By P. Jeffrey Black
Well the Flying Imams are back in the news again.
For those of you who don’t remember who they are, I’m not talking about a staged three-ring circus act of clerics — although some people might disagree with me on that point.
In November 2006, six Muslim imams were removed from a US Airways airplane after numerous passengers complained that the imams were acting in an unusual manner. The crew watched the imams and concurred with the passengers that something just wasn’t right.
The police were called and they too concluded there was mischief afoot, and escorted the imams off the plane in order to conduct a proper investigation. That pretty much sums up what happened.
Oh yeah — the plane left without them.
To make a long story … longer, the six Non-Flying Imams quickly cried-out that the passengers, airline crew, gate agents, airplane cleaners, police officers, federal air marshals, food caterers, baggage handlers, screeners, airplane mechanics, ticket agents, the guy in the tower, and the girl working at the Starbucks booth, all discriminated against them — because they were Muslim.
Okay, maybe not all of those people, but you get the idea.
As expected, the imams cuddled up with the Counsel on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and threatened U.S. Airways with a lawsuit stating that the imams were prepared to go to court. Call me cynical, but something tells me those imams were prepared to go to court long before they took that first step onto that airplane.
For once it seems, an airline did the right thing when confronted with what appears to be a frivolous lawsuit — they didn’t settle.
Well this week, as reported by Crossword Bebop, the inevitable lawsuit against US Airways and the airport police officers moved into the pre-trial discovery phase, where both sides play, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Each party must disclose and show to the other party, all the documents and evidence that they will be using to support their side of the case.
But sometimes one or both of the parties don’t want to play nice and give up certain documents, forcing the other side to compel their disclosure by use of a subpoena or motion to the court. That is exactly what happened in court on Monday. The imam’s are demanding that U.S. Airways produce documents that would be beneficial to their case.
That seems reasonable and fair. So why is this a big deal?
Because the documents that the imams want turned over are the training manuals and all other documents relating to the security procedures of U.S. Airways. The imams want to show that the U.S. Airways crew did not follow prescribed airline company policy when dealing with the imams.
Again, seems reasonable. So why is this still a big deal?
Its a big deal because, as reported by Homeland Security reporter Audrey Hudson, one of the Flying Imams in the lawsuit, Omar Shahin, at one time was a representative and fundraiser for a group called KindHearts, which seems to have a long history of supporting and financing terrorist organizations — specifically Hamas.
The U.S. Treasury Department stated that KindHearts conspired with leaders of the Hamas terrorist group to finance the activities of other terrorist organizations. Does this now give you cause for concern?
So let’s put the pieces together.
A Muslim imam with former ties to an organization known for its support of terrorists, is escorted off of a plane by police, for very unusual and suspicious behavior, then files a lawsuit against the airline for religious discrimination, and subsequently tries to convince a judge to order the airline to turn over all of its proprietary documents, related to the airline’s security procedures and training manuals.
Could this be a new and very effective form of corporate espionage we are seeing played-out right before our eyes?
Have the international spies and terrorists of the past now been replaced by attorneys and litigants?
Why bother trying to obtain documents through unscrupulous means, when you can now just file a frivilous discrimination lawsuit against your target, and have a judge legally order the production of any documents you want, under the guise that those documents will prove liability against the defendants?
Welcome to a new form of terrorism, where the appropriation of proprietary information can do more damage and harm to a country than the conventional utilization of guns and grenades.
Don’t be surprised if we all read some day soon, about an imam tourist slipping on a wet floor in the lobby of the Central Intelligence Agency, or a CAIR member accidentally getting scolding hot coffee spilled in his lap at the Pentagon cafeteria.
Just remember, you read it here first.