A group of Muslim scholars were removed from a US Airways flight this week for apparently no reason.
The Muslim scholars, returning from a conference, said their normal evening prayers in an airport terminal before boarding their plane. They apparently did nothing but mind their business on the plane, but a fellow passenger passed a note to a flight attendant, stating their concern about the Muslim passengers.
From an Associated Press article:
The Council on American-Islamic Relations called Tuesday for an investigation into the behavior of airline staff and airport security in the removal of six Muslim scholars from a US Airways flight a day earlier.
A passenger raised concerns about the imams — three of whom said their normal evening prayers in the airport terminal before boarding the Phoenix-bound plane, according to one — through a note passed to a flight attendant, according to Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for US Airways.
"We are concerned that crew members, passengers and security personnel may have succumbed to fear and prejudice based on stereotyping of Muslims and Islam," Nihad Awad, the council's executive director, said in a news release.
Shahin said Tuesday that three members of the group prayed in the terminal before the six boarded the plane. They entered individually, except for one member who is blind and needed to be guided, Shahin said. Once on the plane, the six did not sit together, he said.
"We did nothing" on the plane, Shahin said.
The six were among passengers who boarded Flight 300, bound for Phoenix, around 6:30 p.m. Monday, airport spokesman Pat Hogan said.
Police were called after the captain and airport security workers asked the men to leave the plane and the men refused, Rader said.
Shahin said no one asked the six to leave until police arrived, when the group complied.
"Unfortunately, this is a growing problem of singling out Muslims or people perceived to be Muslims at airports, and it's one that we've been addressing for some time," council spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.
Are these supposed to be our democratic values in America now? Why is it ok to remove people who are minding their business from a plane, simply because they are of a certain race or religion?
And why is it that no one called for the profiling of White men with crew cuts after Tim McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City?
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