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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Imams Removed From Twin Cities Flight

Of course, CAIR is outraged. Of course, the headline is intended to play on peoples' sensibilities but it doesn't tell the whole story. The article tells more of what actually happened:
Three of them stood and said their normal evening prayers together on the plane, as 1.7 billion Muslims around the world do every day, Shahin said. He attributed any concerns by passengers or crew to ignorance about Islam. "I never felt bad in my life like that," he said. "I never. Six imams. Six leaders in this country. Six scholars in handcuffs. It's terrible."
First of all, there aren't 1.7 billion Muslims in the world so Shahin starts with a lie. Furthermore, every picture I've ever seen of Muslims praying has shown them kneeling so this isn't what "Muslims around the world do every day." After starting with a lie, he then impugns the other passengers, saying that they're ignorant about Islam. He concludes by saying that six imams are leaders. While it's true that they are leaders, the unasked and unanswered question is "leaders of what"?
"CAIR will be filing a complaint with relevant authorities in the morning over the treatment of the imams to determine whether the incident was caused by anti-Muslim hysteria by the passengers and/or the airline crew," Hooper said. "Because, unfortunately, this is a growing problem of singling out Muslims or people perceived to be Muslims at airports, and it's one that we've been addressing for some time."
Forgive me if I don't buy into Mr. Hooper's statement. What Mr. Hooper wants us to forget is that three imams had never stood up on an airplane to say their prayers. The First Amendment guarantees their right to practice their religion. That said, passengers on this plane were rightly worried because this was an unusual act. After all, whenever we see pictures of Muslims praying, they're kneeling down.

Furthermore, the 'paranoia' that Mr. Hooper talks about is actually people acting rationally. After 19 Arabic jihadists hijack airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we'd better be paying attention to Muslims doing unusual things on airplanes. It's best that we not pay attention to Mr. Hooper, whether he stands on his head or holds his breath until he's blue in the face because his argument isn't a serious argument.
Shahin expressed frustration that, despite extensive efforts by him and other Muslim leaders since even before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, so many Americans know so little about Islam. "If up to now they don't know about prayers, this is a real problem," he said.
I'm always suspicious whenever I read about CAIR's outrage. That's certainly the case here. That's why I googled Shahin's name. Here's something that my search turned up:
Other KindHearts officials with radical Islamist ties are:

KindHearts’ Representative, Omar Shahin. Shahin was an Imam for the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT), the former home of numerous terror operatives, including Wael Jelaidan, who later helped found Al-Qaeda.
Obviously, the passengers on the airline weren't likely to know Shahin's history. That isn't the point. The point is that it's equally obvious that CAIR knew Shahin's history and chose to defend Shahin anyway. Doesn't that raise some questions about CAIR's motives with you?

Here's the first question I'd ask:

Why does CAIR defend someone with such a history? If I knew of a Christian pastor who was associated with terrorists, I certainly wouldn't defend that pastor. I wouldn't feel compelled to defend that pastor just because we're both Christians. I'd further suspect that mainstream Jews wouldn't defend a rabbi who supported a radical ideology.

Here's another question I'd have:

What would have to happen before CAIR wouldn't defend a Muslim? In fact, is there anything that a Muslim could do that would cause CAIR to not defend a Muslim? I haven't seen proof that there's anything that a Muslim has done that would cause CAIR to not defend them. Perhaps proof exists but I haven't seen it and I've done a pretty fair amount of digging into CAIR.

UPDATE: The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a new article posted with this additional information:
Pat Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said that witnesses to Monday's events told police that before the flight that besides praying, the imams were spouting anti-American rhetoric, talking about the war in Iraq and Saddam Hussein. One of the imams was heard saying that he would do whatever is necessary to fulfill his commitment to the Qur'an, witnesses told police, Hogan said. Other witnesses said some of the imams were repeating "Allah, Allah," he said. And a couple of the imams asked for seat-belt extensions, even though it did not appear they needed them, Hogan said. All of this made passengers, the attendants and the pilot uncomfortable, Hogan said. As a result, the pilot called police to have the imams escorted from plane.
I'd hardly call this a case of the passengers acting irrationally. To the contrary, I might have reacted the same way. If I'd heard some Muslim men spewing anti-American rhetoric, I'm fairly certain that I would've reacted with alarm because that's the type of thing I'd be paying attention to in post-9/11 America.

If the anti-American speech didn't get my undivided attention, then I'm positive that hearing an imam say that he'd "do whatever is necessary to fulfill his commitment to the Qur'an" would get my undivided attention in a heartbeat. Here's the ultimate ironic quote from the article:
"I want to go home. I don't want phone numbers," Shahin said. "I want to buy six tickets. They have no reason to refuse service to us just because of the way we look," he said "It's terrible. We want America to stay the way it is because we love this country."
If I had the opportunity, I'd tell Mr. Shahin that I'd prefer living in a terrorist-free world so we didn't have to be suspicious. I don't have that option anymore because the Middle East was a breeding ground for this hateful ideology, partly because we didn't take the terrorist movement seriously. I'd further say that if Mr. Shahin "loves this country", then he'd understand that we must be vigilant in watching for Muslims spewing "anti-American rhetoric" in airports.

I'd further suggest that if Mr. Shahin wanted to be a good citizen, then he'd do everything possible to act in such a way that wouldn't draw attention to himself. For example, if Americans had committed a terrorist act in an Arab country, I'd make extra certain not to do anything to draw attention to myself by spewing anti-Arabic rhetoric.

It seems to me that Americans have a right to expect that behavior from Mr. Shahin.

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog


Blogger Terror-Free said...

Islamonazi CAIR Relentlessly Undermining Airline Security - MSNBC video

Free Patriotic Corner Banners:

10:26 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Some more information on Mahdi Bray.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I posted my above comment to the incorrect article. I'll move it now.

9:48 PM  

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