider what went on in the House of Representatives last Wednesday night.
Various members of the House majority had just spent 30 minutes in self-praise over the $7.3 billion transportation-security bill, calling it long-overdue relief for millions of Americans. Then Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.) rose to propose an amendment directed at a dangerous new threat to national security.
His motion was a response to the "John Doe" lawsuit filed by six "Flying Imams." Last November, the six were ejected from a US Airways flight after their fellow passengers reported what they saw as strange and disturbing behavior. The imams claim that they were victims of "intentional" and "malicious" discrimination and are seeking compensation, including punitive damages - from the airlines, and also from the passengers and crew, who are identified in the suit as "John Does" to be served with legal papers once a court order reveals their actual identities.
That lawsuit is a dangerous threat aimed at a vital component of public-transit security - the public itself.
King explained as much, speaking on behalf of his amendment, which would protect anyone who makes a reasonable, good-faith report of suspicious activity from being the target of a lawsuit. "We have an enemy which is constantly adapting," King said Wednesday. "We have to think outside the box."
That enemy, of course is al Qaeda - which is obsessed with slaughtering innocents using public transportation. There was Madrid's "3/11" - 10 bombs detonated on four trains at the height of the morning rush hour, killing 191 and injuring 2,050. And London's "7/7" - four suicide bombers in the Underground and on a double-decker bus, resulting in 52 dead and 700 injured.
In New York City alone, 7 million people use mass transit every day. With 400 subway stations with 1,500 entrances, the trains are a "soft" target - one the NYPD can't adequately protect without help from the public.
Every New York City rail and transit rider has seen the signs: "If you see something, say something." The principle is obvious - in an age of terror, we should all have our eyes open. If the imams' lawsuit prospers, how many people won't say something - for fear of being sued?
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), who'd offered an earlier bill to protect good Samaritans who alert officials, rose to speak after King. "If we allow these suits to go forward," he warned the House, "it will have a chilling effect on the future of American security . . . If we are serious about fighting terrorism, if we are serious about protecting Americans and asking them to help protect each other, then we must pass this motion."
This is the kind of no-brainer legislation that every member of Congress should vigorously support. Yet House Democrats reacted to King's proposal as if he'd thrown a bomb into the House chamber itself.
According to witnesses in the gallery and on the floor, Speaker Nancy Pelosi displayed a classic deer-in-the headlights look as the Democratic leadership went into a huddle - plainly eager, not to embrace this common-sense measure, but to sidetrack it.
Meanwhile, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, took the floor to oppose King's motion - and to defend the lawsuit against John Does. "We should be tolerant," he argued; people shouldn't be singled out because they "look different."
In fact, the flying imams triggered concerns by a variety of unusual actions, as well as words that roused the concern of another Arabic-speaking passenger. Witnesses say that House members started booing Thompson.
Finally, a member of the leadership realized how this would look to Americans watching on C-SPAN: Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) was seen staring at Thompson and repeatedly drawing his hand across his throat - an urgent signal to get off the floor.
With Democrats realizing they couldn't argue against King's measure, it went to a vote, and passed, 304 to 121
Every one of those 121 votes aimed at defeating protection for "John Does" was a Democrat - indeed, more than half of all Democrats present voted "nay."
And, with the exception of Rep. Anthony Weiner (Brooklyn), Democrats from the New York-New Jersey metro area led the way in voting against it.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes Ground Zero, voted no. So did Rep. Carolyn Maloney, whose district includes Midtown, and Rep. Nita Lowey, who lost dozens of Westchester neighbors on 9/11.
Rep. Bill Pascrelle hails from New Jersey, the home of 700 9/11 victims. Earlier that night, he had praised the bill's provision protecting government whistleblowers from retaliation. But he voted against such protection for John Does who don't have government jobs.
The story isn't over yet. To become law, this measure must also pass the Senate - and survive House-Senate conference, where the leadership might try to quietly excise King's reform.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will certainly push for that. After all, the radical "civil rights" group - which supports the terrorists of Hamas and has received millions in funding from Saudi Arabia - is paying the lawyers in the "Flying Imams" lawsuit.
Nihad Awad, CAIR's executive director, defends the suit's targeting of ordinary citizens. The clerics, he explains, will only sue passengers who made false reports or acted in bad faith. But the suit cites an "elderly couple" who watched the imams in the gate area and then made a cellphone call. How will CAIR determine who the couple called and whether anything they did was intended to discriminate against the imams, without first finding out their names and forcing them to defend against the charge? What about their civil rights?
In the future, who will be willing to risk their savings in the face a potential lawsuit underwritten by wealthy Middle Eastern donors?
If King's measure becomes law, that worry will vanish. But the bill will have to survive the instinct of Congress' Democratic leadership to pander to political correctness and CAIR's special-interest pressure.
Democrats who don't want to be branded as soft on national security should remember the image of Rahm Emanuel on the House floor, drawing his hand across his neck.
Debra Burlingame is sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame, pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed at the Pentagon on 9/11.