Flying While Muslim: Two Imams Thrown Off Flight To Conference To Discuss Islamophobia

Two Muslim religious leaders were tossed off a Delta flight in Memphis after a pilot refused to take off with the men on board. Imam Masudur Rahman and Imam Mohamed Zaghloul, of the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis were told that they could not reboard the flight after it returned to the gate. It is the latest example of discrimination against Muslims due to their appearance.

The men were allowed to board the Delta Connection flight from Memphis, Tennessee, to Charlotte, North Carolina. They were headed to conference discussing Islamophobia or fears of Islam and discrimination against American Muslims. Delta helpfully supplied a roaring example for discussion groups.

Rahman said that Delta officials spoke with the pilot for 30 minutes but the pilot continued to refuse to fly with the men. They were allowed to board a later flight and Delta apologized for the pilot’s conduct.

The flight was operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, which is investigating the incident. However, since Delta makes people fly these contractor airlines when they book with Delta, it is Delta that must take responsibility for this action.

Source: Daily Mail

44 thoughts on “Flying While Muslim: Two Imams Thrown Off Flight To Conference To Discuss Islamophobia”

  1. the pilots overreacted of course. While anyone with a modicum of common sense and a healthy absence of PC BS will say that profiling MUST be taken into account as other countries do, that doesn’t mean you take only clothing into account. Nor does it mean that people are automatically and arbitrarily thrown off the plane. Use profiling along with other investigative techniques and even some randomness to single out people for a more thorough search, not for outright exiling them.

    Picking the 2 Imams off just because they were Imams is obscene to the nth degree, but the airlines are in a no-win situation. People yell and scream and insist that the airlines don’t perform overly-invasive searches, that they treat a 3-year old Amish girl to be equally as likely to be a terrorist as a sweaty, nervous 19-year old on a one-way ticket paid with cash. People get upset about security protocols that inconvenience them or that seem to be or are unfair. However when something happens those same people are quick to blame the airlines for not have strict enough security to prevent it and proceed to sue the airlines.

    We need to come up with some set of methods in the middle that will be acceptable to the majority of the passengers without completely sacrificing safety or our basic civil rights or even common decency.

    I would also add that no matter what method is used for security, it should be performed by trained experts. It should not be left to the pilots’ discretion except for very rare unusual circumstances. Sadly Delta will be sued when they had nothing to do with what happened. The pilot should be the one sued and fired.

  2. I have personally witnessed the crucifixion of women trying to vote after they have gone to school. I have seem women stoned for not adhering to the customs of my practice.

  3. “paranoia strikes deep … into your heart it will creep …” (Buffalo Springfield)

  4. It seems to me that they have had to power all along.

  5. As someone said earlier on another thread, “Wake me up when it’s over.” If there’s anything left, that is…

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Bin Laden’s death doesn’t end his fear-mongering value
    by Glenn Greenwald


    So Al Qaeda breathes the word “trains” and Schumer jumps and demands the creation of a massive, expensive and oppressive new Security State program to keep thousands and thousands of people off trains. The “no-fly” list has been nothing short of a Kafkaesque disaster: with thousands of people secretly placed on it without any explanation or real recourse, oftentimes causing them to be stranded in faraway places and unable to return home.

    To replicate that for trains — all because some documents mentioned them among thousands of other ideas Al Qaeda has undoubtedly considered over the years — is hysteria and ludicrous over-reaction of the highest order. Trains can obviously be attacked without boarding them (indeed, these documents apparently discussed tampering with the rails, which wouldn’t require boarding the trains at all). And if there’s a “no-ride” list for Amtrak, why not for subways and buses, too? If Al Qaeda is found to have discussed targeting restaurants, will we have a no-eat list? If Al Qaeda is found to have discussed targeting large intersections or landmarks, will we have a no-walk list? How about a no-shop list in response to the targeting of malls?

    But this, more or less, encapsulates the U.S. response to Terrorism since 9/11: the minute Al Qaeda utters a peep about anything, the political class collectively jumps to restrict our freedoms, empower the Government, and bankrupt ourselves in self-destructive pursuit of the ultimate illusion: Absolute Security. Al Qaeda has caused us to do more harm to ourselves than it could have ever dreamed of imposing on its own. And even in death, Osama bin Laden continues to serve as the pretext for all of this.

  6. A Continental flight bound for Chicago from Houston made an unscheduled stop in St. Louis because of an “unruly passenger,” a St. Louis airport spokesman said Sunday.

    The man tried to reach the exit door during the flight but was stopped by a flight attendant. The plane landed at St. Louis and the man was taken off the plane for questioning by airport police and federal authorities.

  7. If this happened this weekend the pilot may have had his fear heightened because of a number of diversionary flights that occurred over the weekend.

    Passengers on Diverted Flight Feared Explosion

    Some passengers on Sunday’s Delta Flight 1706 feared that the plane would explode. The flight was scheduled to land in San Diego from Detroit Sunday but was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico after a potential security threat.

    Passengers said fears of a bomb on the plane intensified after the plane was landed in New Mexico.

    “We’re starting to see fire trucks gather, and medical people and who knows what, but far way. 200 yards away from us probably. And we’re thinking, ‘Are we gonna blow up while we’re waiting out there? Why are they waiting so far away? They think that we’re going to blow up.’ It was really scary,” said San Diego resident Michelle Gross who took the early flight to spend more of Mother’s Day in San Diego.

  8. What a sad frightened little country the USA has become….so very sad.

  9. Wasn’t that the title to a old song by Mason Proffit? “Two Imams’s hanging from a Delta tree”??? You have to be a certain age to know that song!

  10. “Two Imams Thrown Off Flight To Conference To Discuss Islamophobia”

    It’s simple irony, but I get a kick out of it nonetheless.

    And what Gyges said about the “BOO!” test.

  11. Too Much Fear? Package Threat Forces Evacuation Of Dallas DART Station
    Passengers Alert Authorities To Man Asking For Help Carrying Packages

    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Mockingbird DART station and the surrounding area, including the Angelika Theater, were evacuated Saturday after a police dog alerted authorities to a passenger onboard with two suspicious packages, a spokesman said.

    Riders traveling through downtown stations reportedly expressed alarm after a man asked them for help carrying a duffel bag and a large box.

    Bomb technicians with the Dallas Police Department determined the packages were not a threat about two hours after the evacuation, said DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

    “He was actually trying to pay people to help him get packages on and off the train,” Lyons said.

    The man with the packages remained with DPD through the afternoon, though he was not arrested.

  12. I hope Delta has to dig deep because that is the only way they will ever have an incentive to stop this outrageous conduct. -rafflaw

    Yes. Because in the end, it’s usually about money and/or power…

  13. I propose an addition to the tests pilots must have to take: Have a dark skinned guy with a beard jump out at them yelling “BOO” while they’re on their way to the bathroom, if they wet themselves, don’t let them fly.

  14. I sure hope Delta has paid their insurance bills, because I see nothing here that would allow Delta and its agents to deny these clergymen from flying. TSA approved them and they are not on the do not fly list(as of yet) so get ready to pay some money. I hope Delta has to dig deep because that is the only way they will ever have an incentive to stop this outrageous conduct.

  15. The comments to the Daily Mail article run the gamut, but some of them point to the larger problem with which we’re dealing…

    Captain, if you are reading this, I solute you sir!! “Take off” is optional… “landing” is mandatory. Tell the PC loonies to fly their own plane.

    – DynoDan, Tulsa, OK. USA, 09/5/2011 03:25

    Good for the pilot.

    – patrick oneill, Hatfield Hwerts., 09/5/2011 12:37


    Psst. DynoDan, I doubt that it’s your knowledge of chemistry which led to the aforementioned “I solute you” error.

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