- Boise business entices customers to come break stuff — ‘recreational destruction’
- Fired Yahoo exec’s $60 million golden parachute may be a record
- Arkansas gynecologist snapped nude photos of patients, police say
- Anthony Weiner on his current sexting habits: ‘None of your business’
- Producers eye Capitol Hill for latest reality TV hit
- No selfie awareness: Obama, Biden mug for Instagram as Ukraine implodes
- Putin to Snowden: We don’t collect droves of data on everyone like the U.S.
- Clemson football’s new opponent: Atheists upset with player prayer, Bible study
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s re-election launch party will be ‘history in the making,’ brother says
- Louisiana group hits back at Sen. Mary Landrieu campaign ad with ‘Actress Mary’ spot
Imams seek to settle with airline
A group of Muslim imams is seeking an out-of-court settlement with US Airways, saying they should not have been removed from a Minnesota-to-Phoenix flight last month and were not behaving suspiciously.
Five of the six Islamic religious leaders have retained the Council on American-Islamic Relations for legal representation and are seeking a “mutually agreeable” resolution, said Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director.
US Airways scheduled a meeting with the imams on Dec. 4 to discuss the incident, but the men canceled it and hired the activist group to act as legal counsel.
“With the hopes of reaching an amicable resolution to this matter, we would like to take this opportunity to ask for a formal meeting with US Airways executives and legal counsel,” said Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR’s national legal director, in a letter to the airline.
The imams represented by CAIR include Omar Shahin, Didmar Faja, Ahmad Shqeirat, Marwan Sadeddin and Mohamed Ibrahim.
Mahmoud Sulaiman of New Mexico is the only imam not included as a plaintiff.
Mr. Sulaiman is the passenger who asked another passenger to switch seats with him to accommodate a blind imam and was one of three imams who asked for a seat-belt extension even though the police report cites his weight at 170 pounds.
The Washington Times first reported on Nov. 28 that the imams were not in their assigned seats, but seated in a formation similar to the September 11 hijackers and controlled the exits to the plane. The men also requested seat-belt extensions but did not appear to need them, and engaged in conversations critical of the United States, according to police reports and eyewitness statements.
The imams and CAIR officials maintain that press reports as well as Internet sites and blogs have circulated charges they say misrepresent the facts of the Nov. 20 incident.
“Unfortunately, the false claims and smears used against these religious leaders only serve to cloud the real issue involved, that of how national security can be maintained while preserving constitutionally protected freedoms and respect for religious diversity,” said Mr. Awad.
CAIR says the men were handcuffed for several hours and is also demanding hearings on religious and ethnic profiling at airports.
Mr. Shahin told The Washington Times he was only handcuffed for “10 or 15 minutes” and that the imams were not led off the plane in handcuffs.
Federal air marshals and pilots called the imams’ actions a probe of airport security as well as a probe of the politically correct mentality of air passengers.
The Washington Times reported in 2004 that flight crews and passengers were experiencing a number of terrorist probes, most notably Northwest Airlines Flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles in June 2004, during which 14 Syrian men posing as musicians may have practiced a dry run.
Also in July 2004, a passenger from Syria was taken into custody at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport while carrying anti-American materials and a note suggesting he intended to commit suicide.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.