Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.
Witnesses said the imams stood to do their evening prayers in the terminal before boarding, chanting "Allah, Allah, Allah" -- coincidentally, the last words heard by hundreds of airline passengers on 9/11 before they died.
Witnesses also said that the imams were talking about Saddam Hussein, and denouncing America and the war in Iraq. About the only scary preflight ritual the imams didn't perform was the signing of last wills and testaments.
After boarding, the imams did not sit together and some asked for seat belt extensions, although none were morbidly obese. Three of the men had one-way tickets and no checked baggage.
Also they were Muslims.
The idea that a Muslim boycott against US Airways would hurt the airline proves that Arabs are utterly tone-deaf. This is roughly the equivalent of Cindy Sheehan taking a vow of silence. How can we hope to deal with people with no sense of irony? The next thing you know, New York City cab drivers will be threatening to bathe.
Come to think of it, the whole affair may have been a madcap advertising scheme cooked up by US Airways.
It worked with me. US Airways is my official airline now. Northwest, which eventually flew the Allah-spouting Muslims to their destinations, is off my list. You want to really hurt a U.S. air carrier's business? Have Muslims announce that it's their favorite airline.
The clerics had been attending an imam conference in Minneapolis (imam conference slogan: "What Happens in Minneapolis -- Actually, Nothing Happened in Minneapolis"). But instead of investigating the conference, the government is now investigating my favorite airline.
What threat could Muslims flying from Minnesota to Arizona be?
Three of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 received their flight training in Arizona. Long before the attacks, an FBI agent in Phoenix found it curious that so many Arabs were enrolled in flight school. But the FBI rebuffed his request for an investigation on the grounds that his suspicions were based on the same invidious racial profiling that has brought US Airways under investigation and into my good graces.
Lynne Stewart's client, the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, is serving life in prison in a maximum security lock-up in Minnesota. One of the six imams removed from the US Airways plane was blind, so Lynne Stewart was the one missing clue that would have sent all the passengers screaming from the plane.
Wholly apart from the issue of terrorism, don't we have a seller's market for new immigrants? How does a blind Muslim get to the top of the visa list? Is there a shortage of blind, fanatical clerics in this country that I haven't noticed? Couldn't we get some Burmese with leprosy instead? A 4-year-old could do a better job choosing visa applicants than the U.S. Department of Immigration.
One of the stunt-imams in US Airways' advertising scheme, Omar Shahin, complained about being removed from the plane, saying: "Six scholars in handcuffs. It's terrible."
Yes, especially when there was a whole conference of them! Six out of 150 is called "poor law enforcement." How did the other 144 "scholars" get off so easy?
Shahin's own "scholarship" consisted of continuing to deny Muslims were behind 9/11 nearly two months after the attacks. On Nov. 4, 2001, The Arizona Republic cited Shahin's "skepticism that Muslims or bin Laden carried out attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon." Shahin complained that the government was "focusing on the Arabs, the Muslims. And all the evidence shows that the Muslims are not involved in this terrorist act."
In case your memory of that time is hazy, within three days of the attack, the Justice Department had released the names of all 19 hijackers -- names like Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Ahmed Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi and Ahmed Alnami. The government had excluded all but 19 passengers as possible hijackers based on extensive interviews with friends and family of nearly every passenger on all four flights. Some of the hijackers' seat numbers had been called in by flight attendants on the planes.
By early October, bin Laden had produced a videotape claiming credit for the attacks. And by Nov. 4, 2001, The New York Times had run well over 100 articles on the connections between bin Laden and the hijackers -- even more detailed and sinister than the Times' flowcharts on neoconservatives!
Also, if I remember correctly, al-Qaida had taken out full-page ads in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter thanking their agents for the attacks.
But now, on the eve of the busiest travel day in America, these "scholars" have ginned up America's PC victim machinery to intimidate airlines and passengers from noticing six imams chanting "Allah" before boarding a commercial jet.
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