Saturday, November 25, 2006

Keith Ellison wants meetings with airline over removal of Imans

Politics: It didn't take him long to jump on the bandwagon. Via the Minneapolis Ellison Defense Star Tribune.

Congressman-elect Keith Ellison wants to meet with executives of US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission to discuss the removal of six Muslim clerics from a flight on Monday. Ellison sent the letter to US Airways CEO Doug Parker and Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the MAC, late Wednesday. As of Friday, no meeting had been scheduled. The pilot ordered the imams off the flight after their praying, conversation and behavior alarmed several passengers and flight attendants on the Phoenix-bound flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The incident drew national attention. The Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has said it will review the incident. Ellison won election to represent the Minneapolis-centered Fifth District earlier this month, becoming the first Muslim elected to Congress in the country. The airport is within his district. "While some constituents have understood the fears of the passenger who reported the clerics' prayers as suspicious activity, many more have expressed shock and surprise at what they perceive as discrimination," Ellison wrote.
As for this incident
Flight 300 was still at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when the incident occurred. Before the imams boarded, they were ``praying loudly in the gate area. Some were heard to be making statements against the U.S. involvement in Iraq,'' Pat Hogan, spokesman for the airport, said in an interview today. Some of the six repeatedly said ``Allah'' as they boarded, then asked to change seats and requested safety-belt extensions that they put under their seats, Hogan said. One was overheard to say he would ``go to whatever measures necessary to obey all that is set out in the Koran,'' Hogan said.
I put it down as a media stunt because the Minny airport has a prayer room where they could have gone before the flight, no Muslim is going to make a spectacle of himself in public like this with prayer.

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