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Snowguy716

6 Imams removed from U.S Airways flight for doing evening prayers in airport terminal

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http://www.startribune.com/462/story/826056.html

You have no idea how much this pisses me off. I already wrote to U.S Airways about this, because I can't stand to see utter bullsh*t like this happen.

6 Imams were removed from a U.S Airways flight bound for Phoenix from Minneapolis after a passenger passed a note to a flight attendent reporting suspicious activity. They were removed from the flight and then questioned for several hours by police FOR DOING THEIR NORMAL EVENING PRAYERS. They were released without any criminal charges.

The next morning, the Imams attempted to purchase new tickets from U.S Airways to get home, and the airline refused to sell them tickets. This was witnessed by a Star Tribune reporter. The supervisor reportedly told the men that their tickets had been refunded, but they'd have to find a different airline.

This is most certainly discrimination based on religion.

I will make it a point to avoid U.S Airways or their partners whenever I need to travel.

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I agree with you in theory. But this does not seem like discrimination based on complete prejudice. According to the article some on board the flight believed that the Imans were spouting "anti-American rhetoric." They also repeated "Allah, Allah" over and over. I'm not sure if that took place, but if those customers complained to the airline then I do not see how U.S. Air acted improperly.

I'm sorry, but if I get on a plan and hear anti-American political speech mixed in with doing Allah's will I'm going to be uncomfortable--I would think most feel this way.

I wanted to edit the post to also say that I'm not sure who is telling the truth. The airline, however, has a responsbility to report suspicious behavior. I have no tolerance for discrimination of any kind.

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They were reported to chant Allah when they were being escorted from the plane after the ordeal had begun. As far as the "anti-American sentiment", that's a he says, she says report.

I can sort of understand if they were in fact saying things like that that they would be removed from the plane for questioning, but the fact that the airline refused to sell them a new ticket the next morning after they had been released is what really irks me.

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It's kind of a double-edged sword, because on one hand you REALLY don't want to report someone for going through their normal prayer routine. On the other hand, however, Americans are still on edge, and having seen all the movies and documentaries about the 9-11 attacks, the hijackers were all protrayed as saying their prayers to Allah right before going berzerk.

So I think it's better to be safe than sorry; and if these guys were, indeed, just going about their normal lives then I'm sorry this happened to them. But I can also understand people not wanting to be on the same plane NOT knowing what might happen.

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^ It's upsetting to me too Snowguy. And I know how stories can often get taken out of context. Maybe the guys were chanting "Death to America" or whatever, or maybe they were just the victims of a fearful culture. I don't know, so I'm hesitant to really say much, other than, I believe the airline was in the right for alerting the authorities, and if they did in fact make hateful remarks against America and thus cause a disruption on the plane, I see no reason why U.S. Air or anyone else would be obliged to sell them a ticket, no more than if I started dancing on a Delta flight after they brought the peanuts out (which never happened!!!!! It was a lie!!!) , would Delta be obliged to sell me future tickets.

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Then the airline should have refunded their tickets and given them a free flight home for causing them a very serious and ridiculous, though unintended, inconvenience. Instead, they refused to sell them new tickets.

I'm angry because of the discrimination against law abiding citizens of the United States based on their religion and religious exercises (which are protected under the bill of rights).

I also get sick of companies trying to shirk responsibility and acting as if refunding the passengers for their tickets was above and beyond what they should have done. When you, as a company, choose to interfere with some travellers' itineraries totally based on a claim by a passenger than ends up being moot, it is your responsibility as a company to see that those inconvenienced passengers get home in as timely a manner as possible. That does not mean refunding their ticket price and then telling them to find another airline.

Maybe I'm just overly cynical of corporate America.. but I just don't see how U.S Airways had the right to deny them a ticket. That is clearly discrimination based on religion.

If they were chanting "death to America" and other such things, then they should have been charged with a crime. They were not charged.. they were released by police.

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But according to the article the tickets were refunded. "In an exchange witnessed by a Star Tribune reporter, the unnamed supervisor said Shahin's tickets had been refunded and that he needed to get tickets on another airline." Edit this: I misread what you wrote so disregard the preceding. Sorry.

Again, if they were causing a scene on an airplane then the airline was in its rights to deny them passage to anywhere. It happens to people every single day. I'm not saying it happened the way the witnesses claimed, but U.S. Air has no responsbility to people who are causing a disruption on its airlines, whether they're Catholics, Baptists, or Muslims.

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And I'm not sure that chanting "Death to America" is a crime. You could say that it's like shouting fire in a theater, but it sounds as if it's a they said/they said type of thing. But there plenty of things that are legal yet violate policy----the airlines are there to provide safe and efficient travel without disruption...by anyone.

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And I'm not sure that chanting "Death to America" is a crime. You could say that it's like shouting fire in a theater, but it sounds as if it's a they said/they said type of thing. But there plenty of things that are legal yet violate policy----the airlines are there to provide safe and efficient travel without disruption...by anyone.

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They should not have conducted their prayers in front of everybody first of all. It takes a lot of space for muslum prayers to take place, and if they are in public as a group... of course it it going to cause a disturbance. this is why most airports have prayer rooms... and I am positive that a HUGE airport like Minneapolis has at least one.

I do think it's terrible that they were thrown off, unless they really were heard spouting out anti-american stuff on a plane. But... if an American can't ride a plane without speaking his mind, what kind of country do we live in? This is discrimination... becuase if I (a white man) climbed aboard the plane and started saying "I hate America", I know they would not kick me off... unless I was being loud and unruly or used words like "DEATH".

What pisses me off is how ignorant we Americans continue to prove ourselves to be. "Witnesses said some of the imams were repeating 'Allah, Allah,'...". "Allah, Allah"? Would I be thrown off a plane for chanting "God, God"?

If The United States is a free nation for people of every type, there needs to be manditory Religion tollerance classes taught in public schools... among other things.

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I guess the real question is whether there were any threats made by the Imams. If not then they were clearly discriminated against and I don't want to see our country discriminate any groups.

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If it were up to me, I would lock up anyone that chooses to impose their religion on others by such acts in public places and especially in environments such as that of an airplane. I don't know what has happened to the common sense of people.

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How is praying in public an imposition of one's religious beliefs on others? ....

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I do think it's terrible that they were thrown off, unless they really were heard spouting out anti-american stuff on a plane. But... if an American can't ride a plane without speaking his mind, what kind of country do we live in? This is discrimination... becuase if I (a white man) climbed aboard the plane and started saying "I hate America", I know they would not kick me off... unless I was being loud and unruly or used words like "DEATH".

What pisses me off is how ignorant we Americans continue to prove ourselves to be. "Witnesses said some of the imams were repeating 'Allah, Allah,'...". "Allah, Allah"? Would I be thrown off a plane for chanting "God, God"?

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Pillsbury... you must not have read what i wrote correctly. I never said anything about them being unruly. As far as I know, they weren't being "disruptive" on the plane until they were chanting "God, God" (Pretty crazy isn't it).

There are so many stories out right now anyway... who knows what's true and what is not. the truth is, they weren't terroists at all. They shouldn't have done their prayers in public, and that's their fault. They SHOULD understand how people feel now-a-days because of what we perceive happened on 9-11. Of course it's terrible that muslums the world over are being watched and steriotyped constantly... but they should do their part not to project any bad image that the western world might have of them right now. At least until things can come back to normal around here. Also, we in the western world SHOULD NOT be so completely stupid that we jump to rash conclusions over the smallest things.

And as far as muslums praying to themselves (whoever said that), that is not how they pray. They lay down a special carpet and bow on it, facing Mecca, for a very long time... bowing continuously. This would draw attention whether or not they were being loud... which I'm sure they were most likely not.

What needs to be done is that airports need to post signs about their private prayer rooms EVERYWHERE and make sure that all people know where to go and why... for public safety and respect of all religions.

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I probably didn't. Sorry.

I thought you implied that persons should be able to speak their mind on an airplane, and I was just saying that I didn't think an airplane was a proper forum to discuss political issues, and that if an airline thought someone was creating a disturbance, then that airline was more than right to move those persons from the airline.

I'm having writing and reading problems this morning!!! :)

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I explained above the circumstances where it would be. Maybe you didn't read that part.

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imposing a religion on someone is not the same thing as praying in public (whether it's on an airplane or in a public park). imposing a religion on someone is telling someone what they have to believe and that they're going to hell (or whatever that person believes as the ultimate punishment) for not believing the same. it's passing laws that tell people what they can and cannot legally do to their own bodies even if it doesn't cause harm to others (such as anti-drug laws, anti-prostitution laws, etc).

praying in public, such as on an airplane is just a nuisance, like a crying screaming child. there have been reports of people in airports wearing shirts with arabic writing that have been told to cover it up or leave. i equate someone praying on an airplane getting kicked off being the same as someone wearing an arabic shirt being kicked off.

they were kicked off because what they were saying was in arabic and apparently the word "allah" has the same meaning as "bomb" now.

one more reason i will continue to boycott US Airways.

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