Friday, January 2, 2009

Flying while Muslim.....

BY Terry Bankert

‘Flying While Muslim,’ the New ‘Driving While Black’


Did you know that a family of American passengers were removed from DC flight recently for no good reason. They happened to practice the Muslim religion, or was the removal because of it! AirTran Air reported that nine Americans who happened to be Muslim passengers ,were, removed from a flight from Washington, D.C., to Florida after other paranoid passengers reported hearing a suspicious remark. Air Tran apparently has a poor protocal for resolving these disputes. They profiled, the other passengers profiled and now now will admit it.

This is a good American family all but one of them U.S.-born citizens. Just hear where they were headed . They who were going to a religious retreat in Florida. And we think we are American land of the Free, with freedom of speech and religion.

Two of the family members were born in Detroit and currently live in Alexandria, Va.

FBI agents who characterized the incident as a misunderstanding, an airport official said. But the passengers said AirTran refused to rebook them, and they had to pay for seats on another carrier secured with help from the FBI.

They defended their right to remove the American residents. And we defend our right to boycott Airtran! One member talking of his own fears mentioned to a family member the safest place to sit on a plane when bombed.

One passenger was in school and another was a lawyer. AirTran admitted its error saying it was a misunderstanding. The American passengers say AirTran wouldn't rebook them Thursday and they had to pay for seats on another airline.

Imagine the impact this would have on your children. American Kashif Irfan tells The Washington Post the confusion began when his American brother remarked aloud that the plane's jets were next to his window.

Who likes to sit at these seats?

Two other passengers just waiting to find something wrong with this American family whined to the staff they heard a suspicious remark. We just following orders said the airline.

We followed federal rules. Federal officials ordered all 104 passengers off the plane and re-screened them before allowing the flight to depart. I wonder how many terrorist will be caught because they complain about their seats?

The family of American residents with Iranian decent know they are being watched unfairly. They are careful about what they say in public. The American residents were interrogated by the FBI and airport police. The FBI found them guiltless.

I wonder how long that process took. The American family felt humiliated. How would you feel. One member a doctor working at Washington Adventist Hospital said the harassment continued even after the FBI clearance. AirTran would not book their flight. Airport personnel confronting an obviously upset family trumpet up additional reasons to keep the American residents off their airplane.

The airline says the 95 other passengers on the original flight and all of their luggage had to be taken off the plane and re-screened. Oh no! The American family was eventually booked on a U.S. Airways flight on New Year's night, and off to a spiritual retreat in Central Florida.

I wonder if a white person made the same comments would they have been taken off a plane? The Americans humiliated by the Airline and Federal authorities said they feel they were profiled because of their religion.

I wonder how much discomfort was caused to the passenger who made an unneeded complaint? It should have at least been equal.

Posted Here by Terry Bankert




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