Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More on Imans kicked off U.S. Airways

Terrorism: I said earlier that this whole deal stuck me as a media stunt. Via the Washington Times, it seems the clerics were either too stupid or were trying to get kicked off the plane.

Muslim religious leaders removed from a Minneapolis flight last week exhibited behavior associated with a security probe by terrorists and were not merely engaged in prayers, according to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials. Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted "Allah" when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix. "I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud," the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department. Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin. "That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane." A pilot from another airline said: "That behavior has been identified as a terrorist probe in the airline industry." ....According to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials, the imams displayed other suspicious behavior. Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized. One flight attendant told police she "found this unsettling, as crew knew about the six [passengers] on board and where they were sitting." Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor, the flight attendant said. The imams said they were not discussing politics and only spoke in English, but witnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. The imams who claimed two first-class seats said their tickets were upgraded. The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded, they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.
More from Malkin, Powerline Allahpundit from Hotair asks
You’ve got all this plus Omar Shahin’s admission that his mosque used to support Osama back in the day when he was still a “good guy” plus his work for the KindHearts charity that’s been linked to Hamas, and yet there hasn’t been a single media inquiry thus far about the goings-on at the conference of North American imams that Shahin and co. were in town to attend. Curious, especially since America’s first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, was also in attendance. You’d think that might pique some journalist’s curiosity, but so far it hasn’t. Lileks wonders why.

The program guide for the conference is here. Nothing too outlandish except this bit from the profile of Yasser Al-Khooly.

One of the most important challenges facing Islam nowadays, according to Imam Al-Khooly, is "the ignorance of most Muslims to the extent that they permit the local culture to override their own culture. Subsequently, they melt in the society rather than affect it". One of Al-Khooly’s most important goals is trying his best to get the Muslim community together.

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