By WILLIAM MAYER and BEILA RABINOWITZ
January 2, 2009 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - On January 1 a Muslim family led by Atif Irfan, on its way to a Muslim conference in Orlando, Florida, had their trip interrupted when they along with the rest of the passengers on an AirTran flight were forced to deplane and undergo rescreening. They were not permitted to rejoin the flight and booked flights on US Air to complete their journey.
The cause of the incident has been variously explained, with the airline saying that passengers overheard members of the family talking about airline security issues, and the family claiming that they were only guilty of what is now colloquially referred to, mainly in Islamist circles, as "flying while Muslim."
According to the NY Times' account of the matter, "Irfan said that at no time did he or his wife utter the word "bomb." [see, http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/muslim-family-excluded-from-airtran-flight/?hp]
Asking why utterance of such a word needed to be categorically denied - barring it actually having been mentioned - was apparently not considered by the Times reporter as a reasonable follow-up question.
Leave it to Fox News to probe that aspect of the matter, "An unnamed source told MyFOXDC.com that they overheard one member of the family talking about the safest place to sit on a plane if a bomb was on board, though the family denied the word "bomb" was ever used." [source, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,475126,00.html]
About the incident an AirTran spokesman Tad Hutcherson stated, "At the end of the day, people got on and made comments they shouldn't have made on the airplane, and other people heard them."
So we are left with what we are usually left with in such matters, an American airline company going the extra step in a post 9/11 world, to ensure that adequate security measures are followed while a sanctimonious group of Muslims - acting oddly while on the plane - respond by threatening legal action and - surprise, surprise - calling in CAIR's thuggish lawyers.
Of note at the time of this filing, approximately noon in San Francisco, there were nearly 1,000 news reports on the matter available [second most popular story at the time] on Google News' index page, many of them with editorialized headlines including:
Muslim family booted off US airline after comments, WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Muslim passengers kicked off flight after remark, The Associated Press
AirTran removes Muslims from flight; racial profiling?, NECN, MA
'Safest' seat remarks gets Muslim family kicked off plane, CNN
'Safety' Remark Gets Muslim Family Kicked Off Plane, FOXNews
Since these incidents occur with a frequency that begs the supposition that they are preplanned events, designed to test security measures, set-up the circumstances from which cash awards flow or both, we remain skeptical that this is a simple case of misunderstanding, let alone "profiling," a term which in a less multiculturally charged legal atmosphere would have little bearing on such matters.
©1999-2009 PipeLineNews.org LLC, William Mayer, Beila Rabinowitz. All rights reserved.