View Full Version : The anti-Muslim madness thread

08-22-2006, 02:49 PM
Anger as 'mob' forces Muslim men off aircraft
The Independent (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14633.htm)

Muslim leaders yesterday spoke of their dismay after a passenger mutiny in which several British families refused to travel on a plane with two Asian men.

The men were forced to leave the flight after fellow passengers wrongly suspected them of being terrorists. Several people on board flight ZB 613 from Malaga to Manchester demanded their removal.

Cabin crew informed Spanish authorities and the men were ordered off the Monarch Airlines flight and questioned by police for several hours. They were eventually cleared and put on an alternative flight.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the incident demonstrated the "the high level of suspicion that ordinary Muslims are often being unfairly subjected to" and said that many Muslims were being treated as if they were "guilty unless proven innocent".

Similar incidents in which people of Asian or Middle Eastern appearances have been targeted by fellow passengers have been reported on pilots' and cabin crews' websites, including one in which two British women with young children on a flight from Spain apparently complained about a bearded Muslim man - even though he was security checked twice before boarding the plane.

Mr Bari said he hoped it would not lead to a growing culture of targeting Muslims. "While it is of course sensible for all of us to be vigilant, it is not sensible to pick on Muslims simply because they happen to dress differently or appear to be speaking to each other in Arabic," he said.

The plane bound from Malaga, which had 150 passengers on board, was due to take off at around 3am, last Wednesday, but was delayed by around three hours after three families refused to enter the Airbus 320 aircraft unless the men were removed, and a further two families with children left the plane in protest

Heath Schofield, an industrial chemical salesman from Cheshire, who was travelling with his wife and two daughters, Emily, 15, and Isobel, 12, said some passengers had become alarmed by the men's appearance. "We were coming back to Britain with a load of people in flipflops and shorts but the two men were wearing jumpers and leather jackets," he said.

His wife, Jo Schofield, a college lecturer, said there was a "pin-drop's silence" when the men entered the cabin, and that theywere eventually led off by police, with their heads bowed, as people watched in silence. She said suspicion was aroused after a passenger had earlier claimed to have heard them say something alarming in Arabic.

She said she was "frightened" by how quickly people's attitudes had changed and was worried for the future. "For years we have put a lot of time and effort as a society into making Britain culturally diverse and politically correct with equal opportunities and now people are changing their opinions.People are becoming frightened and are judging and labelling people," Mrs Schofield said.

Muslim community leaders in Manchester were outraged. Councillor Afzal Khan, a former lord mayor, described the incident as the "rule of the mob" and said that he was "disappointed" at the decision to eject the men from the flight

But a spokesman for Monarch defended their decision. "The captain was concerned about the security surrounding the two gentlemen on the aircraft and the decision was taken to remove them for further security checks."

08-22-2006, 02:52 PM
Iraqi Peace Activist Forced to Change T-Shirt Bearing Arabic Script Before Boarding Plane at JFK
Democracy Now (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/21/1348224)

AMY GOODMAN: Raed Jarrar joins us in a studio in San Francisco, the Iraq Project Director for Global Exchange. He is an Iraqi blogger and architect, who runs a popular blog called "Raed in the Middle (http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/)." Before we talk about the latest in Iraq, Raed, I wanted to ask you about -- well, starting at the end, your trip home, how you made it back to the United States.

RAED JARRAR: I made it back to the United States in a very easy way. In fact, the incident that happened in JFK was not related to my trip, because I went back to D.C. I spent a day in D.C. Then I took the bus to New York. I spent a couple of days in New York. There was an event there. Then I was supposed to take my airplane, my Jet Blue airplane from JFK to Oakland in California last Saturday. So I went to the airport in the morning, and I was prevented to go to my airplane by four officers, because I was wearing this t-shirt that says “We will not be silent” in both Arabic and English. And I was told by one of the officials that wearing a t-shirt with Arabic script in an airport now is like going to a bank with a t-shirt that reads, “I am a robber.”

AMY GOODMAN: That's what the security said to you?

RAED JARRAR: Yeah. I was questioned by four officials from -- I think some of them were from Jet Blue and others were maybe policemen or FBI. I have no idea. I took their names and badge numbers, and I filed a complaint through ACLU against them, because I asked them very directly to let me go to the airplane, because it's my constitutional right as a U.S. taxpayer and resident to wear a t-shirt with Arabic script. And they prevented to let me exercise this right, and they made me cover the script with another t-shirt.

AMY GOODMAN: So they said you could not fly if you wore your t-shirt that said, “We will not be silent”?

RAED JARRAR: Yes. They said that very clearly.

AMY GOODMAN: I was just looking at another piece in the Daily Mail of Britain, which says, “British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny -- refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed. The extraordinary scenes happened after some of the 150 passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic. Passengers told cabin crew they feared for their safety and demanded police action. Some stormed off the Monarch Airlines Airbus […] minutes before it was due to leave the Costa del Sol at 3am. Others waiting for [another flight] in the departure lounge refused to board it [until the men speaking Arabic were taken off the plane].”

RAED JARRAR: And, Amy, there was a similar story from San Francisco last week, with a Canadian doctor called Ahmed Farooq, who was prevented to complete his airplane, because he was praying in his seat. So, I think, you know, these incidents are increasing, because of the latest alleged terror attack.

AMY GOODMAN: Also in this article it talks about others, as you were just talking about. “Websites used by pilots and cabin crew were […] reporting further incidents. In one, two British women with young children on another flight from Spain complained about flying with a bearded Muslim even though he had been security-checked twice before boarding.”

08-22-2006, 05:01 PM
Muslim pilot reveals shock at being ordered off flight
The Independent (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1220859.ece)

A British Muslim airline pilot yesterday described the "humiliating" moment when he was hauled off a transatlantic flight just before take-off. Amar Ashraf, 28, who was born in Wrexham, North Wales, said he felt " demoralised and humiliated" after being told to leave the flight from Manchester to Newark by a stewardess, and then being questioned by armed police. He believes his removal was down to having a "Muslim-sounding name".

Mr Ashraf, 28, a British Pakistani who was returning to his job as a pilot for one of Continental's partner airlines in the US, will lodge a formal complaint with Continental Airlines, with whom he was travelling, as well as with the US authorities.

His complaint follows growing concern among British Muslims over incidents in which Asian people have been removed from flights, as well as anger over the "passenger mutiny" in which two men were ordered off a plane bound for Manchester. Passengers became concerned by the two, who were said to be speaking Arabic and looked of Asian or Middle Eastern appearance.

Mr Ashraf said: "I was a standby passenger and I'd been told I could travel at 9am that morning. I'd gone through the same stringent security as every other passenger. I was patted down twice and my hand luggage was checked."

He added: "I'd got my boarding pass and got on the plane on business class. The aircraft's doors had closed and it got pushed back from the gates. Then we sat away from the gates for an hour. I must have fallen asleep because I was woken up by a Continental employee who wanted to have a word with me.

"I got out of my seat and noticed the aircraft door was open and the stairs had been moved back to the door. The stewardess told me there were no standby employees allowed to fly that day, but I was sure there were other standby passengers on board the plane. I was demoralised and I had to walk down the stairs, which was really humiliating."

He was then approached by two armed police officers who interrogated him. Mr Ashraf said the officers asked him if he knew why the US government wanted him off the flight. He was forced to go back to his family home in Wales and paid £800 for an alternative Virgin flight two days later.

He is convinced that his racial profile prevented him from flying on 10 August, the first day of the heightened security alert at British airports.

"I guess I just meet the profile. They told me they weren't taking any passengers on standby but I think it was racial profiling. I was the only person asked to get off and can't believe there weren't others on standby tickets. I think as a Muslim I was an easy target. I understand the reason for the delays but I feel this was discrimination," he said.

The airline he works for is a partner airline of Continental, which allows him access to standby flights. In a statement, Continental Airlines said it could not comment on a specific case. US Homeland Security was unable to trace the incident.

Since 11 September 2001, every British flight bound for the US provides a " manifest" list in which the name of all passengers travelling on a plane is provided to US security 15 minutes after take-off. A source said Mr Ashraf's name was not on the list of passengers leaving for Newark that day.

Meanwhile, the two Muslim men who were removed from the flight in Malaga were still "badly shaken" following the experience on Wednesday, a source said.

Asian passengers are increasingly targeted as climate of fear takes hold

Amar Ashraf's recent eviction from a transatlantic flight is the latest in a series of aviation security scares involving Muslims and travellers of Asian appearance.

Last Wednesday, some passengers refused to board a Manchester-bound flight from Malaga because they thought two men of Middle-Eastern appearance were behaving suspiciously.

Passengers said the men kept looking at their watches, and were wearing heavy clothing. They were ordered off the plane and questioned by police.

The incident was condemned by Muslim leaders and some security experts, who warned that judging people by their appearance would be counter productive. It added weight to comments by Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei, who said passenger profiling would create a new crime of "flying while Asian".

Another example occurred last Thursday, when Azar Iqbal, from Manchester, travelled to Atlanta with his family on Delta airlines, only to be separated from his wife and children, held for questioning by US immigration officials, and deported to the UK.

A website used by commercial airline pilots has highlighted an incident where two British women on a flight from Spain to the UK complained about flying with a bearded Muslim, even though the man had been security checked twice.

Last week, an airport terminal at Tri-state airport in West Virginia was evacuated and a Pakistani woman was questioned by the FBI after security checks wrongly identified explosive liquids in her hand luggage.

Dr Ahmed Farooq, a Muslim radiologist from Winnipeg, Canada, was escorted off a United Airlines flight in Denver last week after reciting prayers that were regarded as suspicious by passengers. He said the incident was tantamount to "institutionalised discrimination".

In June, five Russian Muslims, including three veiled women and two men, flying home from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh were taken off the plane after the captain said he was alarmed that the women were wearing the hijab. The passengers flew to Russia the following day, although the women were asked not to wear the hijab.

08-22-2006, 05:55 PM
[Partridge: A small anecdote about this story. As the man in question apparently travelled from Ireland to Wales, this was big news in Ireland. Listening to the radio in a shop yesterday, there was a 'journalist' on from the Irish Daily Star (a rightwing tabloid daily) talking about how 'senior sources' were informing him of all sorts of nefarious carryings on - but he couldn't tell us because that would be an abuse of free speech or somesuch bullshit. He was practically having an orgasm on air.]

Wales 'terror suspects' freed
icWales (http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200wales/tm_objectid=17603917&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=wales--terror-suspects--freed--name_page.html)

Two terror suspects who were arrested at a north Wales port were released without charge today.

A 47-year-old man and a woman of 44, both originally from Algeria, were arrested under the Terrorism Act at Holyhead Port, on the Isle of Anglesey, on Friday, August 11.

At the time police said they did not believe the arrests were linked to the alleged airline bomb plot.

A spokeswoman for North Wales Police said: “After careful consideration of existing evidence and close liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service, a decision has been taken to release from custody the two individuals arrested under the Terrorism Act at Holyhead on August 11.

“North Wales Police cannot comment further at this point.”

It is understood that the man was arrested by Special Branch officers as he arrived in the UK on a ferry from the Republic of Ireland.

The woman was thought to be waiting for the man at the port when she was arrested.

Police refused to comment on whether a raid at a property in west Dublin was connected to the arrests.

Details of the arrests were only revealed by North Wales Police last week.

The force said it withheld the information as there was no immediate threat to the public.

It refused to comment on whether the couple were British citizens, whether they were related or married, or whether any properties had been raided.

Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale said the couple were in possession of “several items” but refused to give further details.

Unconfirmed reports suggested a laptop had been discovered containing documents about bomb-making, anti-surveillance tips and assassination techniques.

Mr Wolfendale said the Metropolitan Police were aware of the arrests and officers had also liaised with a number of other forces but he declined to name them.

He added that it did not appear the pair had any links to Wales.

Last Thursday, detectives successfully applied to a district judge at Holyhead Magistrates Court for a further five days to question the pair.

08-27-2006, 12:52 PM
Bum Rap at O'Hare Security Check-In: Penis Pump or Bomb?
CounterPunch (http://counterpunch.org/pump08242006.html)

Mardin Amin, an Iraqi arrested at O'Hare airport now faces serious felony charges of disorderly conduct. He could get three years in prison. A female security guard claims Amin uttered the word "bomb" when she was examining a small black squeezable object she'd taken from his bag.

For his part, Amin, on his way to Turkey with his mother and his children, claims he was whispering to his mother that it was a "pump" ^ in fact a penis pump.

The judge believed the security guard and now Amin faces the felony charges.

CounterPuncher and Arabic-speaker David Price clarifies the affair.

"As an anthropologist and Arabic speaker," Price tells CounterPunch," let me call attention to a vital aspect of this story. Simply put, Arabic has no 'Ps' and all native Arabic speakers voice their bilabials as 'Bs', thus it is pretty obvious that any native Arabic speaker with an accent would say the word 'pump' as the word 'bumb' --which the poorly-trained and overly paranoid airport security worker mis-heard as 'bomb.'

"As has happened here, with newspapers such as the Chicago Sun Times, news pieces with the words 'penis pump' will generate guffaws from sea to shinning sea, but by not stating what the obvious context of this misunderstanding is, the Sun Times is adding to a dangerous climate of American anti-Arab sentiment."

Professor Price urges the chortling scriveners and newsreaders of Chicago's entyertrainment industry to do what they can to reduce climate of hysteria by shedding some public light on what actually happened in this case.

After Wednesday's hearing, Amin said airport security officials never gave him an opportunity to explain the misunderstanding. And he said he would never utter the word "bomb" while going through securi
"Come on -- what do you think?" said Amin, who lives in Skokie and works for a janitorial service.

Amin does not consider the pump unusual.

"It's normal," he said. "Half of America they use it."

08-27-2006, 12:54 PM
Dutch 'regret arrest of Muslim men on US plane'
Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/dutch-regret-arrest-of-muslim-men-on-us-plane/2006/08/26/1156012751203.html)

The Dutch ambassador to India has expressed regret for the arrest of 12 passengers whose India-bound airliner was diverted to Amsterdam after their behaviour triggered fears of a hijacking, a government minister says.

The 12 men, all Muslims, were cleared of any wrongdoing and released. Their families said they were victims of racial discrimination.

The men were arrested on Wednesday from a US Northwest Airlines flight that was turned back to Amsterdam after they apparently behaved suspiciously.

The Indian government said it was upset about the incident and had conveyed its views to the Dutch ambassador after he had been summoned to the foreign ministry.

"It's an incident which is not only unfortunate, it should have never happened," junior foreign minister Anand Sharma told reporters.

"Their ambassador has expressed regret. We are happy our nationals have been released," he said.

The incident has dominated national headlines and sparked angry debates in Indian newspapers and on TV channels over whether the episode was caused by racial profiling.

Relatives of the 12 men, who were expected in Mumbai late on Friday, said they had no doubt they were targeted because they were Muslim.

"Can you think what we went through in the past two days? Our children are terrorists? We are terrorists because we are Muslims?" asked Abdul Kadir Kolsiwala, father of Ayub Kolsiwala, one of those arrested.

"These are times of suspicion and distrust and we Muslims have to bear the brunt," he told Reuters.

Dutch authorities said that they had no evidence to suggest that the men were planning a terrorist attack.

The family of Ayub, a 35-year-old garment trader and a frequent traveller who was returning from Port-of-Spain, said they expected a written apology from Dutch officials.

"You tell me should someone be allowed to get away just like that after having caused so much of harassment and trauma to so many people?" asked Ayub's wife Sabah.

Kolsiwala's neighbour Sohail Nizami, who was also arrested, called his home from Amsterdam yesterday and said they were doing fine.

"Everybody knows why these 12 men were targeted. Because they are Muslims. All they were doing was joking about something and laughing," Rubina, Nizami's sister-in-law, told Reuters.

Other passengers from the detained flight, who arrived in Mumbai on Thursday night, said they saw the 12 men exchanging seats and fidgeting with their mobile phones.

"I think the men raised the crew's suspicion because they were not listening to them and changing their seats," said Nitin Dalal, a passenger on the detained flight.

"They looked calm and did not question when they were being handcuffed."

08-27-2006, 01:01 PM
Onetime Jackson Woman Detained in W.Va. Speaks Out
WILX News/MSNBC (http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/3739501.html)
"The whole incident had its basis in racial profiling," Rima Qayyum, formerly of Jackson, said in a statement.

The assessment from the 28-year-old was read Friday by Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Quayyum, who moved to West Virginia last September, was detained for hours at an airport there. She says she was trying to carry facial creams and a bottle of water onto the airliner.

"All they had to do was make me throw away these items as [was] being done to other passengers; as it is being done at all the airports in the country today," the statement read.

Instead, she was detained and interrogated as those bottles were tested. Qayyum says it's because she's Muslim.

She was cleared by the FBI and was supposed to fly out the next day. But she ended up driving back.

It wasn't immediately clear why she wasn't allowed to fly. US Airways has said the FBI wouldn't let her. Now, the family tells a different story:

"The head of operations for US Airways denied her access to the airplane," Walid said Friday.

The airline shares blame with overzealous airport security according to the statement. Now, it seems lawsuits might loom in the case.

"We are looking into possible legal recourse in this matter, not just with airport security but also with US Airways," Walid said.

Muslim leaders at the conference alleged US Airways was discriminating against Muslims, which is something the statement says isn't a problem unique to the airline. (News 10 contacted US Airways for a response; one hadn't been received at the time of this posting.)

"Neither all Muslims are terrorists nor all other people saints. Good and bad people are a part of every community in the world," Qayyum said near the end of her statement.

The Quayyum family says that's something not everyone seems to believe.

09-06-2006, 09:46 PM
Canada: Orthodox Jew forced off plane
Jerusalem Post (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1154526016533&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull)

An Orthodox Jewish man was removed from an Air Canada Jazz flight in Montreal last week for praying, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation reported on Wednesday.

The man was a passenger on a Sept. 1 flight from Montreal to New York City when the incident occurred.

The airplane was heading towards the runway at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport when eyewitnesses said the Orthodox man began to pray.

"He was clearly a Hasidic Jew," said Yves Faguy, a passenger seated nearby. "He had some sort of cover over his head. He was reading from a book.

"He wasn't exactly praying out loud but he was lurching back and forth," Faguy told the CBC.

The action didn't seem to bother anyone, Faguy said, but a flight attendant approached the man and told him his praying was making other passengers nervous.

"The attendant actually recognized out loud that he wasn't a Muslim and that she was sorry for the situation but they had to ask him to leave," Faguy said.

The man, who spoke neither English nor French, was escorted off the airplane, according to CBC.

According to CBC, Air Canada Jazz, termed the situation "delicate," and said it received more than one complaint about the man's behavior and that the crew had to act in the interest of the majority of passengers, said Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stewart.

"The passenger did not speak English or French, so we really had no choice but to return to the gate to secure a translator," she told CBC.

Jewish leaders in Montreal criticized the move as insensitive, saying the flight attendants should have explained to the other passengers that the man was simply praying and doing no harm.

Hasidic Rabbi Ronny Fine told CBC he often prays on airplanes, but typically only gets curious stares.

"If it's something that you're praying in your own seat and not taking over the whole plane, I don't think it should be a problem," said Fine.

09-06-2006, 11:51 PM
don't forget the other side of the Hegelian Dialectic