Strib columnist: Flying imams stunt a ploy to get anti-profiling bill passed

posted at 11:37 am on December 14, 2006 by Allahpundit

Really? Piece this out for me: CAIR allegedly wants to engineer an incident it can sell to the public as evidence of discrimination and get the End Racial Profiling Act pushed through — and for the task it chooses a guy who admits that his mosque used to help out Osama Bin Laden, who’s been accused of raising money for Hamas, and who doubts that 9/11 was carried out by Muslims? And instead of just praying, he and the other five imams resort to hijack-type behavior that’s suspicious enough to spook multiple air marshals and pilots?

Doesn’t that actually make things more difficult for their Democratic allies in Congress? I can buy that CAIR would do this to raise their own profile; they probably are that stupid and it’s not like they have anything to lose in terms of reputation at this point. But they’ve got to know that this makes things considerably harder for Pelosi, Conyers, and Feingold in getting the bill passed. Not to mention the fact that grassroots pressure on Bush to veto the bill if it ever comes before him will be tremendous now, thanks in great part to this very incident.

Besides, the bill only applies to state actors. The draft sponsored by Conyers in 2004 provides:

SEC. 101. PROHIBITION.
No law enforcement agent or law enforcement agency shall engage in racial profiling…

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.—The term ‘‘law enforcement agency’’ means a Federal, State, local, or Indian tribal public agency engaged in the prevention, detection, or investigation of violations of criminal, immigration, or customs laws…

RACIAL PROFILING.—The term ‘‘racial profiling’’ means the practice of a law enforcement agent relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin in selecting which individuals to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities, or in deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial investigatory procedure, except when there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links persons of a particular race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin to an identified criminal incident or scheme.

It would hamstring TSA and the air marshals, but on my reading, it doesn’t reach airline crews or private security so I’m not sure it would even deter what happened to the imams. There’s also some play in the joints of that bolded part, which clearly is meant to exempt FBI agents working on uncovering a terror plot but could be finessed. You have trustworthy information in the imam incident — multiple passenger accounts of ranting about Osama Bin Laden plus pilot and air marshall eyewitness reports of the imams sitting in hijacker formation. The hitch is the “identified criminal incident” bit. Would 9/11 count vis-a-vis the way they were sitting? A smart lawyer would say so.

Expect the GOP to target that bolded language if and when this comes to the floor.

Update: Almost forgot. Mahdi Bray figures prominently in the Strib column; the boss tangled with him on this subject on the Laura Ingraham show a few weeks ago. The audio’s here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I can buy that CAIR would do this to raise their own profile; they probably are that stupid and it’s not like they have anything to lose in terms of reputation at this point. But they’ve got to know that this makes things considerably harder for Pelosi, Conyers, and Feingold in getting the bill passed. Not to mention the fact that grassroots pressure on Bush to veto the bill if it ever comes before him will be tremendous now, thanks in great part to this very incident.

CAIR thinks we’re that stupid, infidel. Surely, we can’t resist the seething of our spiritual betters!

Judging by the ISG report, they might be right.

Pablo on December 14, 2006 at 11:45 AM

The law enforcement agency language is easy for them to “fix” to include airline personnel.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on December 14, 2006 at 11:50 AM

Pablo is right. The Imams wanted to get kicked off and they probably thought the details of why would get swamped by the MSM’s righteous indignation over racism. They don’t call pulling the race card for nothing.

It would hamstring TSA and the air marshals, but on my reading, it doesn’t reach airline crews or private security so I’m not sure it would even deter what happened to the imams.

The airlines would open themselves up to lawsuits if they took over security from the gov’t. Any company would be loathe to have more stringent measures than the Feds. they fear Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton more than the Jihadis.

Bill C on December 14, 2006 at 11:55 AM

I wasn’t aware that “Muslim” was a race.

.

GT on December 14, 2006 at 12:00 PM

A PR stunt? Shocking!

JammieWearingFool on December 14, 2006 at 12:06 PM

But they’ve got to know that this makes things considerably harder for Pelosi, Conyers, and Feingold in getting the bill passed.

I’m not so sure. The insanity of some people in congress and what they have done in the past….I would NOT put it past them, esp. Pelosi and Conyers.

shooter on December 14, 2006 at 12:16 PM

What does Barack Osama think about this?

bloggless on December 14, 2006 at 12:20 PM

I can’t help but think that there is a Broadway musical in all this.

bloggless on December 14, 2006 at 12:25 PM

I think the media should stop using CAIR as the default group representing Muslims. When were they elected by Muslims as their representative? CAIR should be always referred to as “Saudi-financed CAIR.”

CAIR’s position makes perfect sense when you consider that Islam and Sharia consider non-believers to be inferior beings. Of course, Muslim terrorists should have the right to kill infidels at will and of course the infidels should be legally forbidden to complain about it nor raise their hands to Muslims, in accordance with Koranic law.

Tantor on December 14, 2006 at 12:45 PM

They used the episode to describe what happened to the planes on 9/11 and how they got weapons to commandeer the flights.

Fight these efforts against our security and liberty, re-awaken your political animal, of whatever stripe, the future beckons.

tormod on December 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM

Is there any other group that feels they’re being persecuted for their faith by non-Muslims? Is there any faith other than islam whose followers aren’t persecuted by Muslims?

1. Aside from Islam’s favorite targets, the Jews, no.

2. No.

Pablo on December 14, 2006 at 2:26 PM

I don’t think racial profiling should be allowed. How about anyone with a turbin, or who yells out ALLAH! death to the U.S., or ask for seatbelt extenders, you know the whole drill.

I don’t care what race they are, get any suspicious radical a-holes the hell off of my plane.

right2bright on December 14, 2006 at 2:52 PM

I think they probably had two things in mind: general publicity about persecution of Muslims by a willing MSM, and a payday. They have, for the most part, accomplished goal #1. I’ve been emailing US Airways saying that my family and I are committed to only flying US Airways if they stand firm against these guys.

Talk to your neighbors about the incident. From my experience, a lot of people have heard about it, but no one that I talked to knew about the odd behavior of the imams which precipitated the incident.

RW Wacko on December 14, 2006 at 3:32 PM

Racial profiling is bad, religious profiling is much better. Confront Islam every day.

Buzzy on December 14, 2006 at 3:41 PM

Ooooooorrrrrr … maybe just trying to raise a little cash for their jihadi pals. Let us infidels pay for our own murder.

Tony737 on December 14, 2006 at 3:49 PM

“CAIR thinks we’re that stupid, infidel. “ [Pablo]

Bingo. That stupid and that ovine.

Claire on December 14, 2006 at 4:53 PM

I don’t think racial profiling should be allowed. How about anyone with a turbin, or who yells out ALLAH! death to the U.S., or ask for seatbelt extenders, you know the whole drill.

I don’t care what race they are, get any suspicious radical a-holes the hell off of my plane.

right2bright on December 14, 2006 at 2:52 PM

Talk about racial profiling, or profiling in general!

In 2002 my wife and I and our three small children traveled from Philadelphia International Airport to San Jose airport for my sister-in-law’s wedding.

At the origin airport, rather than accepting our bags, we were sent down a long, cinderblock walled corridor to a room in which was a security person in uniform. We were informed that our luggage was to be inspected by hand.

All of our luggage was opened and touched. A gift for my father in law, gift wrapped by our five year old daughter, the flower girl, was ordered opened as well. After several minutes undergoing this ordeal we were sent on our way to go through the entire process, beginning with checking our luggage in.

Upon completion of our luggage check in we traveled to our destination gate, passing through the common metal detectors.

We then traveled to the main departure gate. There we joined the line of approximately 45 people. While waiting in line we noticed that in a roped off area to our right, a few feet from the ramp leading the plan itself, were two Oriental people, a young male approximately 25 to 30 years of age, and a young female, approximately 25 to 30 years of age.

Both were wearing shorts, T-shirts, sneakers, socks, and eye glasses. They were told to stand with their hands raised out to their sides, horizontal to the ground, in a T shape. They were ordered to remove their shoes and hand them to the screeners, told to unbuckle their belt buckles and open them, and open the top button or snap of their shorts so that the screeners could look. They were frisked and they were also scanned with a hand held scanner.

I was wondering what they did to be separated from the line and screened like that. They were quiet, made no scene, and did not appear to be Arab, South Asian, or Muslim. They appeared to be Chinese, or possibly Korean.

Nevertheless, we continued to wait for our turn at acquiring our boarding pass.

What do you think occurred next?

If you said “You were taken out of line and sent to the roped off area nearby and scanned, etc., before the other passengers and passersby, just as the previous two Oriental looking people were,” then, go to the front of the class! You earned your Sherlock Holmes-Columbo school of reasoning diploma!

My wife, who is Chinese, and I, of mixed race, and our two children (we were blessed with our third child since then) were separated from the boarding line and sent to the ropoed off “extra” screening area.

As our children watched, my wife and I went through a similar procedure as the previous two Oriental passengers.

For those who do not know this already, during the 9-11 Commission hearings we learned that profiling of more than two Arab-Muslim looking persons in a row is prohibited and has resulted in fines against numerous airlines AFTER 9-11, even though the airlines, the security personnel, etc., all felt there was credible concern which motivated the screening. For further information, read Michael Smirconish’ book “Flying Blind” in which that “rule” plus a host of other disturbing behaviorism of the US government, security services, congress, etc., in light of the attacks of 9-11, are covered. It isn’t pretty and makes one wonder “Have they lost their minds? We were attacked by a specific group of people who fit a specific profile. Why are they playing with our lives like this?”

So, here we are, in the airport, my wife and I and our two young children, our five year old daughter, and out two year old son, in plain view of all these strangers, fellow passengers, security personnel, airport personnel, airline personnel, etc., undergoing extra security screening as if we are terrorists, and we do not even fit the profile of any of the terrorists!

Furthermore, and this is the main point, the rule states that security may not screen more than two Muslim-Arab looking persons in a row, yet here there are not just two, but THREE Chinese looking people in a row, all scanned, frisked, taking articles of clothing off in public, etc., plus me, mixed race, formerly honorably discharged military veteran. Talk about profiling and rules and regulations.

Does anyone find it odd, and enough to make you pissed of, that security cannot stop more than two Arab-Muslim looking people in a row, but they can stop three Chinese looking people in a row, or three black people in a row, or three white people in a row, or three gray haired ladies in a row?

There is a flaw in that logic, but it occurs. There is danger built into that as well, and it is obviously all for show and for political correctness.

Why is it political correctness and show? Because, if even only two travelers are stopped out of every twenty while boarding the aircraft, that leaves no less than eighteen passengers boarding the aircraft without screening. Out of one hundred passengers, there are ninety boarding the aircraft without extra security screening, 90 potential terrorists. I don’t like those odds!

If they really want to be fair and not profile and not be politically correct, and to ensure safety, then they should screen everyone who boards the aircraft, including all the janitorial crew, the flight attendants, the pilots, the food and luggage crews, all the passengers, including all toddlers and infants, and every single piece of luggage.

If not, then they should stop this dog and pony show and screen each and every Arab-Muslim-South Asian (Pakistani-Indian) looking person who goes to board the aircraft, for the majority of all attacks were perpetrated by these people and the main core of their Jihadi masses are found in those nations and peoples who live in those areas.

White haired old ladies with walkers, Chinese woman with small children, Mixed race males with no criminal record and with a history of serving his country in the US military, black US Marines and Coast Guard members, and so on, are bearing the brunt of this bogus security dog and pony show. It is absurd.

Now these Imams are trying to manipulate this situation so that they are painted as poor, oppressed victims, while the airlines, the crew, the security personnel, and the passengers, are painted as intolerant, self centered, terror filled, paranoid, xenophobic, Islamophobic, bigoted, religious discriminating-persecuting, racist idiots.

It is time these issues were addressed once and for all, that Imams, or any other Muslims who behave in the manner in which they behaved, were shunned and not given the time of day when they attempt to turn their actions around and blame those they alarmed.

If the airport screening is done unfairly on others who don’t fit the profile of terrorists – gray haired old ladies with walkers, black US military personnel in uniform with their deployment orders, Orientals, teenagers, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people, etc., and this is a fact, as we have experienced our selves, and if terrorists are protected by a stupid rule which protects them from extra screening, as exists, then we definitely have our work cut out for us.

A bit more information. My father-in-law, who is Chinese, enroute to the same wedding, but traveling on a different day and flight that us, traveling with my mother-in-law, who is also Chinese, was stopped and set aside for extra screening four times in one direction, at four different airports. Talk about profiling!

So, let the Imams be shunned. Don’t give them a dime. Don’t even let the courts spend one minute involved in their idiotic case. They are a bunch of trouble makers and we should not encourage them!

William

William2006 on December 15, 2006 at 2:06 AM

William, thankfully “secondary screening” at the gate has stopped. I used to be the airline gate agent who sent people to the dreaded table as they were boarding. It is not based on looks. It was based on certain criteria: If you paid for your ticket in cash, did not check any bags, last minute changes to your intinerary, things like that. If so, then when your card was printed, it had checkerboards on it. I can assure you that if three muslim looking men had checkerboards printed on their boarding cards, they were sent to the table. Also, the computer will pick some cards at random so as to confuse terrorists about how the system works AND as I’m sending people down to the plane, as soon as TSA is done with whomever they’re screening, I hafta send the next person, checkerboards or not, to the table. We also did the first and last person in line. The idea is to make it so nobody can figure out a way around it. As for non-muslim looking people being screened, terrorists are recruiting whites, blacks, hispanics and Asians. Muslim is a religion, not a race. I’m not defending the system, just giving you an inside look at how it worked. I can do this not that we’re no longer doing the secondary screening. While we were doing it I would not’ve posted this comment. Believe me, I’ve been called racist and all of that by EVERY group there is for sending them to the table. On one flight I sent the first person in line to the table, she said “You’re only picking on single Jewish females!” I said “First of all, how do I know you’re single, how do I know you’re Jewish and how do I know you’re female?” She didn’t think that was too funny. Then I said sarcastically “And we all KNOW it was a single Jewish female who flew the plane into the building, right?” I’ve been called rasist by black people (my wife is black) because they were sent to the table. “The computer can’t see you and doesn’t know you’re black, ok? Just get it over with.” I’ve been told by WHITE people that I’m racist for sending THEM to the table (I’m white).

Tony737 on December 15, 2006 at 7:38 AM

…continued – Little old ladies in wheelchairs, if they have checkers, they go to the table. I’m not gonna get fired just because I don’t think she’s a terrorist. Babies in strollers. Columbian drug cartels have been known to put coke in baby diapers and on their grandmothers. Believe me I hated that part of my job (a job that I loved) and thank God that part is done and over with, but we had to do it. The TSA guys hated screening old ladies too, so don’t think for a minute that they didn’t. As for screening three muslims at the checkpoint, that policy is total B.S. We should be profiling muslims. If they have a problem with it then they need to clean up their own “dar” (house). But at the secondary screening table by the door to the jetway, there was no rule about three muslims.

Tony737 on December 15, 2006 at 7:46 AM

Oh yeah, I was also told by several people “I’m on your Rapid Rewards (frequent flier) program!” I answered “Yeah, that’s great, thank you. So did Muhammad Atta. He also had American Advantage, Delta Skymiles and all the other ones, just go and get it over with please.”

I’ve been told “I’ll never fly this airline again!” I answer “Ok, ypu can go right across the hall to American. See that table by the door? It’s the same as this one. You’ll be screened at that one too.”

Trust me William, it was nothing personal when you were screened.

Tony737 on December 15, 2006 at 7:55 AM