I 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?