Man To Be Criminally Charged After Jokingly Says “Allahu Akbar” in Boarding Ryanair Flight

280px-Ryanair.svgI have previously written about the myth created by TSA that jokes at an airport security point about bombs constitute a crime.  In an odd twist, nine men have been thrown off an early-morning Ryanair flight to Madrid after one of them shouted “Allahu Akbar” “as a joke.”  However, the phrase simply means “God is Great.” Nevertheless, the men appear to have thought it was funny to use the phrase associated with terrorist attacks.


The men were leaving Zaventem airport in Brussels at 7am when one of them used the phrase.  The plane was then held for several hours and all the passengers taken off the plane.  All the luggage was taken off as the bomb squad and checked by sniffer dogs.

Now one of the men will be charged with the crime of causing a false bomb scare. However, he never mentioned a bomb and clearly indicated at the time that it was a joke.  Indeed, it would be rather off for a terrorist to scream Allahu Akbar when boarding the plane.

Do you feel that such jokes warrant criminal charges?

54 thoughts on “Man To Be Criminally Charged After Jokingly Says “Allahu Akbar” in Boarding Ryanair Flight”

  1. Ridiculous. Reminds me of the scene in “Meet the Parents” about the officious airline attendant who insisted “you can’t say ‘bomb’ on a plane.” This behavior by officials only serves to inspire more rebellion and disrespect.

    1. What is ridiculous is reading about, purportedly, grown men and women seeking to sow their oats on commercial flights with bizarre and outrageous outbursts and temperature tantrums. If you have a problem following rules that you may not like or understand, respecting authority and conducting yourself according a set of rules and regulations, do all of us, who are members of the flying public a favor–stay off of commercial flights. Drive, walk or simply stay at home. . .your failure to follow even the most basic of instructions and protocol, while the rest of us are trapped with you, in a flying aluminum tube, is getting old.

    1. Just how would you carry out this idea? Inquisitors at the door of every airplane, train, and subway? But what if people lied? Maybe you would exclude people if you **think** they might be Muslim?

  2. What if he had just said the same thing in a language other than Arabic? There is such a thing as over reacting. I think this an obvious instance of that. The man was stupid to have made a joke like that but it was not criminal and pressing charges of any kind because employees over reacted is ill advised.

  3. While I understand why it caused a stir, and that these guys are idiots, I have a hard time with criminal charges. Maybe the airline should file a civil suit against them for losses due to the delay. Then there is no issue with criminalizing speech, and these meatheads get slapped.

  4. Well, you could always give these chaps a five second head start in front of a posse made up of the other passengers on that plane.

  5. Up the rules and laws of the country and the airlines. Is it your language? Time to grow up and leave rat days behind.

  6. It’s poor taste. I can see making them take a later flight but criminal charges seem ridiculous. I know this is not in the US so no first amendment. Even in USA, you would get kicked off the plane. Is there a clear and present danger that would allow for charges here? My guess is only if it caused a panic and injuries ensued.

    1. It may have meant ‘God Is Great’ in the past but not it also means “I’m wearing an explosives vest.” Just as when growing if someone said you suck I would have punched them out and lo and behold came home from a two year overseas stint to hear and do exactly that. So now it means…whatever? I usually just look at the speaker and think, ‘Yes you do.” For a nickle or a dime….

    2. At a time much closer to 9/11 than today a member of my ski group said the word bomb in a joke that was overheard. Those talking to the individual were temporarily detained and quickly questioned before they got on the plane. The offender was taken off the plane and permitted to ride on the next available one. There is a butterfly effect to these seemingly innocent comments because such comments can cause an entire plane to be delayed and that can mean that others miss their connections and are delayed for another day which means that those dependent upon them can have similar problems with similar results.

    1. Roscoe, though I have mentioned it before, don’t you think there is a difference between words that pump adrenaline and words that cause people to think?

      1. Allan, if the universality of God Is Great delivered in Arabic is an instant trigger that a terrorist act is about to happen then we have failed miserably to educate our public about the concept of chance. 19 of the hijackers on 911 were from Saudi Arabia and our government has shown no causality between the government of Saudi Arabia and those hijackers then why should there be connection whatsoever from ANYONE who utters those words in Arabic and an imminent threat.
        Greater tangible actions and connections can be made about the main actors and an Arabic speaking country/ally of ours that annihilated 3500 Americans and they weren’t, so why bother with words?

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