Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Want to Fly? Then Don't be Caught Praying

A few weeks ago, a young Canadian doctor named Ahmed Farooq was removed from a plane in Denver during a return trip from San Francisco to Winnipeg.

A drunken lout, his head doubtless swimming with things he had “learned” from the likes of Bill O'Reilly, had become suspicious of Farooq during the first leg of the flight: He was a swarthy man in his mid-20s, after all, and traveling in the company of two men of similar age and complexion, neither of whom, apparently, was a Muslim -- not that such trivial distinctions matter to citizen-heroes well-lubricated with liquid courage.

Prior to taking off from Denver, Farooq – who had been sitting in the aisle seat – asked to change places with his friend, in order to have a modicum of privacy for his evening prayers. Shortly thereafter the intrepid booze-hound reported to a flight attendant that he had heard Farooq's friend say something to the effect that the switch made it possible for him to “command the aisle.” Somehow several other passengers caught wind of that report, and – primed for panic by the regime's propaganda apparatus – they threatened to seize control of the still-idle aircraft unless Farooq and his suspiciously dusky friends were removed.

Unless I'm gravely mistaken, threatening to seize control of an aircraft is a serious criminal offense. Yet the flight crew yielded to the demand and proceeded to Winnipeg without them Farooq and his friends. After being detained for questioning, they stayed overnight in Denver and caught a flight the next day – at their own expense.
Praying on an airplane is apparently considered a violation of security protocols. And this doesn't apply only to Muslims.

Yesterday, an Hasidic Jew was removed from an Air Canada flight to Montreal after the flight crew received “several complaints” about his davening during evening prayers.
"He was clearly a Hasidic Jew," recalled passenger Yves Faguy. "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.”

Although Faguy said that nobody seemed to be bothered by the Jewish fellow's actions, a flight attendant approached him to warn that his praying was making several other passengers uncomfortable. “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.

While the flight crew was properly apologetic and embarrassed, it had to act in the interest of “the majority of passengers," said airline spokeswoman Manon Stewart.

Behold democracy at work!

B'nai B'rith Canada, predictably enough, lambasted the airline for its "insensitivity," and offered -- perhaps "threatened" would be the correct word -- to provide "sensitivity training" for flight crews. But the problem isn't insufficient sensitivity; it's excessive sensitivity, or, in a word, paranoia.

And this is entirely understandable, given the tireless efforts of the Bush regime, its satellites, and its media auxiliaries to induce a state of perpetual alarm on the part of the public, particularly those sentenced to fly on jetliners that increasingly resemble airborne prisons.

Rebuking Farooq for complaining about his treatment, Aaron Hanscom of (a cyber-journal published by neo-Trotskyite self-promoter David Horowitz)declares that "an important fact escapes Farooq: In the midst of a war against Islamic fascists, you do have to watch what you say and do." The real problem here, he continues, the government is reluctant to make adequate use of ethnic profiling and invasive search procedures. "If only the government would cease pandering to hyper-sensitive Muslims and their enablers long enough to use" those tactics, Hanscom sighs.

But as the experience of the hapless Orthodox Jew on yesterday's Air Canada flight illustrate, it's not just Muslim pressure groups who display hyper-sensitivity. The "watch what you say and do" net tends to gather of every kind -- including innocent Muslim doctors and equally innocent Orthodox Jews who, in an understandable display of earnest faith, pray to God (as they have been taught to understand Him) before beginning a flight.

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