Editorial: Who is walking on eggshells? 

The facts pretty much speak for themselves.

An airline gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department, in a scene that easily could have taken place at SFO, that six Muslim men began praying loudly and repeatedly shouting "Allah" as passengers began boarding Flight 300 bound for Phoenix on Nov. 20. The six imams refused to sit in their assigned seats, moving around the cabin and arranging themselves in a pattern reminiscent of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings. Three asked flight attendants for heavy seat belt extenders, but then didn’t use them to buckle up. Witnesses overheard them talking about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

Such suspicious behavior looks like it was intended to trigger a response from the airline. The motivation became apparent Nov. 28 when members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations held a "pray in" at the U.S. Airways ticket counter at Reagan National Airport to protest the imams’ removal from the flight, charging that their civil rights had been violated. CAIR spokeswoman Rabia Ahmed complained that Muslims "have to walk around on eggshells in public" to avoid being "misconstrued as suspicious."

And Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Falls Church, Va.-based Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, called the incident "a gross example of blatant Islamophobia and the violation of the civil rights of Muslim passengers," characterizing the legitimate concerns of the flight crew and other passengers as "irrational fears."

That’s obviously bunk and it needs to be debunked right now. The six imams were hardly "walking on eggshells," and their behavior was certainly not "misconstrued" by anybody familiar with what occurred 9/11.

"There was no religious or racial profiling in Minneapolis. It was all behavior profiling," Douglas Hagmann, director of the Northeast Intelligence Network, told The Examiner. Hagmann believes the incident — which he considers "a watershed event for ideological jihad" — was a "test run," and predicts "more attempts to disarm our security apparatus through the legal system as Islamists create the aura of victimization" — and then threaten legal action for every supposed slight they encounter "flying while Muslim."

It should be noted that Bray has a history of publicly supporting convicted terrorists, including Abdurrahman Alamoudi, Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi’s hit man who was arrested in a plot to assassinate a Saudi prince; Ali al-Timimi, a Northern Virginia Muslim leader sentenced to life in prison for urging his followers to jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and Ahmed Abu-Ali, convicted last November in federal court for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush.

Airlines have the right — and the duty — to protect their passengers. The security protocols established as a direct result of 9/11 inconvenience and sometimes even humiliate everybody who flies. If you don’t want to submit to the indignity, stay off airplanes.

And the only way to counter ideological jihad is to speak the truth: U.S. Airways did the right thing by removing these six provocateurs from the plane.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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