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Thread: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    I see the thread has already disentegrated into a battle of the "Muslims are terrorists" vs. "Muslims are victims" camps, but I'd like to comment on the original topic.

    I feel terrible for this family. They were cleared quickly enough to enter the plane, and then made some remarks about where it would be safest to sit, which was overheard by several passengers... and an air marshal. The air marshal reported it to the pilot, who has sole discretion on whether to act or not. He acted.

    All 174 passengers were removed, all were subjected to intense interviews, and none of them reached their destination on New Years. All the luggage on the plane was removed and inspected. All of it. The Muslim family rebooked on another airline, and after completing their investigation AirTran issued a public apology and refunded the family's money.

    Yes, it was an embarrassment and a terrible inconvenience for everyone on that airplane, particularly the Muslim family. However, no hate or racism was involved. The pilot apparently wanted to err on the side of safety and make certain there weren't groups of passengers planning something that would endanger the plane. There wasn't.

    However, if passengers hadn't spoken up when a man repeatedly fiddled with his shoe in flight, another immense tragedy would have been chalked up to the history books.

    It's easy to second guess those who have hundreds of lives in their hands, but these are violent, dangerous times. Decisions have to be made, and more thorough investigations are sometimes the prudent way to go. That doesn't mean that these people were hateful or racist; it means that they are extra cautious... because they have been repeatedly given reason to be over the past decades.

    I think we're more interesting in dividing into warring debate camps just for the sake of insulting each other than we are in trying to understand the reality of today's volatile situation, and how it affects us all.
    Last edited by DiAnna; 01-02-09 at 10:33 PM.

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Thank you DiAnna.

    And I gotta go with IT.

    This is extremely a case of "Better safe than sorry". Does it suck that it happened this way? Yes. Do I feel for the family? Definitely. The other passengers too, who were extremely delayed. I applaud the airline for at least trying to make it right by refunding the money as well.

    But DiAnna makes a great point. You know what would've happened if something HAD happened on that plane with these people and it came out there was an Air Marshal on there?

    "Why do we even HAVE Air Marshals? He didn't do anything! I'm sure there were SOME signs!"

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't....

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    You seem to forget that a certain segment of the population here are so bigoted against all Muslims that the mere fact that they are Muslim makes them suspicious and therefore there rights can be violated and because of their choice of religion it is Ok to hold them to a different standard than "real Americans."

    Realize we're dealing with people here who are haters and who will take anything you or I post that supports Muslims and their civil rights and do everything in their power to disagree and to defend crapping all over innocent people...after all it's their fault for choosing to be Muslim so **** 'em!

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    I see the thread has already disentegrated into a battle of the "Muslims are terrorists" vs. "Muslims are victims" camps, but I'd like to comment on the original topic.

    I feel terrible for this family. They were cleared quickly enough to enter the plane, and then made some remarks about where it would be safest to sit, which was overheard by several passengers... and an air marshal. The air marshal reported it to the pilot, who has sole discretion on whether to act or not. He acted.

    All 174 passengers were removed, all were subjected to intense interviews, and none of them reached their destination on New Years. All the luggage on the plane was removed and inspected. All of it. The Muslim family rebooked on another airline, and after completing their investigation AirTran issued a public apology and refunded the family's money.

    Yes, it was an embarrassment and a terrible inconvenience for everyone on that airplane, particularly the Muslim family. However, no hate or racism was involved. The pilot apparently wanted to err on the side of safety and make certain there weren't groups of passengers planning something that would endanger the plane. There wasn't.

    However, if passengers hadn't spoken up when a man repeatedly fiddled with his shoe in flight, another immense tragedy would have been chalked up to the history books.

    It's easy to second guess those who have hundreds of lives in their hands, but these are violent, dangerous times. Decisions have to be made, and more thorough investigations are sometimes the prudent way to go. That doesn't mean that these people were hateful or racist; it means that they are extra cautious... because they have been repeatedly given reason to be over the past decades.

    I think we're more interesting in dividing into warring debate camps just for the sake of insulting each other than we are in trying to understand the reality of today's volatile situation, and how it affects us all.
    I don't think you have the situation correctly understood at all. It wasn't the air marshall who overheard them talking about the safest place to be sitting in the case of accident, it was 2 or 3 other passengers. They weren't allowed to board any flight on AirTran Airlines at all because this airline refused to rebook them, and they had to fly with another airline. They were subjected to questioning. Other passengers were simply re-screened and made their original flight, though it wasn't on time. The Muslims were far more inconvenienced than the rest of the passengers, for no other reason than that somebody saw 'Muslim' and made the jump to 'Terrorist'

    If I were these 9 passengers I would be hopping mad at the airline and the passengers who overheard the conversation. I would know that my family had been singled out because we appeared Muslim, that if were lily white and in 'American' clothing having the exact same conversation, that no one would have batted an eye.

    On the other hand, I have argued here in this thread that our prejudice is unfortunate and irrational but an understandably human reaction, and that we're just going to have to deal with the negative consequences because we need to protect people. We don't want people to censor themselves when they see or hear 'suspicious' behavior or conversations

    Others have argued that we're simply are too paranoid, and don't need to be inadvertently mistreating people like these 9. Etc, Etc.

    Alot of valid issues have been raised and discussed.

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    This should not even be an issue in the United States. You cannot guarantee freedom to certain people. It must pertain to all people within our boarders or it is fake.

    My hero sums it up best...

    ""An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental." - Thomas Jefferson

    Profiling or anything similar is absolutely in direct opposition of what this country is supposed to stand for.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." - Thomas Jefferson
    Great post, thank you. The only problem is that some of the people here do not believe Muslims are due the same rights because "their Creator" is a different one than Jefferson's.

    It is so revealing to read the posts from people who pretend to be "real" Americans (as their spokesperson Sarah Palin put it) yet in truth are biased, bigoted buffoons whose beliefs are actually anti-American in so many ways.

    You gotta love the people here who justify discriminating against Muslim Americans because they're Muslim! After all Muslims are bad, evil savages...

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    I don't think you have the situation correctly understood at all. It wasn't the air marshall who overheard them talking about the safest place to be sitting in the case of accident, it was 2 or 3 other passengers. They weren't allowed to board any flight on AirTran Airlines at all because this airline refused to rebook them, and they had to fly with another airline. They were subjected to questioning. Other passengers were simply re-screened and made their original flight, though it wasn't on time. The Muslims were far more inconvenienced than the rest of the passengers, for no other reason than that somebody saw 'Muslim' and made the jump to 'Terrorist'

    If I were these 9 passengers I would be hopping mad at the airline and the passengers who overheard the conversation. I would know that my family had been singled out because we appeared Muslim, that if were lily white and in 'American' clothing having the exact same conversation, that no one would have batted an eye.

    On the other hand, I have argued here in this thread that our prejudice is unfortunate and irrational but an understandably human reaction, and that we're just going to have to deal with the negative consequences because we need to protect people. We don't want people to censor themselves when they see or hear 'suspicious' behavior or conversations

    Others have argued that we're simply are too paranoid, and don't need to be inadvertently mistreating people like these 9. Etc, Etc.

    Alot of valid issues have been raised and discussed.
    I guess everyone can interpret the same information through a different prism. That's what difference of opinion is all about. For example, I read several articles on the incident and none of them mentioned 2-3 passengers. They all cited "several passengers" and the air marshal, who notified airport police and the pilot... which I believe is the proper procedure.

    There's also no evidence that they were singled out because they were Muslim. People are simply leaping to that conclusion without knowing how many non-Muslims are taken off planes for suspicious comments each year. It's a handy debating tactic to use presumption in such a manner, but frankly it's just that... presumption.

    They had to fly another airline because they were incensed and making "inappropriate comments" after they and the other passengers were deplaned. Now maybe they could be forgiven for those "inappropriate comments"... I can only imagine what my husband would be suggesting airport officials do with themselves... but the airline can also be forgiven for determining that if the family was allowed on the flight, the tension inside the cabin would be pretty danged uncomfortable, if not hostile, for everyone.

    I don't think the wrong decision was made, and I'm a little surprised that you felt a lengthy rebuttal was necessary on whether or not the air marshal heard the comments or simply heard about the comments. His duty would have been the same either way.

    Apparently nothing else in my windy commentary warranted a mention, I guess. Perhaps I should be grateful!
    Last edited by DiAnna; 01-02-09 at 11:24 PM.

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by Family Guy View Post
    Great post, thank you. The only problem is that some of the people here do not believe Muslims are due the same rights because "their Creator" is a different one than Jefferson's.

    It is so revealing to read the posts from people who pretend to be "real" Americans (as their spokesperson Sarah Palin put it) yet in truth are biased, bigoted buffoons whose beliefs are actually anti-American in so many ways.

    You gotta love the people here who justify discriminating against Muslim Americans because they're Muslim! After all Muslims are bad, evil savages...
    No... no one is saying that. YOU think that's what's going on because instead of a situation of security and prudence, you're lens is one of political correctness.

    Muslims are "targeted" because gasp, that's the group from whence terrorist have emerged as threats to airplanes. If it was Catholic Nuns that were the terrorist.. and this was a group of Nuns in habits... gee, I'm gonna go out on a limb here say the result would have been the same. Sans the defense of "Catholic Nuns" by those defending the Muslims... cause let's face it, it's okay to insult catholics.
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by independent_thinker2002 View Post
    Where is the right to fly in The Constitution?

    A private business reserves the right to refuse service to people.
    Really? So if Air Tran decided to not allow Muslims to fly you think that would be legal? Really?

    A private club can discriminate. A public business cannot. Freedom of religion extends to all religions not just the majority religion.

    As far as a right to fly in the Constitution that is a ridiculous statement, no offense. Using your thought process I think you're suggesting that the Constitution is not a living document which I think it is.

    The concept of rights is not restricted by future inventions. Do you think a car dealer can not sell you a car because you're Black? Can a car rental company not rent you a car because you're a Jew?

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    I guess everyone can interpret the same information through a different prism. That's what difference of opinion is all about. For example, I read several articles on the incident and none of them mentioned 2-3 passengers. They all cited "several passengers" and the air marshal, who notified airport police and the pilot... which I believe is the proper procedure.

    They had to fly another airline because they were incensed and making "inappropriate comments" after they and the other passengers were deplaned. Now maybe they could be forgiven for those "inappropriate comments"... I can only imagine what my husband would be suggesting airport officials do with themselves... but the airline can also be forgiven for determining that if the family was allowed on the flight, the tension inside the cabin would be pretty danged tense, if not hostile, for everyone.

    I don't think the wrong decision was made, and I'm a little surprised that you felt a lengthy rebuttal was necessary on whether or not the air marshal heard the comments or simply heard about the comments. His duty would have been the same either way.

    Apparently nothing else in my windy commentary warranted a mention, I guess. Perhaps I should be grateful!
    Actually, my response also spoke
    • to the notion that the rest of the passengers were subjected to intense questioning.
    • to the idea that all this thread had devolved into was an insult throwing match
    • to your opening comment that there were only two stereotypical camps on this issue.
    These were at least part of the reason why my response was lengthy.

    I read several articles as well, and some articles said 2, one said 3 and it seems like I may have seen the word 'several' at some point.

    In any case, the facts about who heard it and reported it are important in this matter as it is quite pertinent to the discussion as to whether this is evidence of paranoid prejudice and whether or not it is fair for us to act on such emotional reactions. You seem dismissive of this part of the matter when it is actually central to the discussion. People have been talking about its source, justifiability and consequences for pages and pages.

    It's been an interesting read, and given me alot to think about. It almost seems as if you've missed the whole thing.

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    Re: 9 Muslim Passengers Removed From Jet

    Quote Originally Posted by Family Guy View Post
    Really? So if Air Tran decided to not allow Muslims to fly you think that would be legal? Really?
    But they are not doing that, thus your argument has zero merit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Family Guy View Post
    A private club can discriminate. A public business cannot. Freedom of religion extends to all religions not just the majority religion.
    And this isn't about an airline descriminating against a religion, so your points are... well pointless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Family Guy View Post
    As far as a right to fly in the Constitution that is a ridiculous statement, no offense. Using your thought process I think you're suggesting that the Constitution is not a living document which I think it is.
    The Constitution IS NOT a living document. It's an amendable document that requires serious effort to change, not as it's convenient.
    Quote Originally Posted by Family Guy View Post
    The concept of rights is not restricted by future inventions. Do you think a car dealer can not sell you a car because you're Black? Can a car rental company not rent you a car because you're a Jew?
    You're completely out to lunch now. 100%
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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