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Thread: Six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall sue passengers

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    Elite Member Born In A Brothel's Avatar
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    Default Six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall sue passengers

    By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer 59 minutes ago



    MINNEAPOLIS - Six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall after being accused of suspicious behavior are suing not only the airline but the passengers who complained a move some fear could discourage travelers from speaking up when they see something unusual.

    The civil rights lawsuit, filed earlier this month, has so alarmed some lawyers that they are offering to defend the unnamed "John Doe" passengers free of charge. They say it is vital that the flying public be able to report suspicious behavior without fear of being dragged into court.

    "When you drive up the road towards the airport, there's a big road sign that says, `Report suspicious behavior,'" said Gerry Nolting, a Minneapolis lawyer. "There's no disclaimer that adds, `But beware if you do that, you might get sued.'"

    The six imams were taken off a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight on Nov. 20 while returning home from a conference of Islamic clerics in Minneapolis.

    Other passengers had gotten nervous when the men were seen praying and chanting in Arabic as they waited to board. Some passengers also said that the men spoke of Saddam Hussein and cursed the United States; that they requested seat belt extenders with heavy buckles and stowed them under their seats; that they were moving about and conferring with each other during boarding; and that they sat separately in seats scattered through the cabin.

    More at Passengers sued over imams' removal - Yahoo! News

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    if i'm suspricious, i'm reporting. sue my ass, you'll get everything i've got which is nothing. Man when i heard about this, it just pissed me off.
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I don't believe for a minute that they heard them talking about Saddam Hussein and cursing the United States, unless of course, the average American bound for Phoenix speaks Arabic. That sounds like something added after the fact to make their lynch-mob mentality more acceptable.

    I often curse when I'm in airports, and I'm wagering that so do most people given what unpleasant places they tend to be.

    I often move about and confer with people while waiting to board -- since when is that suspicious?

    As for the seat extenders -- isn't it up to the crew to determine if they should be handed out, and why?

    Oh, I forgot, I'm not a Muslim wearing robes. I'm just an ordinary white woman WHO COULD JUST AS EASILY BE CARRYING A BOMB AS ANYBODY ELSE. In fact, I'd bet that no self-respecting terrorist -- and I'm being sarcastic -- would even dream of using imans to achieve terrorist goals. Wouldn't it be, um, like waving a red flag in front of a bunch of racists? Much, much smarter to use people who don't have a large target painted on their flowing robes.

    Many, many times I have sat separately from my travelling companions -- it's called overbooking or not being able to get two seats together.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific breeze View Post
    I don't believe for a minute that they heard them talking about Saddam Hussein and cursing the United States, unless of course, the average American bound for Phoenix speaks Arabic. That sounds like something added after the fact to make their lynch-mob mentality more acceptable.

    I often curse when I'm in airports, and I'm wagering that so do most people given what unpleasant places they tend to be.

    I often move about and confer with people while waiting to board -- since when is that suspicious?

    As for the seat extenders -- isn't it up to the crew to determine if they should be handed out, and why?

    Oh, I forgot, I'm not a Muslim wearing robes. I'm just an ordinary white woman WHO COULD JUST AS EASILY BE CARRYING A BOMB AS ANYBODY ELSE. In fact, I'd bet that no self-respecting terrorist -- and I'm being sarcastic -- would even dream of using imans to achieve terrorist goals. Wouldn't it be, um, like waving a red flag in front of a bunch of racists? Much, much smarter to use people who don't have a large target painted on their flowing robes.

    Many, many times I have sat separately from my travelling companions -- it's called overbooking or not being able to get two seats together.
    The six imams were taken off a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight on Nov. 20 while returning home from a conference of Islamic clerics in Minneapolis.

    while i understand and agree with most of what you say, they did request the extenders. it should be everyones right to report suspicious behavior, unfounded or not. its sad that it had to happen, but as long as its an alternate way of making me safe, then thats the way it has to be. i dont care if they are black, white, or polka dotted, if i'm worried, i'm speaking up
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i can't quite make up my mind about this. i definitely do believe that people have prejudices and preconceived notions about certain ethnic groups, and these days it's mostly about muslims. security personnel do resort to racial profiling.
    at the same time, terrorism and terror alerts and heightened security are a fact of life since 9-11 and there are signs asking people to report suspicious behaviour and people's definitions of 'suspicious' can vary wildly, and these suspicions may be based on people's prejudices but as long as you're asking people to report, you can't allow them to be sued if they do and it turns out they were wrong.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Silver Member provence's Avatar
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    Oops! Don't mind me...just passing through.
    Last edited by provence; April 1st, 2007 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Deleted my post because I think the guy I quoted was a quack.

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    The airline was absolutely right to remove them from the plane. In fact, I can't believe that people are even questioning it. It is deeply troubling to me that it's gotten to the point where people are criticized for voicing their (legitimate) concerns about situations such as these. I can only pray that my family or I are never on a flight where a group of men who fit the exact physical profile of 100% of the 9/11 hijackers are demonstrating such suspicious behavior and people are too afraid of not being politically correct to speak up about it.

    There was a lot more to this situation that wasn't in this article. And this wasn't just one person complaining. It was multiple people. Their behavior was extremely suspicious and I honestly believe that they were either planning some sort of attack or trying to inspire fear so they could get a lawsuit out of it. I received an email about this from my dad about a month ago that has a lot more information. It is from a conservative website (theconservativevoice.com) so I'm sure some people will immediately debunk it as "biased" but I just thought it was worth sharing:

    Monday, November 20, 2006 was a gray, cloudy day in Minneapolis, the kind of day that people in the South picture as being typical of that time of year in Minnesota, and Pauline Klemmer was on her way home to Arizona after an all-too-brief visit with family and friends in Minneapolis – all those aunts, uncles, cousins, and high school classmates who hadn’t as yet moved on to warmer climates.

    Pauline’s U.S. Airways flight to Phoenix, Flight 300, was scheduled for departure at 5:15 PM. However, assuming that the airport would be crowded with Thanksgiving week travelers, she planned her arrival at the airport for 3:45 PM. This, she thought, would give her ample time to check her bags, get a seat assignment and boarding pass, and make her way through the long lines at the TSA airport security check.


    Arriving at the airport just ahead of Pauline were six bearded men, all of apparent Middle Eastern descent. They were returning to Arizona after attending a weekend conference of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) at the Ramada Inn Mall of America in Minneapolis.

    After passing through airport security, the Imams proceeded to the departure gate where they took seats immediately behind the check-in counter. From the moment they arrived, according to reports of other passengers, the men were engaged in excited conversation, and at one point they began to chant and pray together, reminiscent of the 9/11 hijackers, causing great alarm among the other passengers.

    Having stopped for a snack at a concourse restaurant, Pauline Klemmer proceeded to the gate area and took the only available seat, next to the six Imams. She noted that, while five of the six Imams spoke incessantly in Arabic, the other, identified as Dr. Omar Shahin, Director of the Islamic Center of Tucson, paced back and forth in front of her, talking on a cell phone. (The Islamic Center of Tucson was once headed by Wael Hamza Julaidan, now Director of Logistical Planning for Usama bin Laden)


    When the gate agent announced the boarding of first class passengers, all six of the Imams boarded the plane, even though only one had a first class ticket. And when they were aboard the aircraft they didn’t sit together; instead, they positioned themselves at locations throughout the plane: one in the first row of first class; one in the first row of the coach section, one half way back in the coach section; and three at the rear of the plane.

    As the remainder of the passengers were boarding, the Imam seated on the first row of the first class cabin asked for a seat belt extender, as did another of the Imams seated in the rear of the aircraft. Other passengers and the flight attendants felt it was an odd request in that none of the Imams were sufficiently rotund as to require an extender – an 18 in. long web belt that could also be used to strangle a pilot or a flight attendant.

    When the seat belt extenders were delivered the Imams placed them on the floor near their feet.

    As passengers expressed growing concern, a note was passed to a flight attendant. A passenger seated near the rear of the plane became concerned when he overheard the Imams use the words “terrorist” and “Allah” in their conversation, while an Arabic-speaking woman overheard them making slanderous remarks about the American people.

    The highly suspicious behavior of the Imams resulted in a call to the FBI and the local police. Passengers were required to disembark, luggage was removed from the cargo hold and inspected by bomb-sniffing dogs, and the six Imams, claiming to have been “humiliated,” were required to book passage on a later flight.

    The attorney for the Imams, arriving within minutes of the incident, had a message for all Americans. He said that the American people need to “get over 9/11.” Yes, perhaps. The American people were attacked once before on American soil, with terrible loss of life and property, and we’ve pretty much gotten over it… but only after we defeated the perpetrators, utterly and completely.

    The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, local police, and the airline are now conducting thorough investigations. From what is already known, it appears that the incident was either a foiled hijack attempt, or it was a staged incident designed to create legal grounds for a lawsuit against the airline.
    Last edited by southernbelle; April 1st, 2007 at 09:10 PM.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Every single fucking one of the passengers should file countersuits and sue the shit out of the muslim six right back. Fucking bitch-men.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I've seen this drivel before and it's already been debunked with those little things known as "facts." The woman was proved to be a fake. Yawn.

    Somebody was seen talking on their cell phone and pacing -- that describes about half the known universe on any given day, especially in an airport.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    You should still have the right to report suspicious behavior if you see it. If someone does not like it then they can stay the fuck out of the country. I hope this backfires on the 'imams' and they recieve a hell of alot of grief because of it.

    *my anti-muslim bias is showing alittle I think..lol*
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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I'm all for reporting genuinely suspicious behavior. But there's a pretty fine line between racist hysteria and a real threat. Most of the behavior reported is a joke -- there were lots of credible passengers on that plane who also protested their removal. Just like there were a lot of passengers on the plane where an Arab man, who was clearly mentally ill and not on his meds and accompanied by his wife who explained the situation, was shot to death as he exited the plane by trigger-happy agents. Whose security, exactly, was protected that day?

    The real threats to security are before you get on the plane with the appalling lack of untrained people "responsible" for "screening" passengers, and the almost completely unguarded ports. All that security money gouged from taxpayers went straight into the Republican slush fund, with only a trickle of it actually going into legitimate security measures. And the same is true for Canada, minus the Repubs.

    That's what makes me truly afraid, not a few imans on their way to a conference. They were allowed into the country under the full weight of all the insane regulations they had to pass through etc. So is what you are really saying that the U.S. government failed to protect its own citizens by allowing these people into the country, never mind that they then boarded a plane within the U.S.? That would make more sense.

    The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. The idea that they planned this to sue the airlines is more BS and a complete red herring used to justify a lynch mob mentality. Just because you are an Arab, does NOT mean you are a terrorist. Period.

    If those men had been white fundamentalists preaching hate, nobody would have batted an eye.

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    Their behavior was suspcious enough to cause multiple passengers to raise concerns about it and that is grounds for removal. I haven't seen anything that indicates to me that passengers were overreacting. It wasn't just "pacing on a cell phone" that raised concerns. It was the SERIES of bizarre and suspicious actions that took place once they boarded the aircraft, several of which were similar to behaviors exhibited by the 9/11 hijackers and indicated a possible terrorist situation.

    There is a line between racist hysteria and a real threat, and this incident was indisputably on the side of "real threat."

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yeah, i dont think any of us can actually say that, given that we werent there to witness it.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Again, if they were a real threat, then why were they allowed into the country in the first place? Just trying to be logical....

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    Are you kidding? Plenty of terrorists (including some of the 9/11 terrorists) are "allowed into the country to begin with." They can get in for various reasons including but not limited to education, school, work, and family. Some terrorists are even born here. That argument makes no sense.

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