6 Muslims Who Were Arrested On A Flight Sue Passengers For Reporting Them As Potential Terrorists

The 6 Muslim scholars who were removed from a US Airways flight and arrested after being reported by other passengers as being potential terrorists are now suing those passengers, alleging discrimination. The trouble started when a passenger passed a note to a flight attendant expressing concerns about the Muslim passengers because they’d been spotted saying their normal evening prayers in the terminal.

Now the 6 arrested passengers are suing their accusers. Boy, there was sure a whole lot of nasty racism going on that day. It’s hard to figure out who should sue who, isn’t it? Psst, the airline probably has more money. —MEGHANN MARCO

The Today Show

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  1. zibby says:

    It was a setup for publicity and a lawsuit from the word “go”.

  2. Rajio says:

    @zibby: setup by who? publicity for who? does US airways WANT bad publicity? I don’t get it zibbly.

  3. WV.Hillbilly says:

    Publicity for who?
    The 6 muslim “scholars” and their mouthpieces.

    Regardless, the passengers did absolutely nothing wrong in reporting their suspicions.

  4. B Tex says:

    No, set up by the 6 muslims. They want to create this fear of acting on our suspisions so “next time” the average Joe must second guess themselves. These people are experts in playing our legal system, our politics, and our fears.

  5. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    This comment thread should be fun.

  6. B Tex says:

    Another example is a muslim woman around a Dalas airport who was taking pictures and videos of the airport property and who openly hates the U.S. and supports terorrism. She felt her rights were violated when they questioned her suspicious activity. She eventually even got fired from her job for being such an outspoken supporter of terrorism.

    Hey, if your rights are so violated here, go back to Afganistan or where ever you are from and see what your rights are there…let me know when you get there.

  7. Pelagius says:

    Perhaps they should sue the current administration for creating such a toxic climate of fear and suspicion.

  8. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Thank god the internet didn’t exist in the 40′s, or America would never have invaded Germany. “Please, the Jews are just playing this for sympathy, so no one will blink twice the next time they want to lend us money!”

    After 9/11, my friend saw a man beaten and dragged off by security. She was standing nearby, and heard security. They didn’t have a reason. They hassled him until he spoke angrily, and then jumped on him.

  9. Pelagius says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: It’s not easy being Muslim!

  10. He says:

    Sure smells funny. I hope they’re forced to say why two of them wanted seat belt extenders which they then put on the floor instead of using.

  11. I think the link should be
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17874497/

    I don’t blame them for suing and you know your country has reached a dark place when prayer becomes suspicious activity.

  12. Nicholai says:

    Good for them!(The muslims I mean.) This is just flat out racisim.

  13. zibby says:

    @darkblast93: Muslim is a race now?

  14. roche says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    It was a bit more than just praying…..

    Some passengers also said that the men spoke of Saddam Hussein and cursed the United States; that they requested seat belt extenders with heavy buckles and stowed them under their seats; that they were moving about and conferring with each other during boarding; and that they sat separately in seats scattered through the cabin.

  15. Skiffer says:

    @kozicki4: “These people”…wow, you just proved that their lawsuit is justified…

  16. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @Pelagius:

    Just to be clear I’m agreeing with your side here.

  17. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @zibby: OK fine, religious bigotry. Except you know what, my husband is Asian and Muslim and doesn’t get shit like this. So this was specifically them being Middle Eastern While Muslim.

  18. winnabago says:

    These people are experts in playing our legal system, our politics, and our fears.

    What year is this? I hope you meant the lawyers, but saying “these people” when talking about an ethnic group is a sign of the problem here!

    The US is having trouble adapting to a globalized world, and in particular, our xenophobia is a large reason why.

  19. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @roche: And the ONLY part of this I buy is the moving about the cabin to confer with each other. If they were Imams, they probably did not want to spend a lot of money and took what was available, as we all have at one time or another. And Imams are like rabbis, they like to talk, to confer, to kibbitz, as my people say.

  20. Hoss says:

    A passenger is not an employer or a service provider. How does an individual discriminate?

  21. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    l@kozicki4:
    “Hey, if your rights are so violated here, go back to Afganistan or where ever you are from and see what your rights are there…let me know when you get there.”

    Well, I think we’ve established kozicki doesn’t like brown people.

  22. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: For real.

  23. jbohanon says:

    Thank God this story didn’t keep that alert Kinkos clerk from reporting to the FBI about the people who wanted to attack Fort Dix. In some people’s ideal world, what he did would be illegal.

  24. roche says:

    @spiderjerusalem:

    It is a plane. You are supposed to remain seated unless you are going to the bathroom. When was the last time you were on a plane that just let a large group of people congregate for a nice little chat?

  25. Spider Jerusalem says:

    The people in the Fort Dix thing were investigated for MONTHS and were caught in a sting operation buying weapons. This is not the same thing as praying.

  26. gwong says:

    Airline passengers “are your eyes and your ears,” said Vincent, who now owns an aviation security company. “If attorneys can get those names and sue them, you put a chilling effect on the whole system.”

    Sure, but what’s wrong with there being some accountability?

  27. Pelagius says:

    Considering such shining examples of Free Speech in American Society as Fred Phelps, neo-Nazi Presidential candidates, the KKK, etc. I really don’t see how a private individual saying “I hate Muslims/Rastafarians/Whitey” constitutes a civil breach. Now, US Airways or TSA acting on said comments is another matter.

  28. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @roche: Um…always? Ive been flying since I was five, and I was not always seated next to people I knew, and families who had allowed themselves to be broken up rather than paying for a stack of tickets would get up, talk to each other, try to trade seats, etc.

  29. Skiffer says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Good full-article link – there was definitely more going on then just “praying”.

    How suspicious the “more” was is hard to gather from the article.

    But let’s get one thing straight – they were NOT reported for just praying…

  30. zibby says:

    @spiderjerusalem: Coulda been their behavior, ya know? I don’t have studies, but I’m reasonably sure that dozens – maybe even SCORES! – of Middle Eastern Muslims fly in the U.S. every day without being “reported” by a bunch of their fellow pasengers.

    I still assert that this was a scheme to get on a plane, act as suspiciously as possible without doing anything illegal, get booted if possible. After that, bask in the coverage and hope one of the lawsuits is successful for a nice bonus.

    I’ll be interested in how the case proceeds, needless to say.

  31. Beerad says:

    You know, it’s amazing how many people are utterly convinced of the “right” decision in this case despite not actually being there themselves.

  32. neobolts says:

    I have a hunch that the same posters lashing out at the passengers for speaking up are the same ones tossing blame because no one went far enough to stop the VT shootings.

    If these six were innocent victims of circumstance, I’d feel a little more sorry for them. This was a well planned, highly organized media event to see how far they could go before someone was suspicious of them…and then open up a can of lawsuits. THEY WERE ON THE PLANE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF ALARMING AND THEN SUEING PEOPLE.

    Overheard making anti-American remarks?
    No luggage?
    Seat belt extenders they want to hold, but not use?

    If you can be sued for your personal opinion of someone else’s behavior, then citizen action is DOA. If I find that your loved ones may be in danger, I will not speak up for fear of being taken to court. The only winners is this situation are radical Islamic militants.

    Mentioning only “normal” prayers in the initial article is a slap in the face to the people on that plane who saw a wide variety of odd behaviors for anyone to exhibit.

  33. FDrebin says:

    @roche:

    So they mentioned Saddam Hussein and spoke angrily of the United States. Boy, those are two very uncommon things aren’t they?

    Also, lets use our heads, if I am going to hijack a plane which do I do: stay very quiet and inconspicuous, or yell loudly and bring attention to myself?

    It should also be noted that people brought suspicion upon for these actions alone, way before they entered the plane.

  34. @roche: Then why mention the praying at all? Why is prayer part of the set of activities that’s considered suspicious?

    The only thing weird here is the part about the seat belt extender.

  35. jbohanon says:

    And the FBI was alerted to the people in the Fort Dix plan by a normal American who noticed something suspicious. The link provided to explain the seat belt extenders only says that they got them because their seat belts didn’t fit. Sure, now it makes sense that they put them on the ground.

  36. Buran says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: Nothing wrong other than racially discriminating against others. What if I were praying before taking a flight — and the prayers were Catholic? I’m not religious, but use this as an example: would people be likely to report a white woman in her 30s saying a Hail Mary? I doubt it.

    And that’s why this is wrong. The United States does not allow discrimination on the basis of race or religion. And yet, we allow it to go om and pretend to look the other way.

    I think it’s about time that those who were wronged by this ridiculous action stood up and said “We won’t take this any more”.

  37. axiomatic says:

    My son and daughter will not grow up with this blatant bigotry instilled in them. Peoples ACTIONS are responsible for all good / bad in this world, not their race, religion, or their mannerisms.

    Good for these Muslims suing.

    I hope I count as living proof that people from the US (Texas) are not all bigots.

    I’m all for safety, but not at the cost of freedom.

  38. grkgus says:

    If i see anyone praying right before a flight i will say something. I dont know if they are saying their last prayer but it wont be mine. They have to understand that there will be some sort of reaction with their actions.

  39. zibby says:

    @Beerad: I’m willing to admit these guys may have been completely on the level. It doesn’t happen to be what I believe, but I could be wrong.

  40. snrub says:

    Racism against arabs doesn’t seem to count. Seems like you can only be racist against black people.
    That news report seemed really biased, the way they showed a diagram of where they were sitting made it look like there was an actual plot.

    The fact that saying “Allah” could be perceived as indicating a terrorist shows a widespread acceptance of stereotypes

  41. Buran says:

    @gwong: I think there’s a chilling effect already when you have to worry about nosy busybody neighbors thinking you did something slightly abnormal and calling the cops on you for, say, putting your trash out right before pickup. (I’ve heard of cops using that as an excuse to snoop into somebody’s life. So now the time we set out our trash is suspicious?? What next, the color of said trash can?

  42. mikyrok says:

    Some people should read articles before hitting the comment button.

  43. robbie says:

    @gwong: There’s nothing wrong with passengers reporting/complaining to the airline attendants. It’s what the employees decide to do with the information that is critical. Ask the passenger to be quiet? Ring the alarm? Whatever. But there’s (currently) no legal accountability for raising concerns to an employee.

  44. Buran says:

    @mikeyrock: Some people should not make unprovable assumptions about what others have and have not done before hitting the comment button.

  45. Buran says:

    @grkgus: I guess it is now illegal to be afraid of flying, or should be, according to you…

  46. @grkgus: So if the person next to you says, “Please, Jesus, keep this plane in the air” you’ll accuse them of being a terrorist?

  47. tracyjordanvsodb says:

    @zibby: Word Son.

  48. GreatCaesarsGhost says:

    @Skiffer:
    “These people” refers to terrorists, not Muslims. The point is these guys were likely testing the system and response. They are counting on people being afraid of being labeled racist. Be careful not to play into their hands.

  49. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @GreatCaesarsGhost:
    I think it’s pretty clear based on that particular poster’s comments that “these people” refers to Muslims.

  50. RandomHookup says:

    Don’t mind me; I’m here for the floor show.

  51. jaredharley says:

    The passengers did nothing wrong. They reported what they felt was suspicious activity. If these imams would like to sue someone, sue the airline, the airport, the police officers in the airport.

    It’s not the passengers’ fault that they were “humiliated”.

  52. B Tex says:

    And YOU just proved…you’re and idiot.@Skiffer:

  53. Kornkob says:

    Suspicious activity isn’t usually a case of one minute action that can be clearly delinitated. It’s a series or set of actions that individually may be innocuous but taken together may be indicative of dangerous or illegal behavior.

    A man walking down the street isn’t suspicious. A man walking down the street in the summer wearing a long winter coat and apparently holding something under his coat is suspicious. Nothing illegal about any of that but that doesn’t make it any less suspicious.

    Taking any one detail from this instance and holding that one thing up as an example of why it wasn’t suspicious is flatly silly.

  54. B Tex says:

    what are they going to sue for??? Sue a pax because they they reported their suspicious behaviour and comments. Sorry to be a realist here folks…but If you are dressed up in “cleric garb” and your say anti US remards, and talk about alah, and you are about to get on a plane, and you are acting out of sync with the rest of the passengers, then you MAY raise some suspision, HENCE you must be sued for the obvious reasons…LOL you are funny@Skiffer:

  55. B Tex says:

    but you don’t see too many women in their 30′s saying hail marys and about to kill/die for her religion either.@Buran:

  56. Brad2723 says:

    Did anyone stop to think that a seat belt extender may be used as a weapon? Why would you ask for one and not use it. If you ask me, I think they were trying to test the system in order to find out what exactly they could get away with. This time, they drew too much unwanted attention to themselves.
    They should be suing the airline, not the passengers. But the lawsuit is just so they can profess their innocense.

  57. wreckingcru says:

    @roche:
    I’m Indian, and so are a lot of my friends. Whenever we all fly together (whether going back home, or taking a vacation), we usually end up getting scattered seats, and we end up roaming around the cabin and congregating, all the while speaking in our mother tongue, Hindi.

    Should we have been reported? After all, all dem brown folks arrr alike…!

  58. vanilla-fro says:

    if something did happen on this plane…..Why didn’t somebody say something? Why weren’t they noticed?

    Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t.

    So now they’ll just sue, the money should make it all better. oh wait, no it won’t they will still feel the pain, the fear, the hatred that they are suing for.

  59. crayonshinobi says:

    What a train wreck this comment board has become.

    Why is it that the most vociferous vitriol always comes from those that claim to be against hate?

  60. Xkeeper says:

    @jaredharley:

    Agreed. Suspicious activity like, as stated, getting an extender and then stowing it under the seat isn’t exactly normal.

    So they were completely in the right for reporting suspicious behavior and I hope they get out of this lawsuit as soon as possible.

  61. zentec says:


    What troubles me most about this lawsuit is the fact that these are scholars who are conveniently overlooking what is the root cause of the suspicion directed their way; young Muslim men from middle eastern countries engaging in terrorist activities. I’m sorry, but you can only play the victim so far in this instance before the scholars have to go back into their community and start ferreting out those extremists who are tarnishing the reputation of the communities they represent.

    That is not to say the Muslim community does not police itself; from what I remember, the instigators of the liquid ban on airplanes were turned in by members of their own community. But if the Muslim community wants to counteract the fears, they need to become a whole lot more vocal about denouncing these acts. So far, that hasn’t happened.

  62. grkgus says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    Its nice and easy to say what if it was someone elses religion. The fact is that Arabs took down the planes, arabs have hijacked planes in the past. The obvious assumption if you see six muslims praying right before a plane is that somehting MIGHT happen. I would rather play it safe and say something to someone then be in fear of my life.

  63. ObtuseGoose says:

    Brad2723 is exactly right. They were trying to test the system to see what they could get away with. The seat belt extender is a red flag. Those who can’t see that are very naive.

  64. akyiba says:

    @kozicki4…they had a shirt and slacks. Oh wait they didn’t have jeans on so I guess that would look suspicious if you want to look half way decent while traveling.

  65. nomad73 says:

    @Buran: When was the last time a group of fundamentalist Christians hijacked a plane, beheaded a journalist, or did a suicide bombing?

    for the record I am an athiest, and am not defending Christians, but you get the point.

  66. Scott says:

    @Hossofcourse:

    That’s the most important point. I don’t think they have any legal ground to stand on. How can you sue people for what they think? What’s next, suing people for locking their car doors when they drive through ‘bad’ neighborhoods?

    And I don’t think they could sue the airlines either because Consumerist has shown they’ll kick off just about anybody if somebody complains about them.

  67. @grkgus: It’s only an obvious assumption if you believe Muslim = terrorist.

    @Kornkob: So praying is suspicous combined with other suspicious activity? If the guy in the coat started praying it would make him extra suspicious?

  68. gwong says:

    @Buran: Oops, I should have made it clearer that I meant that people should be held accountable for their actions – whether they report suspicious activity in good faith or as an act of malice.

    The names should be made available for legal proceedings – the wronged have a right to determine if these actions were slanderous in nature.

  69. crayonshinobi says:

    @nomad73: Exactly the point. It’s not stereotyping/racism when there is a pattern of behavior.

  70. grkgus says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    What f***ing world do you live in?

  71. VG10 says:

    if you dont like our country because we dont want terrorist, then get rid of the terrorist from your country and it wont be a problem. stfu and go back to whatever hellhole you came from.

  72. jerros says:

    It’s really a judgement call.

    See suspicious activity, report it and if you happen to be wrong? The world condems you and labels you “raceist” or “biggot”, say nothing and you place yourself and every other passenger on the plane at risk if it was really a “clue” at their intentions.

    Did race/religon play a part in this? I’m sure it did, but personally I would’ve done the same if rather than being a bunch of muslim men they were a bunch of catholic nuns or priests.

    Although some people would like you to believe otherwise terrorists come in all shapes, sizes, religions and skin colors.

    So anyone doing something suspicious while I’m on a plane is going to get reported. I’ll be happy if I’m wrong about who ever I report, in fact I would prefer to be wrong. Because if I happened to be right, I would seriously have to think about using another mode of transportation. I simply wouldn’t feel safe on that plane anymore if it turned out that one of the guys on the plane wanted to hijack it and fly down to cuba or something.

  73. exkon says:

    @VG10:

    That’s exactly the kind of attitude that makes the USA a target for other countries.

    Do you even know the principles this country was founded on? You shouldn’t be so ignorant of other people culture/religion.

    Just by reading your post we can tell that you are uneducated and seriously to think about how you say things.

  74. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    I really thought that a seemingly-intelligent blog like this one would generate a better conversation on this than “OMG the moo-slims hate amurka!”

  75. phrygian says:

    Granted, I can’t watch the video from the computer I’m using — but the linked-to article doesn’t explain how you can sue someone for reporting them to security as suspicious. I assume the legal basis is somehow related to defamation of character. However, I thought suing on those grounds was only permissible when (loss of) money is at stake. Of course, IANAL.

    – Could someone please explain what laws allow this type of lawsuit?

  76. guroth says:

    Does anyone know if this particular type of flight was assigned seating? Some low budget flights are “first come first serve” and have no assigned seating. It would make their seating choice even more suspicious if it were not assigned seating.

    Between that, the no luggage, the unused but requested seatbelt extenders and their loudly overheard conversations (they can’t be stupid, they should know to watch what they say in an airport. I am wonderbread and even I am careful about what I say in an airport) It really does seem like they were trying to test the system and see what they could get away with.

    Underlying motives? Who knows. Perhaps they did it with the intention of suing, to try to get free money. Maybe to put fear into the American public, fear that they should not speak up if they see something suspicious lest they get sued (so that future terrorists can be more likely to get away). Or maybe just to see what they can get away with for future terrorists.

  77. mac-phisto says:

    i don’t see why they were removed from the plane. i mean they took their shoes off right? they had their liquids & blade-like keychains confiscated didn’t they? they passed thru the magical terrorist detectors, so they’re ok in my book!

  78. chimmike says:

    it is this simple:

    They knew had they prayed out loud it would get attention. They did, and it did.

    Could they have prayed silently and gone on with their flight as normal? Did everyone have to HEAR what they were saying in order to believe they were Islamic? From the way they dressed, absolutely not.

    It is without a doubt obvious this was meant to gain attention so that they could SOFTEN FUTURE INCIDENTS by winning some sort of lawsuit.

    They are suing those other passengers so as to instill fear in people for the future should they get the idea to alert someone if they are concerned.

    Though, they won’t win against the other passengers, because the passengers were NOT the ones who made the decision to kick the Imams off the plane.

    Racism? Maybe, but I doubt it. Obvious concern based on obvious actions aimed at getting attention? I think so.

    PC America is the America so pro-security but so Anti- using the appropriate measures to do so.

    Take example of the newly-elected French president and his comments. Learn.

  79. joeyversion2 says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: I totally thought the same thing when I saw this post go up. This is gonna be interesting…

    However, I seriously didn’t expect anyone to admit to being one of the douches that walks around the cabin to talk to other passengers, and worse yet, yammers away (in any language) – Please: Shut up, stay in your seat, take your Xanax, and read Hello! like the rest of us.

  80. chimmike says:

    BTW, those of you that think this was an absolutely blatantly racist matter….what exactly do you propose that would fix the security issues?

    Hell, as it is now, TSA frisks 80 year old women. Okay…you know why they do that? Because if they profile (like they should to be effective), they’ll get sued, and it will hinder the entire security process.

    Remember what this country was founded on, yes. But remember the era we live in vs. an era that didn’t even have electricity. Times change, intelligence increases, population increases, and measures need to be taken in appropriate response.

    Remember: the airline is not a gov’t agency. They have absolutely no obligation to allow EVERYONE on the flight.

  81. Mr. Gunn says:

    crayonshinobi: Saying there’s a “pattern of behavior” that applies to everyone of a certain faith or race is the very definition of discrimination and racism.

  82. mac-phisto says:

    @chimmike: Hell, as it is now, TSA frisks 80 year old women. Okay…you know why they do that? i thought it was a personal preference thing, but thanks for clearing that up.

  83. akyiba says:

    @chimmike: What do you mean by the way they were dressed? Not all Muslims dress wear “Muslim clothing”.

  84. Mr. Gunn says:

    Pelagius: QFT, good buddy.
    Popcorn?

  85. chimmike says:

    In@akyiba:

    We’re not talking all muslims, we’re talking about these Imams. They weren’t wearing levi’s and t-shirts.

  86. Mr. Gunn says:

    Skiffer: It may be hard to gather “how suspicious” but that didn’t stop you from jumping to conclusions, did it?

  87. @grkgus: A little blue planet called Earth.

    Maybe where you come from people who have the same religious beliefs share a hive mind but here just some Muslims are also terrorists doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrorists.

    The seat belt extender is a red flag. Those who can’t see that are very naive.

    @ObtuseGoose: I can’t find anywhere on this thread where someone has said that it wasn’t suspicious.

  88. Mr. Gunn says:

    zibby: or there could have just been someone on the plane who watches too much Fox News…

  89. chimmike says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    Of course they’re not all terrorists, and we all know that. But, look at recent precedent. What are we supposed to do? They reported something that concerned them on an airplane. God forbid you feel concerned about someone doing something crazy when you’re inside a tin can 7 miles above the earth with no way to escape, based on recent precedent.

  90. chimmike says:

    @Mr. Gunn:

    haha. Love it. because cnn/msnbc/etc are all so far left, it makes Fox seem so far to the right. Oh well….I think research is someone’s friend ;)

  91. jendomme says:

    roche hits the nail on the head.

    In case you people haven’t noticed, airlines and airports are tightening security – rightfully so. If you want to fly, you follow instructions from the TSA and flight crews.

    If you want to “chat” and exhibit suspicious behavior because you are a “Muslim scholar”, you can do that shit on the ground.

  92. Mr. Gunn says:

    grkgus: I don’t think you’d be half as scared of them if they prayed in English instead of Arabic. Your comment is pretty strong evidence that the people that reported them were just scared and acted inappropriately. They need to be taught that it’s not OK to hate whole races of people, because if we do that, how are we any different from a terrorist?

  93. chimmike says:

    @jendomme:

    as much as I’d like to agree with you, even on a privately owned airplane, in US airspace you’re under US constitutional law…you have freedom of speech. However, there is precedent showing that threatening speech is not covered under the constitution. That could be argued heavily in this case, obviously.

  94. chimmike says:

    @Mr. Gunn:

    Why do they need to be taught not to hate other races? Where did it say that any of those people hated Muslims? That’s a pretty strong, baseless assumption….come on, you know better than this.

  95. Triteon says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: I really thought that a seemingly-intelligent blog like this one would generate a better conversation on this than “OMG the moo-slims hate amurka!”

    I lost that feeling about this blog a long time ago. Typical comments are now laced with hyperbole, factual errors and political vitriol. But damn, the floor show on this has been good.

  96. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @chimmike:

    This has to be a joke. Anyone (right-wingers included) who doesn’t realize Fox News is right-wing is watching with blinders.

  97. chimmike says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!:

    Heh. Fox looks right wing to people like you because you’re so used to the filth CNN/MSNBC and others have spewed for years. Fox is closer to center (in news reports) than you think. I do agree with you that some of the commentators on there are right sided, though. But from a news standpoint: closer to center.

  98. Mr. Gunn says:

    chimmike: You’re damn right research is my friend. Here’s my research.

    3/10 republican candidates who don’t believe in evolution
    9/10 who don’t believe in global warming
    9.5/10 who don’t believe in women’s rights.

    That’s all taken directly from the transcript.
    Where’s your research?

  99. chimmike says:

    @Mr. Gunn:

    What exactly does that have to do with Fox News?

    Red herring much?

  100. Mr. Gunn says:

    RandomHookup: I’m making some more popcorn now.

  101. Of course they’re not all terrorists, and we all know that.

    @chimmike: Really? We ALL know that? Because grkgus plans on reporting anyone who starts praying and looks Muslim.

  102. akyiba says:

    @chimmike: How do you know? Not all Imams wear Jalabya’s. Unless these particular Imam’s were wearing Jalabya’s for the flight, but not when they were on camera. According to The Today Show footage these men were wearing a tie, shirt, and a pair of slacks. There is not a uniform for Imams.

  103. chimmike says:

    @Mr. Gunn:

    what exactly does that have to do with Fox News?

    Red Herring much?

  104. zibby says:

    @Mr. Gunn: Minneapolis takeoff? I dunno, doubtful…

  105. Mr. Gunn says:

    @crayonshinobi: Because war is peace, freedom is slavery, and love is hate, remember. Don’t people read anymore?

  106. chimmike says:

    @akyiba:


    from the original stories months ago, IIRC they WERE Wearing the traditional clothing.

  107. Mr. Gunn says:

    chimmike: If you have to ask, I can’t explain it to you. It’s about breeding fear and hate to keep the people worried about an external threat, so they don’t start messing about with things at home.

  108. chimmike says:

    @Mr. Gunn:

    all the “breeding of fear and hate” has been provoked by actions. People are smart enough to understand what threats are and are not, the fear is justified, and the hate, well….I don’t see it except when hate crimes are committed. This was not a hate crime.

    If you’re foolish enough to think the gov’t has been breeding fear and hate, you’re foolish enough to think that people like Al Sharpton make a difference.

  109. Jerim says:

    I distinctly remember anshow on A&E about airline travel. On this one episode, they yanked a white male off a flight because passengers claimed he was telling everyone his was a NYPD office and was wearing a NYPD shirt. Was that racist?

    If you don’t want to be hassled, then don’t act crazy. It is as simple as that. These 6 men, from passenger accounts, seemed to have acted deliberately in a manner that should arouse suspicion in any other situation. To me they seem like agitators who just wanted to cause a situation so they could “expose” the racism in America.

  110. chimmike says:

    interesting reading for all: http://www.aina.org/news/20070510135606.htm

  111. Mr. Gunn says:

    chimmike: It has been said, repeatedly in this thread alone, that it’s OK to report muslims for praying. No assumption necessary. You don’t do that unless you’re scared of muslims, and if you’re scared of something you can’t do anything about, you generally hate it.
    Remember what Yoda said?

  112. chimmike says:

    I fail to see where it only says “its okay to report muslims for praying”.

    Praying is fine. I see people (islams too) doing it all the time. The praying was in addition to the other suspsicious actions they performed.

    I don’t see this as racist, nor do I see how the passengers are in any way liable for this as they were not in the decision making position that chose to remove the Imams from the aircraft.

    Regardless of what I say, you’ll never agree that this was a publicity/attention/fear stunt.

  113. akyiba says:

    @chimmike: Okay, well shut my mouth wide open ;0)!!! Guess I have be careful what I wear because I have a wedding in 3 weeks and I’ll be darned if I miss it because of what I wearing. I usually don’t have problems anyway when I travel, probably because I’m woman (hear me roar).

  114. Mr. Gunn says:

    Triteon: It’s been a while since the commenter axe has fallen.

  115. crayonshinobi says:

    @Mr. Gunn: Ok, you’ve claimed politicians are morons. Congratulations.

    Now please present us with the same thing for democrats and it might lend some credence to whatever claim you are making…

    Anyway, what good does mudslinging the republicans do for you Gunn? Let me guess, your next step is to blame the ruin of the world on Bush and his administration? And again it’s Bush’s fault and the evil right wing Fox news network that caused the racism that got these muslims kicked off the plane, huh?

    Seems to me that if you are so angry at republicans for what they are “doing” or “believing” you should be even angrier at your party for being so impotent to stop it.

    And as for Fox news being rightwing…Please! They are left of center in my opinion. Then again, anyone who gets their info from the talking heads are going to be misinformed one way or another.

  116. I don’t think that “@” thing works across multiple pages.

  117. crayonshinobi says:

    @Mr. Gunn: @crayonshinobi: Because war is peace, freedom is slavery, and love is hate, remember. Don’t people read anymore?

    Forgive me, but I don’t understand what this is in response to. Thanks for the quote of 1984, but I own a copy, so no need.

  118. Triteon says:

    Wouldn’t the irony be rich if the passengers who turned in the Muslims were Democrats?

  119. Mr. Gunn says:

    guroth: And a girl who wears too revealing of clothing in the wrong part of town is at fault if something happens, because she should know better, right?

  120. Mr. Gunn says:

    crayonshinobi: I’m working on the Democratic analysis right now. This isn’t axe-grinding, but rather to address exactly the concern you mentioned, that people who get their news from the talking heads are gonna be misinformed. What I did was to look around and see if anyone had tallied up the responses across the board, and all I found were news articles selectively quoting little bits. So I went to the primary source, the transcript, and I did my own analysis. The only way to know anything is to read and think about the primary sources, rather than someone else’s comments thereupon.

    I picked the republican debate first, because I thought it would be the most fun to make fun of. I’m really not partisan; I hate stupidity in any form. I am pissed off at the Democrats because they’re the only party that has a chance against those candidates, and they can’t field anyone except the wife of the last president and a black man. They’re not gonna get votes from non-coastal states that way.

    The comment nesting thing doesn’t work across pages, but if you click the link, it should take you to the comment I’m talking about, still.

  121. Mr. Gunn says:

    chimmike: You’re right that the passengers didn’t make the decision to pull the people off. Maybe it is just an attention getting stunt, but maybe attention needs to be drawn to this, so that the next time people see brown-skinned people in a plane speaking in a foreign language and praying, it won’t be so scary.

    The problem is that once you get scared, every little thing starts to seem suspicious.

    It’s muslim’s, not islams, btw.

  122. B Tex says:

    That is correct. People may have been less suspisious. If you wore a shirt that said….Fuck the Jews, or Nigg***, than hey it’s JUST a shirt right? LOL do you see the point? What you wear WILL create an impression. Just like you don’t wear a t-shirt and shorts to most interviews…weather it’s right or wrong, we all make judgements and what you wear does not always mean that is what you are, but people will still make judgements. You just have to face up to it and accept that what you say, do, or wear will have a consequence.@akyiba:

  123. B Tex says:

    When did muslim become a race?

  124. Mr. Gunn says:

    kozicki4: The comments go after the link, like so.

  125. Youthier says:

    Okay, naive, racist, accusation-cakes, blah, blah, blah…

    No one has offered a really good explanation as to what legal grounds there are for this case. I don’t get how passengers can be sued. They didn’t start a scene from what I interpret. All they did was hand an attendant a note saying that they wanted a situation they deemed suspicious checked out.

    I guess what really makes me uneasy is that I cannot believe that these passengers acted maliciously. I think that they were legitimately concerned about their safety and felt they had the right to make their concerns known to the airline.

  126. badgeman46 says:

    This is obviously a publicity stunt by CAIR. You will notice that they cry racism, but christians arent a race either. You can say that all muslims are not terrorists, but statistically speaking most terrorists are muslim.

  127. Youthier says:

    @badgeman46: I think it’s more fair to say that MOST Muslims aren’t terrorists.

  128. QuirkyRachel says:

    How can you sue for that? I once reported a guy to airport security. He was filming activity on the tarmac outside the airport windows (where they park the planes. He kept looking around to see if someone was watching, and briefly covered his camcorder when someone walked by.
    Still think I’m racist?
    He was white (and not dressed as a Muslim).

  129. Trai_Dep says:

    …you ever get the feeling that freekers or freepers or whatever that bonehead site is started whining about Consumerist? Because it sure feels like the wingnuts have arrived.

    Hey, Ben, it’s great to have differing opinions here. Really. But perhaps consider steps to make it more difficult for drive-by commentators to join? The most innane comments seem to be coming from the new guys w/ no profile. Your call, but I genuinely feel that they’re here to flood the site, destroying the comment boards with their non-reality-based diatribes. Not sure if it’s where you want Consumerist to go…

    To the wingnuts that are joining to comment in good faith, welcome. Try to keep an open mind, you might learn something. As might we. Let’s try to keep things fairly logical, civil and *try* to cite facts that are, well, you know, facts. Deal?

  130. Triteon says:

    @trai_dep: I’ve disagreed with many of your posts in the past, but not this one. Spot on!

  131. Snakeophelia says:

    I find it appalling that the passengers are being sued for reporting suspicious behavior. It’s absurd to suggest that merely informing someone of your concerns (as opposed to, say, publishing false reports or filing a false police report) is defamation.

    I belong to a federally-funded Town Watch. I patrol my neighborhood and I report suspicious behavior to the police. That’s what good citizens DO. Is it possible for me to be wrong? Of course, but it’s the job of the police to investigate my claim and decide whether my concerns hold water. To insist that it’s somehow “hatred” or “racism” to report what one considers to be suspicious behavior to authorities is condescending and insulting. The passengers did nothing wrong.

    I also love the commenters on here suggesting that the lawsuit is a good thing because we have to teach people not to “hate” or be “racist.” Wow, I had no idea that people no longer had the right to believe anything they want to.

  132. subzi says:

    As a Muslim and a Pakistani, I have to fear not only what other travelers may be think about me but also the same fears that they have…

    So what do I do? I listen to my mp3 player and hope that the travel stays smooth without any troubles.

    I have traveled several times and I have never been pulled out like this but I always dread the thought of going through that process. I happily let the security go through their process as I have nothing to hide. Its the hassle I dont want to go through. Several hours of questioning, hoping that I would be able to get on the next flight, etc.

    I think they should have a process where people should be screened before they board. Even if it takes longer but at least it would keep other people in peace.

    I dont pray loudly as other Muslim may and if I have to then I would do it before going to airport or after leaving the destination. These people should have done that but I guess they were more ‘religious’ than me.

    What are Muslims to do? We cant change the way we look or change our traditions. Do know that most Muslims have the same fears as the rest of the world has.

  133. jendomme says:

    @chimmike:

    I see your point. However, the current administration likes to wield pieces of legislation, such as the Patriot Act, like a club to bludgeon the “terrorists”. One only need to look at recent headlines to see that the government is not tolerating any acting up on an airplane.

  134. Pelagius says:

    @trai_dep: Amen.

  135. Hallik09 says:

    The one thing I don’t get is how the passengers knew these men were saying “Saddam Hussein” and “America [Sucks]” when it’s obvious they said it in Arabic and I doubt these white people (Come on, you know they were soccer moms or rednecks) don’t even know the language and in Arabic, America is pronounced amreeka and Hussein is h-sain not WHO-Sane..(Why would they say it in English, I’m American, born and Raised but I speak to my parents or traveling mates in my other language on a plane.) There is no reason for them to speak in English.. It’s easier for them to understand each other in Arabic anyway..

  136. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    This lawsuit is frivelous. You can’t sue someone for stating their opinion. The airline itself can be held liable for their own actions (acting on behalf of the passengers), but it’s completely legal to be a racist in the United States. Not that racism is right, but it falls under the category of free speech.

  137. The Walking Eye says:

    @trai_dep: You only need to impress one Gawker site to get commenting at all of them. Idolator hands commenting privileges out like candy.

  138. Didn’t Tony do almost exactly the same thing on last week’s episode of The Sopranos?

  139. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Yikes, I feel like I’m at michellemalkin.com.

  140. coss3n says:

    @wreckingcru:
    Why is it racist when people report what they honestly believe to be a threat to their lives, but perfectly acceptable for you to portray all white people as ignorant hicks? Much of a double-standard?

  141. Mr. Gunn says:

    trai_dep: I’m, like, 5th or 6thing this motion.

  142. Mr. Gunn says:

    missbrooke06: I don’t think that the passengers acted maliciously, but rather out of fear and ignorance they did something that someone more knowledgeable about the world would only have done maliciously.

    In other words, it just looks like malice, especially to the guys on the receiving end.

  143. Kalik says:

    Sorry, not reading the entire comments here, but as roche has also commented, I thought in the previous article, they were reported to have been acting more suspicious rather than just being “spotted saying their normal evening prayers in the terminal”.

    When did the story change to say that they weren’t acting suspicious?

    BTW, the 6 “scholars” (and also, when did the news people establish that they were scholars?) should know that post-911, everyone is overly sensitive to suspicious activity, whether it really is or not. Most airports do have prayer rooms so they should have gone there had it been readily available. If not, then I would understand their situation.

    However, IF the previous story about how they would get up and converse with each other, request for seat belt extensions they didn’t use, etc… holds true, it seems like they set this up for disaster themselves and now they’re complaining it’s unfair treatment. In that case, the airlines were right in removing them, the passenger was right for reporting them if they were acting in such a way that would make others uncomfortable and could potentially harm them as well.

    It doesn’t matter that they’re muslim. Would you want a questionable white/asian/black/hispanic/islander/etc… person sitting next to you on a plane?

    I think not.

  144. magilacudy says:

    Couple of thoughts:

    “Bomb-sniffing dogs examined the men and their baggage.” Quoted from the article.

    It clearly states they had luggage. Why do people still insist the opposite?

    Is it possible that people misunderstood the imams’ words to be “Saddam Hussein” or diatribes against the US? There are people who mishear pop songs all the time, and the lyrics are in English!

    Can’t believe some of these comments on here that individuals of Arabic descent should “go back to Afghanistan or wherever they’re from”. Are you normally this racist in the real world, or do you save it for when you’re anonymous in front of the computer?

  145. sonichghog says:

    Yes, the dogs checked the baggage. But when they speak about luggage, they generally mean Checked luggage. Not what they carry on.

    One question to all those who think this was just racist. Would you feel the same way about this case, if the people removed from the plane were white?


    I have read different sources on this, and I do not know if all the facts are correct. But from what I have read I see this.

    They checked no baggage
    They made obvious anti americans rantings
    They had 1 way tickets
    They moved around the cabin
    They spread out all over the cabin
    They got heavy metal belts and did not use them

    It appears to me that they may of had a checklist of things to do in order to have this happen to then.

    If you do not feel that is just cause for removing them, then WHAT IS?

  146. chimmike says:

    @jendomme:

    yes, this is true, but it seems that bringing any argument about the legality of the patriot act to the Supreme Court can help those who are victimized by it.

  147. markwm says:

    @Mr. Gunn: “Saying there’s a “pattern of behavior” that applies to everyone of a certain faith or race is the very definition of discrimination and racism.”

    Actually, that is not the very definition of discrimination or racism. Racism is thinking that characteristics of a race make it superior, or that characteristics/lack of characteristics in other races make them inferior. Discrimination is the act of differentiating based on characteristics or differences. Stating that “a pattern of behavior” applies to everyone of a certain faith or race does not meet either of these definitions. They may meet the current misuse of the words, but for that, more’s the pity. Words actually mean things, and the misuse of words gets to be frustrating after a while.
    Such a statement may be an example of prejudice or generalization, but it is not racist or discriminatory. The third word of the misuse triumvirate is bigotry, which this also is not. It may be a precursor to bigotry, but the statement is not, in and of itself, bigotry.

    @chimmike: While the Constitution grants freedom of speech, it does not grant freedom from consequences. The freedom of speech clause is to prevent the government from stifling speech, not to prevent individuals from acting upon speech. If such action is illegal, then it is a violation, but not of freedom of speech, merely of whatever laws were violated in the commission.

  148. Peeved Guy says:

    Wow. The stupidity doth flow in this comment thread.
    Three things:

    1. Please, people, RTFA before posting a comment.

    2. Not all Muslims are terrorists, so those of you that feel that they should ALL go back to whence they came need to STFU. Lets assume that 10% of all Muslims are fundamentalist. That means 90% are just like you and me and just care about working hard to provide for their families and making the world a better place for their kids. So, again, please STFU.

    3. A majority of the terrorist acts that have occurred in the past few decades(-ish) have been perpetrated by Middle eastern men who also happened to be Muslim. There are a great many ME Muslim men that don’t like the US and are VERY vocal about it. A common M.O. for ME Muslim men is to hijack airplanes. I think it is simply prudent to be particularly cautious when the two variables are combined. Not recognizing that a threat exists in the name of political correctness and sensitivity to cultural differences is just asking for trouble.

    So, to summarize: Those of you on the right side of the bus, show some tolerance. Those of you on the left of the bus, show some pragmatism.

  149. parabola101 says:

    Burn them as witches, I say!!

  150. Triteon says:

    @chimmike: I disagree that “bringing any argument about the legality of the patriot act to the Supreme Court can help those who are victimized by it” (my emphasis).
    Bringing a weak argument to a court will often strengthen the statutes and laws the “victims” are fighting against.

    @PeevedGuy: Those of you on the right side of the bus, show some tolerance. Those of you on the left of the bus, show some pragmatism.
    Would you know if this available on a t-shirt or bumper sticker? Excellent line!

  151. Buran says:

    @nomad73: It doesn’t matter. Saying “someone of this origin/race/appearance did something bad so the rest are therefore bad” is racist. In the past, blacks were denied rights given to whites just because they were black. We locked up Japanese-Americans and German-Americans just because of their ancestry, even though they were Americans; we now behave as if it is a crime to be Muslim and pray even though we live in a nation founded on the notion of religious tolerance and even though some of our earliest settlers came to what is now the US because of religious persecution elsewhere; and we justify it all using the same lame arguments that we are now forced to apologize for!

    Apologies for slavery have been in the news lately once again. Just recently apologies were issued to the Japanese-American community for our imprisonment of those people just because of who they were, where they were from, how they looked, or who their ancestors were. I believe the German government has apologized for its past treatment of Jews just based on their faith and I would imagine that other countries allied with the Germans in the 1940s have likely done the same.

    And here you sit, DEFENDING this?! Who do you think you are? How can you, considering what this country has done and then apologized for? Haven’t you seen how it never works out and only ends up being looked down on as unacceptable, and we ask “how could we?” And people like you want to DO IT AGAIN!

    I am ASHAMED of people like you. You do not belong in this country. If you believe in persecution, go live somewhere where the government specifically not only allows it but does it itself. Like China. You’ve certainly got the attitude down pat.

  152. epp_b says:

    The first poster is right. This was a setup for publicity and money.

    Chanting, anti-American ranting, seat belt extensions, strategic seating arrangements…what are people *supposed* to think?

  153. jaiku says:

    In an effort to show their own religious tolerance, the Muslim clerics hired a Jewish law firm…

  154. jaiku says:

    you know, I’ve just read more of the posts here and I’d like to say this: There are rules of behavior that must be followed if you want to ride on a freaking airplane. That is just how it is; it is not any kind of right but a priviledge burdened with security requirements. If I walk through security at the airport and make some off-hand comment or stupid joke involving the word “bomb” or “gun” it is almost certain that I will not be flying that day despite not looking at all middle eastern. Behavioral profiling is certainly a poor art, but there must be some guidelines to help judge who could be a potential threat, and unfortunately Muslims have a very bad reputation as far as planes, bombs and suicide attacks are concerned. Yes, only about 10% of Muslims are fundamentalists, but that’s about 150 million people worldwide. So boys and girls, DON’T fuck around on airplanes. Just be the good little fare-paying cattle that the airlines, FAA and DHS expect you to be and maybe you and your luggage will arrive at the same place at the same time.

  155. willow7 says:

    Would like to point out one thing that I haven’t seen anyone else say, The comment has been made many times about the fact that they were praying loud and therefore drawing attention to themselves. Muslims do not pray the same as everyone, they dont simply close there eyes and pray silently like some, the have specific positions they move between and supplications and verses that are said. This would obviously bring attention to them from anyone who is not of the faith and does not understand their beliefs. They also have to pray at certain times of the day corrosponding with different positions of the sun, and therefore would not have been able to simply pray before they got to the airport. Just wanted to add something that had not yet been added.

  156. Elle Rayne says:

    Pretty much all I have to say has already been said by Pelagius, Rectilinear Propagation, and others. The problem isn’t with the passengers reporting their suspicion, it’s that they were suspicious. Sadly, suspicions and ignorance of the central tenets of Islam, e.g. daily required prayers, are rampant on this very thread. It is a simple fact that not all Muslims are Arabic or terrorists. In fact, I find comments like this disgusting:

    “If i see anyone praying right before a flight i will say something. I dont know if they are saying their last prayer but it wont be mine. They have to understand that there will be some sort of reaction with their actions.”

    @zentec:
    “But if the Muslim community wants to counteract the fears, they need to become a whole lot more vocal about denouncing these acts. So far, that hasn’t happened.”
    Maybe it’s just because I recently studied my local Muslim community and read a bunch of Muslim websites and opinion articles, but I do believe that HAS happened.