Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Imamgate is apparently not over

Heard on NPR that the flying Imams are filing a discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Airways.

The story makes it sound like there was nothing to be suspicious about but some pre-boarding praying, "they'd knelt and prayed on their prayer rugs" and were "allegedly overheard making anti-American statements". Full context below:

"The religious leaders were returning to Pheonix after attending a conference in Minneapolis when they were taken off the the plane. They'd knelt and prayed on their prayer rugs before boarding the plane in the airport, and then allegedly overheard by passengers making anti-American statements once on board. The passenger passed a note to a flight attendent, the pilot authorities, and the men were removed. When they returned to the airport the next day, U.S. Airways refunded their fare and refused to sell them another ticket. Officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations say the Imams did not do anything on the plane that should have been considered suspicious, and say that the Imams will sue on the basis of discrimination."
Nothing about the passenger who overheard them talking in Arabic understood Arabic well. Nothing about the fact that the Imams refused to sit in their assigned seats, and fanned out to positions in the plane consistent with the 9/11 hijackings. Nothing about the fact that several of them asked for seat belt extensions while appearing not to need them, and while confirming that by stashing them unused under their seats. Nothing about CAIR's ties to Islamist extremists. No statements from any of the passengers. Nothing about other Muslims on the plane who agreed with the action the airline took. Just "well, the Imams said this, and CAIR 'officials' back them". Makes it sound all neat and tidy. Them damned "racist" midwesterners in Flyover Country are just a bunch of KKK'ers lookin' for a lynchin', just like we thought. No reason to suspect these goodly men of God just for praying and expressing their political opinions.

Well NPR, that's the impression your story leaves. Like there's no other side of the story to tell. And you wonder what people mean when they talk about biased reporting.

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