Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The "Imam Incident" was a terrorist probe

From The Washington Times:

Muslim religious leaders removed from a Minneapolis flight last week exhibited behavior associated with a security probe by terrorists and were not merely engaged in prayers, according to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials.

Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted "Allah" when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix.

"I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud," the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department.

Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.

"That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."

A pilot from another airline said: "That behavior has been identified as a terrorist probe in the airline industry."

I have been pointing out for some time that the odd behavior exhibited by some Muslims on airline flights are probes to test airline security and to desensitize the public and the airlines.

It is unlikely that any of these imams would carry a weapon onto an airplane and attempt to hijack it themselves, but you can bet that they will make sure that a detailed report of what happened will make it back to the terrorists who will do such things.

And just as importantly airline officials and passengers will be just a little less likely to raise objections to this kind of behavior from Muslims in the future.

As Americans we want to believe the founding principal of "innocent until proven guilty" however, as a Supreme Court Justice once observed", "the constitution is not a suicide pact". There are times when real and immediate dangers to the lives of the nation's citizens require a limitation or even suspension of some of the rights recognized by the constitution.

This is one of those times. While there are certainly innocent Muslims who hate the extremists and the acts of barbarity which they perpetrate they are indistinguishable from the terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers and so they must all fall under the same blanket of suspicion.

Everyone involved with airline security, from the ticket agents to the sky marshals to the airline passengers must view every person who appears to be an Arab/Middle Easterner/Muslim as a potential terrorist and act accordingly. It could very easily come to the point where we say that if you want to practice the religion of Islam openly then you need to go to a Muslim country to do it.

Also from the Times article:

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas Democrat, said the September 11 terrorist attacks "cannot be permitted to be used to justify racial profiling, harassment and discrimination of Muslim and Arab Americans."

"Understandably, the imams felt profiled, humiliated, and discriminated against by their treatment," she said.

While I pray to God that there is never another terrorist hijacking of an airplane anywhere in the world, I do hope that if there ever is one that Rep. Jackson-Lee is on that plane and that in the final seconds before the terrorists blow it up or fly it into a building that she has a moment of clarity and realizes that she is partly responsible for what is happening and that she richly deserves what is happening to her.

But I doubt that would happen. Even imminent death could not bring a moment of genuine truth telling to a creature such as her.