Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Flying Imams Under The Microsope

CAIR tool Omar Shahin with a Qur'an. What could possibly go wrong?

If you are not familiar with the case of the "Flying Imams", this article provides the background:

Most Americans remember the Nov. 20, 2006, spectacle of the half-dozen Muslim clerics who were kicked off a US Airways Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight after engaging in behavior that alarmed both passengers and crew before takeoff. Many on board feared the imams – who prayed loudly in Arabic, refused to sit in their assigned seats, fanned out in the cabin in pairs to occupy the front, middle and rear exit rows, ordered seat-belt extenders they didn't need, criticized the Iraq war and President Bush, talked about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden and other disconcerting behaviors – were testing security procedures in a dry run for a future hijacking.

The imams, who insisted they were acting innocently, were booted off the plane, detained for several hours and questioned by airport police, the FBI and Secret Service, and prevented from booking a later flight on US Airways.

As a result, in a high-profile lawsuit championed by CAIR [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] and argued by a CAIR-affiliated attorney, the "flying imams" brought suit against not only US Airways and the airport authority, but even the fearful passengers, or "John Does," who had simply reported the suspicious activity.

Outraged at the obvious chilling effect the case had on citizens who had been encouraged post-9/11 to be vigilant about security, Congress passed a law to protect citizens from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior to law enforcement. The passengers were subsequently dropped from the case.

But after Judge Ann Montgomery of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota ruled the "John Doe" law didn't immunize law enforcement officers named in the "flying imam" lawsuit, the case went forward.

Today, both sides announced that an out-of-court settlement involving payment to the imams had been reached, though the amount was undisclosed per mutual agreement.

That such a lawsuit would have a deleterious effect on effective airport security is obvious, but the issues don't stop there. The linked article goes on to further investigate the chilling possibility that the entire event - beginning with the imams getting on the plane and deliberately acting suspiciously - was orchestrated by CAIR in order to drum up sympathy for Muslims and to intimidate non-Muslims into ignoring or downplaying suspicious behaviour by Muslims at airports. The express intent, in other words, was to help make it easier for jihadists to commit terrorist atrocities.

The article, inspired by a recently released book called Muslim Mafia by P.David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, provides some alarming details:

"Rewind to 1999," says "Muslim Mafia." "That year, two Muslim college students were removed from an America West flight to Washington from Phoenix after twice attempting to open the cockpit. The FBI later suspected it was a 'dry run' for the 9/11 hijackings, according the 9/11 Commission Report."...

Representing the two Muslim students was none other than CAIR, which held a news conference condemning "this ugly case of racial profiling" and urging Muslims to boycott America West...

The plot gets thicker.

[Omar] Shahin [one of the Flying Imams] also knew both of the students who were kicked off the America West flight, as documented in "Muslim Mafia," which reports that Shahin ministered to them at his former mosque in Tucson, Arizona, where they had attended college on visas from Saudi Arabia. When they were arrested, Shahin rushed to their defense – along with CAIR.

Incredibly, reveals "Muslim Mafia," "Shahin has admitted to being a former supporter of Osama bin Laden while running the Saudi-backed Islamic Center of Tucson, which functioned as one of al-Qaida’s main hubs in North America."

FBI investigators believe bin Laden operated a cell at that same mosque. Hani Hanjour, the Saudi hijacker who piloted the plane that hit the Pentagon, worshipped there along with bin Laden’s one-time personal secretary, according to the 9/11 report. Bin Laden’s former chief of logistics was president of the mosque before Shahin took over...

Shahin, the spokesman for the six flying imams, is a native of Jordan, and currently leads the North American Imams Federation, or NAIF, a sister organization to CAIR, both controlled by the international Muslim Brotherhood, which federal authorities recognize as the parent organization of both al-Qaida and Hamas. In fact, Shanin was returning from a private NAIF conference in Minneapolis when he was removed from the flight. During the conference he had met with newly elected Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, who had just spoken the previous night at a CAIR event.

So a radical Muslim with connections to CAIR engages in a stunt with remarkable similarities to one that was perpetrated several years earlier by two people he happened to know personally, and then his CAIR associates are the ones who take up his defence, just as they had done in that previous case.

Those who would dismiss all this as mere conspiracy-mongering would do well to examine the radical background and history of CAIR. For more information on that, see here.

Also of concern is the connection of Shahin with Keith Ellison, America's only Muslim Congressman. But Ellison is also connected with CAIR, as well. See here.

These are worrying times indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment