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    23 November 2006
    What exactly did they expect??
    Six imams taken off US flight.

    Six imams who were performing evening prayers aboard an airplane were handcuffed and taken off the plane in an incident at Minneapolis-St Paul airport on Monday, media reports said yesterday.

    The reports said the six imams, who had attended a conference in the city, were on a plane about to fly back to Phoenix, Arizona, and had stood up to perform evening prayers.

    Alarmed passengers, regarding the action as "suspicious behaviour", alerted cabin crew who in turn alerted security staff who handcuffed the six and took them off the plane. The six were questioned for several hours and then released.

    The imams said they were removed from the flight "for no reason" and were "humiliated" by being handcuffed and taken off the plane in the view of other passengers.

    The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Islamic body in the US, condemned the incident as exposing the prejudices of other passengers and airplane personnel.

    I wonder what they were thinking, these imams. Were they not able to at least predict what was going to happen? They know what times we live in. They were in America, for goodness sake. In the country where 9/11 happened, and it wasn't long ago, and the people haven't forgotten yet. Was there such a need to stand up in a group in the airplane and start praying?? Why does it never happen on the plane in the Middle East? Most people who fly here are Muslims. Why have I never seen them do that? Why do I sometimes see Muslim people in the airplanes quietly praying in their seats without disturbing or alarming anyone? It can be done, you know. Last time I flew to Qatar, a man sitting not far from me performed his prayer, and I doubt anyone noticed, except me.

    Is it not akin to touching the hot plate and then complaining that it burns?

    Or am I wrong? Please enlighten me, my friends.
    posted by Bravecat @ 12:23 am  
    • At 23/11/2006, 02:03, Blogger Terror-Free said…

      Islamonazi CAIR Relentlessly Undermining Airline Security

      http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/videos/MS112106-2.php - MSNBC video

      Free Patriotic Corner Banners: http://www.terrorfreeoil.org/cb/

    • At 23/11/2006, 05:15, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      so most Muslims don't play on airplanes.
      But most most Muslims are not immams. By virtue of being immams, they are more religious, and therefore consider missing their prayer a big deal.

      Is it alarming behaviour? Maybe.
      Should it be? NO!

      and allowing people ot be alarmed by it.. you perpetuate the sterotype that all Muslims are terrorists.

      i don't blame the passengers for being alarmed. i blame them for being ignorant.
      i don't blame the men for praying, i blame them for expecting respect from an ignorant bunch

      or maybe you just caught me on angry day, and i would agree with you tomorrow.

    • At 23/11/2006, 05:42, Blogger NonArab-Arab said…

      Yes, you're wrong. I'm as pissed as anyone about the things my country is doing wrong in the Middle East and everywhere else, but bottom line is I believe in the Constitution, I believe in the Bill of Rights, I believe that every American is equal under the law and innocent of every crime until proven guilty. To see this racist rubbish just because somebody is praying (and I've heard versions that had them praying both before and after they got on the plane - the "after" versions having other passengers freaking out because of other even more minor issues) and my fellow American citizens are being a bunch of ignoramuses and religious bigots, well that ticks me off. Anyone can pray, any way they want so long as it doesn't harm anyone else. And "it makes me uncomfortable because of 9/11" is an idiotic, childish, unacceptable excuse. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech. These are the sorts of core absolutes that make America great (even if our murderous policies in the Middle East and destruction of these types of rights at places like Gitmo are dragging us down in the opposite direction). You do not deny those in America, under any circumstances, with any excuses. That's what I learned growing up in school, in church, in Boy Scouts, from my family, from my friends, and from the great leaders of America's past. Blowhard, brainless bigots like Mr. "Terror-Free" up there talk like they love America, but the truth is they hate it. They want to goose step around like Nazis with a program and a flag defined for them so they don't have to think and respect anyone different. That's not America. America is a country that respects all beliefs and gets riled up at one thing and one thing only: the denial of rights and beliefs to the downtrodden. That is what makes the American flag meaningful. Take it away, from Muslims or Japanese-Americans, or Latinos, or Irishmen, or Slavs, or Catholics, or Blacks, or any other group that has been downtrodden in America's past, and America grows weaker and the flag loses meaning beyond being a piece of cloth. I believe America is better than that, and 9/11 is a cowards cop-out when people despicably try to use it as an excuse to rip the Constitution of the United States to shreds just to justify their bigotry.

    • At 23/11/2006, 07:06, Blogger [m]att™ said…

      I don't believe America is better than that, to respond. Honestly, if you look at the actual history of the United States, you see that there are many instances since its inception that the government of the 'free world' has pursposefully worked to make the world a bit less free.

      I, however, believe that the immams were right to be arrested. It does come down to respecting different cultures, but these immams should have respected that they are NOT in their home country, and that things are not the same. This act of religious tradition was misunderstood, yes. However, those immams should have been aware of the country they are dealing with and the culture that they are visiting, and that some things should be done differently.

      When I travel abroad, I always make sure that I respect the traditions of that culture. Whether or not I agree with them. It's called being mature and appropriate. I don't walk around in a speedo on a beach in the Middle East, nor would I hold hands with my male partner in public there. Not because I agree with homophobia or with conservative attitudes, but because I respect the culture of the country I am visiting.

      It simply comes down to respect in this case. I respect they're religious obligations, and I respect that they must pray. But if you must, do it quietly and respectfully of the others and the culture you are in. For both the protection of yourself and others. Wether or not this is how the world SHOULD operate I'm not getting into, but this is how it is. Live with it and be a mature conscious adult !

    • At 23/11/2006, 07:39, Blogger { 13 } said…

      Im little confuse ..!? ..if they'r Immams so, they shOuld Know better ..i mean every muslim knOws that u do nOt have to pray inside the plane..!!..cuz theres no space to practice praying ...where did they stOod..??!!..even the "sit pray"that u saw it ..not necessary ....the rule here is that u pray before or after getting inside the plane ....and u can pray 2 prayers in case u fly fOr hOurs ex :the nOon pray and afternOon pray..or u can add them to next day ..but sOme ppl get the fear lets say ...that they might die in plan crash ..(im nOt kidding)..
      ...........and thats why theres nO "places"to pray in the Arab airplanes..!!...flying mOsques:-)..that will be somthing new..!

    • At 23/11/2006, 08:35, Blogger AmitL said…

      Hi,QC...personally, I think everyone's nerves are on edge, when in an aircraft...so,even a hint of suspicious behaviour is enough to trigger panic.Both parties were right in their own ways, one for religion,one for safety.

    • At 23/11/2006, 09:12, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      As ashamed as I am to admit it, but I would be really alarmed were I on that flight. By no means would I request the crew to take them out, I would be the one begging to let me off the plane with no luggage! I think you are absolutely right to disagree with me, and you are right - a prayer in itself is not an alarming behaviour. But I would cut you short where you say the men were wrong to expect respect from an ignorant bunch. You know where I live, and if I were religious (non-Muslim), I would have to keep my religion behind closed doors. There would be no kinds of public displays of it, including prayer. It is illegal and I WILL be arrested and probably deported. Will you go as far as to say that Qatari people and their government are an ignorant bunch and I shouldn't expect respect from them? I hope you'll have a better day tomorrow :P


      Whoah, this is a bit too American for me :)
      Now, I talked to someone who said that the word is out that the imams prayed in the lounge PRIOR to boarding. If this is the case, then I would be the first one screaming "racism" and "intolerance". But I believe there is a time and place for everything, including a prayer. And the airplane is NOT it. At least not now.


      You know, you can come to Qatar and hold your male partner's hand all you want :P :P After all, a lot of male locals walk around hand in hand! I am sure you saw that.

      On another note, I am not sure whether imams were not American, were they foreigners travelling? Not that it makes a difference but I think they were not. Still, especially if they are American, they could have predicted what was going to happen. I am not saying arresting people for praying is right, I am saying that by thinking one step ahead they could have prevented it. This brings me to the unpleasant thought that they knew all too well what was going to happen! Again, it's just a speculation provided they were indeed on a plane, and not in the lounge as I recently heard.


      Sweetie - but that's why I posted all that! Of course they know better. "Flying mosques" are a great idea, I suggest you push the idea to the government. Imagine the ad: Qatar Airways! The first airline that operates planes witn on-board mosques for all your religious needs! Actually you know, if they had one of those on-board mosques, none of this silly stuff would have happened.


      I would never argue the right of people to pray. NEVER. Whatever their beliefs, whatever the country they are in. But in the airplane??

    • At 23/11/2006, 09:45, Blogger Midget said…

      It's a double edged sword isn't it. Very easy to see both sides of the matter. On the one hand you have a highly paranoid American public, on the other hand you have highly religious and proud imams who make a point of praying when they are supposed to. What's the answer?

      The imams should have informed the cabin crew that they would be praying during the flight, that way the cabin crew could have announced it and my guess is the rest of the plane would have been fine.

      Perhaps if we all just started talking to each other instead of jumping to conclusions or assuming that the rest of the world knows what we are doing and how we feel when we don't there would be less instances like this.

      But hey, what do I know. If I saw 6 imams get up and pary I would yawn and go back to sleep.

    • At 23/11/2006, 09:51, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      I see your point.

      But then again...
      America claims to be the land of the free, the land of civil liberties, the melting pot of multiculturalism and all that bullshit. It's bullshit of course, but atleast that claim is made.

      In Qatar.. I'm not sure that applies.

      I'm not trying to argue- i'm just making a point.. this stuff is complicated and multi-faceted and cannot be explained in a simple binary.

      I don't pretend to have any answers.. I just babble and see what comes out :P

    • At 23/11/2006, 10:16, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      I know you would :P


      I know the worth of America's claims to the "free", the "brave", the "multicultural", etc. (insert ROFLing smiley here). America's claims to any of the above are irrelevant here. If I were to argue semantics which have little if anything at all to do with this situation I would have asked why we have to hold Americans to a higher standard of tolerance than most Middle Eastern countries, for instance. So ok America claims to be the blah, the blah and finally the blah but what do Middlge Eastern countries do? Right, they do the same. The nature of their claims is slightly different, but the claims are there. The countries of God, family, peace and virtue. Blah blah blah.

      Oh and I am not arguing at all - I just want to hear what you have to say on the subject, and learn about other perceptions of this case.

    • At 23/11/2006, 10:40, Blogger NonArab-Arab said…

      The point is not that America "is" all those lofty ideals I mentioned (I'm the first among my friends to point out the centuries of failings right up to the present), the point is that those are the ideals we are *supposed* to live. Those Imams are Americans, it is their right by law and ideal to pray, that's what America is supposed to be. Anyone who doesn't like those ideals and would rather be robots, those people trying to stamp out rights and not the ones trying to live their rights are the ones who should leave.

    • At 23/11/2006, 10:47, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      Me thinks you're taking it a tad too far. This is not about their right to pray. They do have the right, obviously, and denying them this right would be a blatant opression.
      My point here is not that. What I want to know is whether standing up in a group aboard the airplane to pray was a smart move. We already figured out it is not a religious requirement (see comments above). If it isn't - then what was it for?

    • At 23/11/2006, 11:12, Anonymous fish said…

      Of course they were being idiotic. What a stupid thing to do!!! it's even more inexcusable that IMAMS of all people would commit such an ingnorant blunder. Muslims aren't even required to stand up for prayers inside planes (tains, busses, etc..). I've seen many pray while travelling..but had it not been for my familiarity with the whole thing, I wouldn't have ever guessed that these people were doing anything but "spacing out".

    • At 23/11/2006, 14:29, Anonymous Drima said…

      Hey I'm Muslim and I say those imams were dumb. They wanted this to happen. Hell they probably planned it.

      Yes, they can pray and they should be encouraged to but they should be more encouraged to use some COMMON SENSE!

    • At 23/11/2006, 15:30, Blogger Sever said…

      You know that I'm with you.

      It seems to me the more problems (Islamic problems let me add it) we have, the more such actions we can see.
      I can understand - it's a kind of their reaction to let people know that they don't care of anything because they don't do anything wrong.
      In this they are right.

      & yes, I did not see anyone praying in a plane.
      But I simply can't understand how people can pray when there are others around.
      But that's a muslim thing, yes, they feel free.

      I'm not offended when a man opens my bag & searcching & searching for something. Because I understand why it's so.

      Imams are not silly people.
      They knew what they were doing.

    • At 23/11/2006, 23:06, Anonymous jack said…

      Next time a priest gets on a plane with muslims praying he should start holding "mass".

      Then lets see who gets upset ... who's ignorant ... who's intolerant!

      Oh yea and do it on Saudi Airways.

    • At 24/11/2006, 03:32, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      obviously... you.

    • At 24/11/2006, 03:38, Blogger Fo0f said…

      Dear QC,
      To answer ur question; The imamas were thinking of God :) and they WERE humiliated! And being mistreated!! I think thats being super unfair to them, I thought the US was a free country!!
      ~Btw, people who pray setting, are supposed to be handicapped or got knee problems, a healthy person shouldn't do so. And we can pray after we arrive, Islam allows a person who's travelling to pray later, but since they were imams, which means they were more into Islam, they didnt feel ok not praying on time :)

    • At 24/11/2006, 08:59, Anonymous jack said…

      Confused arab chick,

      I'm not uset ...
      I'm not ignorant about Islam ...
      I am intolerant about Islams true agenda ... ;)


    • At 24/11/2006, 13:26, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Fish & Drima,

      Is it because you are both from the same country that you think alike? :P
      No, really, this is what I was thinking myself. Maybe, just maybe, they weren't smart enough to predict what was going to happen to them? Which brings me to the next comment:


      This sounds disturbingly believable: Imams are NOT stupid. They knew what was going to happen. They did it on purpose to make a mess. If that is so - then that's exactly what happened. I only hope it is not true, because if it is - then it's ugly.

      Jack & Chica,

      Actually, Jack makes more sense in your exchange, Chica. He simply described the same case where the parties exchange. Leave alone the fact that the priest won't be allowed to enter Saudi to begin with. Gives another meaning to the words "ignorance" and "intolerance", doesn't it? Lets be fair, ok?
      However, fairness of treatment brings us to the next comment, sweet Fo0f:


      OF COURSE the imams were mistreated and humiliated! But that is exactly where American system came to play. There were other ways of dealing with the imams, obviously, other than handcuffing and marching them out of the plane. No argument there. They haven't done anything criminal per se to be taken off the flight! I mean, I can stand up and start reciting Shakespeare midflight and I doubt I will be taken off the plane at the nearest airport. However, their behaviour did rise suspicions. They were not in a Muslim country where this behaviour could be the norm (it isn't, even here).
      But, as we have already figured out, doing what they did wasn't necessary religion-wise. And interesting how some Muslim commentators here have different views of what the actual religious requirement of prayer during travelling is.


      Blah. Yes they are going to conquer the world, just like Alexander, Adolf, Genghis and Mormons did before them.

    • At 24/11/2006, 15:49, Blogger Forsoothsayer said…

      to that guy who wrote about respect:
      you should be free to do anything you wnt as long as it is legal - and prayer shoudn't be illegal, in qatar or in the united states. arrested! what has the united states come to? i hope someone sues the airline's ass...and they'd win. hands down.

    • At 24/11/2006, 21:08, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      you are intolerant. period.
      just like people on the other side who lap up a good conspiracy theory- you seem to enjoy doing the same and dehumanizing "the other". whatever lets you sleep at night.

      just because the Saudi government is intolerant (and it is), and priests would not be permitted to enter the country (which i shouldn't need to say is wrong, because it obviously is)- doesn't justify the same behaviour on the other end.. atleast not if we live in a civilised society, right?

      fact of the matter is, people were handcuffed for praying. that is intolerant, regardless of the context.

      as for religious requirements, my understanding is that Muslims don't have to pray while travelling (this was because traveling used to be very tough 1400 years ago)- since this is no longer the case, different people interpret the rules different ways.

      im sick of all this intolerance. and im not just gabbing about the brown man or the white man. everyone is fucking guilty. everybody has a prejeduce.
      humanity needs a slap in the face...

      a friend of mine was suggesting that aliens attack, might remind us that we're all on this earth together, whether we like it or not.
      at this point, sounds like a damn good idea to me.
      so long as we kick some alien ass, of course :P

    • At 24/11/2006, 21:44, Anonymous jack said…

      "fact of the matter is, people were handcuffed for praying. that is intolerant, regardless of the context."

      Your "facts" are wrong again. They were handcuffed for refusing to leave the plane when ordered by the authorities ... not for praying.

    • At 25/11/2006, 05:38, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      Ok then.. I'll rephrase:

      "fact of the matter is, people were kicked off a plane for praying. that is intolerant, regardless of the context."


    • At 25/11/2006, 06:36, Anonymous jack said…

      Not only for "praying"

      "Homeland Security: Kudos to US Airways. Risking fines and a boycott, it did the right thing this week by removing a group of Muslim men from a flight to protect its crew and passengers.

      By most accounts, the six bearded men were behaving suspiciously at a time when airports were on high alert for sky terror during the holidays. "There were a number of things that gave the flight crew pause," an airline spokesman said. According to witnesses and police reports, the men:

      • Made anti-American statements.

      • Made a scene of praying and chanting "Allah."

      • Asked for seat-belt extensions even though a flight attendant thought they didn't need them.

      • Refused requests by the pilot to disembark for more screening.

      Also, three of the men had only one-way tickets and no checked baggage.

      Police had to forcibly remove the men from the flight, whereupon they were taken into custody. A search found no weapons or explosives, and they were released to continue on their journey.

      Within hours, the men enlisted a Muslim-rights group to make a stink in the press, insisting they were merely imams returning home from an Islamic conference in Minneapolis. They say they were "harassed" because of their faith.

      But were they victims or provocateurs?

      All six claim to be Americans, so clearly they were aware of heightened security. Surely they knew that groups of Muslim men flying together while praying to Allah fit the modus operandi of the 9/11 hijackers and would make a pilot nervous. Throw in anti-U.S. remarks and odd demands about seat belts, and they might as well have yelled, "Bomb!"

      Yet they chose to make a spectacle. Why? Turns out among those attending their conference was Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who will be the first Muslim sworn into Congress (with his hand on the Quran). Two days earlier, Ellison, an African-American convert who wants to criminalize Muslim profiling, spoke at a fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim-rights group that wasted no time condemning US Airways for "prejudice and ignorance."

      CAIR wants congressional hearings to investigate other incidents of "flying while Muslim." Incoming Judiciary Chairman John Con-yers, D-Mich., has already drafted a resolution, borrowing from CAIR rhetoric, that gives Muslims special civil-rights protections.

      While it's not immediately clear whether the incident was a stunt to help give the new Democratic majority cover to criminalize airport profiling, it wouldn't be the first time Muslim passengers have tried to prove "Islamophobia" — or test nerves and security.

      Two years ago a dozen Syrian men caused panic aboard a Northwest Airlines flight by passing bags to each other as they used the lavatory. As the plane prepared to land, they rushed to the back and front of the plane speaking in Arabic.

      Then there's the case of Muhammed al-Qudhaieen and Hamdan al-Shalawi, two Arizona college students removed from an America West flight after twice trying to open the cockpit. The FBI suspected it was a dry run for the 9/11 hijackings, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. One of the students had traveled to Afghanistan. Another became a material witness in the 9/11 investigation.

      Even so, the pair filed racial-profiling suits against America West, now part of US Airways. Defending them was none other than the leader of the six imams kicked off the US Airways flight this week.

      Turns out the students attended the Tucson, Ariz., mosque of Sheikh Omar Shahin, a Jordan native. Shahin has been the protesters' public face, even returning to the US Airways ticket counter at the Minneapolis airport to scold agents before the cameras.

      In an Arizona Republic interview after 9/11, he acknowledged once supporting Osama bin Laden through his mosque in Tucson. FBI investigators believe bin Laden set up a base in Tucson.

      Hani Hanjour, who piloted the plane that hit the Pentagon, attended the Tucson mosque along with bin Laden's onetime personal secretary, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. Bin Laden's ex-logistics chief was president of the mosque before Shahin took over.

      "These people don't continue to come back to Arizona because they like the sunshine or they like the state," said FBI agent Kenneth Williams. "Something was established there, and it's been there for a long time." And Shahin appears to be in the middle of it.

      CAIR asserts the imams are peace-loving patriots. "It's inappropriate to treat religious leaders that way," a spokesman said.

      Yeah, they all wear halos. Omar Abdul-Rahman, a blind sheikh, is serving a life term for plotting to blow up several New York landmarks. Imam Ali al-Timimi, a native Washingtonian, is also behind bars for soliciting local Muslims to kill fellow Americans. Imams in New York were recently busted for buying shoulder-fired missiles. Another in Lodi, Calif., planned an al-Qaida terror camp there.

      We could go on and on. Imams or not, US Airways did right by its customers. Shahin is calling on Muslims to boycott the airline; that might actually work in its favor. US Airways has been flooded with calls from Americans saying it just became the safest airline."

      Yes better ...

    • At 25/11/2006, 08:13, Anonymous tommy said…

      These folks are associated with CAIR. CAIR is an organization with a long history of fabricating hate crimes and the like to garner public sympathy.


      Investor's Business Daily sums up the case quite nicely:

      Tucker Carlson goes after CAIR on the incident:

    • At 25/11/2006, 10:36, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I wonder where your sources for all this info comes from.. and I doubt I would find them credible-
      I assume cat is getting pretty annoyed by now, so unless she says otherwise, I will stop this drama.

    • At 25/11/2006, 10:39, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      I wonder where your sources for all this info comes from.. and I doubt I would find them credible-
      I assume cat is getting pretty annoyed by now, so unless she says otherwise, I will stop this drama.

    • At 25/11/2006, 11:06, Anonymous jack said…

      "I will stop this drama."

      And that is what CAIR has done in every lawsuit when the other side did not back down and was willing to go to court and resolve the issue.

      The Andrew Whitehead Anti-Cair case and the recent Cair-Can case.

      Every time it becomes obvious they will have to disclose their financial records in court ... they (CAIR) stops the drama. ;)

    • At 25/11/2006, 13:07, Blogger Nzingha said…

      1. different reports, one of which states only three of the six (who boarded seperately except one blind man) prayed in the terminal. Not on the plane.

      Regardless should Muslims "know better" not to pray on a plane? I've prayed on the plane, slid in the back while attendents were serving. Should I, a mother of four on vacation should "know better" and fear my fellow passangers and their panik? Would others applaud and agree I should have been arrested, we being on a plane and I being Muslim and all? Should I have 'known' being an educated Muslim that praying isn't required never mind I may have just wanted to? How much should Mulsims compromise and hide to make people feel safe?? Who is to judge that?

      2. Mr. man was detained on his flight recently in London. He and two friends, both older educated Arab men all flying into an Arab country. All three held, belogings confiscated, interroagated and insulted for hours, all seen as a threat. While I waited for the arrival of Mr. Man and calming down his excited children wanting only to see baba I get a call that he won't make it. They didn't pray in the terminal, didn't speak about politics or even loudly, they were just Arabs taking a flight but they were stopped. Right thing to do?

      No I don't sympathize with peoples fear of Muslims. I don't sympathize with much of peoples bigoted nature. And yes ignorant, for this is what being a bigot is based on.

      A CAIR conspiracy? Did Cair force people to react the way they did? Did CAIR force a passanger to pass a note to the crew "Suspicious Arab Men". Did CAIR make people over hear the ever so popular "Anti American speech" that every non Muslim hears by Muslims in every situation even if it isn't in a language they don't understand?

      How about making a "muslim" flight and a "non Muslim" flight. I'm sure Saudi can tell them how to do it, they have "Muslim" roads and "Non Mulsim" roads for Mekkah.

      And nope, no way should we hold America up to its own claimed standards. No way should we hold them up to the standards in which the US claims its greatness. We should judge by the standards in which they claim to be so much better than.. comeon that doesn't make sense.

      I have no sympathy for the passengers today. I sympathize w/ these men and the hassle they have to go through as Muslims living in a Western country. And sadly I know there are others who will use it to their advantage to say how bad the US is.

    • At 25/11/2006, 13:16, Blogger Nzingha said…

      sorry QC it seems my fustration was taking out on the 'publish' button on blogger. Stupid thing wouldn't publish.. at least I thought :)

    • At 25/11/2006, 13:16, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Argh no not annoyed, Chica.

      A little confused because all I wanted to hear was what people have to say about the situation in the post. Not about entire history of Islam vs. West conflict. I don't want to be dragged into this conflict and take sides.

      It is impossible now to say who is right and who is wrong anyway, but I am a firm believer in common sense and tolerance, within sensible limits of course. So judging the case, who would you say displayed common sense, or its absense?

      I gave my opinion, and I wanted others to share theirs. Were those imams right to do what they did without thinking of consequences (or perhaps planning the consequences)? Were the American authorities right to remove them from the plane in handcuffs? Should the cabin crew have just ignored them, despite all that was going on (refer to Jack's list of the events)?

      But hey, I love reading your and Jack's exchanges.

    • At 25/11/2006, 13:26, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Thanks for the comment Nzingha, and yes I agree with you that they should have the right to pray whether standing or sitting or alone or together - praying is not a security threat.


      There was a better way of doing it, there should have been. Alert the cabin crew and let them know beforehand, or something. Don't make a spectacle.

      And as for different reports of what actually took place - this is something that I can't control. I took the article out of the local newspaper and my reaction was to what I read. I wasn't there and I didn't see it. I already said that if those men were praying in the terminal, and not on the plane, and were arrested - I'd be the first one complaining of the injustice and intolerance towards these men.

    • At 25/11/2006, 13:38, Blogger Nzingha said…

      reading that six guys stood up to pray on a plane sent me wondering. How could they? You can't unless your on Saudi Airlines where there is a space for prayer. There simply isn't enough space for the men to pray together. Which is what sent me searching for other reports, and what is said in other papers and makes more sense that three guys prayed in the terminal before they boarded the plane.

      Then they were removed from the plane.. after of course passenger passes a note "suspicious Arab men" and of course people than remember them talking loudly saying 'anti american' things.. yadda yadda.

      Of course again, Mr. Man was just detained.. I'm not sympathizing much having been on the other end of this 'fear'.

    • At 25/11/2006, 19:46, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      Right, so-
      whether or not these guys are associated with CAIR or now..
      passngers and cabin crew did not know that in advance.

      the fact is, they probably DIDNT pray on the plane, because its vitually imporrible for 6 people to line up and pray in a little aisle without causing mayham.

      im not surprised American Airlines is receiving so many calls for from so many bigots.. the same people who voted for bush and let him go bomb the living daylights out of Iraq, in order to create more angry Muslim youth who are easy prey to become terrorists.

      I suggest you start doing some reading. Serious reading- the academic type. Not, from neo-con websites which twist facts and distort the truth. Fact is, you can't run around accusing every Muslim of being a terrorist. You can't group 1.4 billion people under one umbrella.
      America is obviousy divided on these issues, as every recent election gets more and more heated.

    • At 25/11/2006, 20:29, Blogger palo-girl said…

      very interesting post.. i have seen some pretty disturbing comments on this post. i mean way to go, "i'm a muslim and i think the imams are dumb". yeah real smart way to go about it. lash out at your own and cuss at them - show them the loyalty mate! ^o)

      to be honest, Midget said it perfectly, "It's a double edged sword isn't it. Very easy to see both sides of the matter. On the one hand you have a highly paranoid American public, on the other hand you have highly religious and proud imams who make a point of praying when they are supposed to. What's the answer?

      The imams should have informed the cabin crew that they would be praying during the flight, that way the cabin crew could have announced it and my guess is the rest of the plane would have been fine.

      Perhaps if we all just started talking to each other instead of jumping to conclusions or assuming that the rest of the world knows what we are doing and how we feel when we don't there would be less instances like this.

      But hey, what do I know. If I saw 6 imams get up and pary I would yawn and go back to sleep." - perfect solution! i think communication is the biggest isuue here.

      and what's the whole 'respecting other cultures' got to do with it? since when does 'respecting' others mean ditching your own ideals - or hiding them?

    • At 25/11/2006, 20:33, Blogger palo-girl said…

      and i like the idea of the priests doing a mass on the Saudi airlines.. i wonder what that will cause?

    • At 25/11/2006, 23:05, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      First of all - welcome to Life in Qatar. Thanks for the comment and for sharing your views. One thing I don't understand is when you say "lash out at your own and cuss at them - show them the loyalty mate!". Are you trying to say that it is wrong to lash out at your own if they are (supposedly) wrong? Then who has the right to criticise if not "their own"? See, I can't say that because I am not a Muslim, although I may think that. You say that "their own" shouldn't criticise either. Then who can??


      As for hiding your identity to suit someone else - non Muslim people have to do it all the time in most Muslim countries. If I go to Saudi I will be expected to cover up (who cares what my identity is? I have to conform!) and I won't be able to go to church.

    • At 26/11/2006, 02:52, Anonymous jack said…

      "You can't group 1.4 billion people under one umbrella."

      No we can't. We can "conservatively" group 5-10% of that 1.4 billion under that umbrella. And those are the ones that openly speak out about jihad, that they belong and are proud to be under that umbrella.

      You do the math ... it's a few more than 6-6oo-6,000-60,000-600,000 ...6,000,000?

    • At 26/11/2006, 03:12, Anonymous jack said…

      A muslim man writes anti al-queda letter and they (muslims) toss him out of the mosque ... and that's right here in the USofA.


    • At 26/11/2006, 06:02, Blogger SugarComa said…

      To the left to the left!lol
      Too much drama...ok seriously, they r imams or so they claimed they should know better than to pray on a fuckin plane...WTF!

    • At 26/11/2006, 06:12, Blogger qd06 said…

      You guys are funny. I grew up Muslim in the US. The same that applies in Saudi overtly applies in most western countries covertly. And no I am not a immigrant or second generation.

      However I have never had this problem. I pray on planes all the time. I just ask the cabin crew who usually make a space in their area for my friends or I to pray. It is more to this story, some news agencies are reporting that they prayed in the terminal. You always have to wait until all the facts come out before making a judgement.

    • At 26/11/2006, 09:59, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      You disregarded every aspect of my comment except for that. who estimates 5-10%? and did any of them bother looking into WHY militancy is becoming so popular in certain regions? The root of the problem? Why these guys ended up in madrassas and not in schools?

      Fact is, the Great US of A was supplying the Pakistani government with heaploads of military aid (because they were a "good" ally) and NONE for education. So these guys ended up in Madrassas being educated by disgruntled so-called immams.

      Look, I'm not here to argue with you on every point- you're obviously not listening to me, and you probably wont ever open up your mind to an alternate discourse to the one that suits a neo-con agenda and involves the obliteration of other countries and the total destruction of infrastructure of other states- not to mention civillian death and casualties. you obviously have no social conscience and couldn't give two shits about anyone but yourself or "your people".

      There might be plenty of problems around the world, but your not here to help them or fix them, you're here to criticize because it makes you feel smart.
      good luck

    • At 26/11/2006, 10:11, Blogger Nzingha said…

      As for hiding your identity to suit someone else - non Muslim people have to do it all the time in most Muslim countries. If I go to Saudi I will be expected to cover up (who cares what my identity is? I have to conform!) and I won't be able to go to church.>>>

      But QC do you really want the rest of the world to be a Saudi Arabia? I think this is one major problems with such reasoning. We aren't talking about Saudi and actually when we do it is to point out the wrongs in Saudi and how they should be corrected. (We in general population not you and me specifically)

      What we (here and now) are discussing is a society which boasts of freedoms. Which boasts of democracy and the ability to express oneself freely without fear of reprisal. A society that boasts of 'freedom of religion' in the face of the non freedoms that exist in Saudi.

      At least one can point out that Saudi is upfront about their own biases. That they are clear no other religions will be freely accepted in this country. They are clear that 'freedoms' here will not be defined by a western standard but their own. At the very least it isn't a hypocritical issue when it comes to Saudi. People know this.. and choose to come or not come.

      however the US boasts of freedoms yet doesn't follow through with it. The US boasts of 'acceptance' of differences yet over and over again in time singles out 'others' due to their differences.

    • At 26/11/2006, 10:51, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Chica & Nzingha,

      Read and agreed. Absolutely. Blind hatred and criticising isn't going to take us far, and yes I get the point with Saudi example, Nzingha, and you are right there. BUT that's exactly why Muslim people from Saudi and many other countries shouldn't criticise the Western attitudes - since they allow none of the Western leniencies towards other cultures in their own societies. At least we are trying. We are not yet there, but we are doing WAY better than Muslim societies in learning and accepting.

      Once again though, this is not the issue here. All I was talking about was the actions of the imams and whether it was possible to do things slightly differently.


      Please understand that I have already pointed out several times that I only refer to the incident "as reported", and not "as it really happened". OK? Welcome to Life in Qatar!

      Sugar Coma,

      Where have you been??? LOL I think I'm gonna start counting votes (of course having religious affiliations in mind) whether what imams did was smart or not so smart. And no I am not saying to pray is not smart. I am saying to pray in the way they did (provided they did it the way Gulf Times reported it) was not smart, in my opinion.

    • At 26/11/2006, 17:52, Blogger Dotsson said…

      Hahahahahahah! Hahahahahahahaha! Mwahahahahahah! The fuckers deserved it. I'm Muslim, and I would be shit scared if I saw a bunch of bearded freaks on the plane I was on. I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but we Muslims sure have put the world on its toes with all of our terrorist activities. Is anyone surprised that this happened? I'm not.

    • At 26/11/2006, 23:11, Blogger PM said…


      We discussed this in length at my house so I won't rehash everything. The bottom line is they should have a right to pray as long as they aren't disturbing anyone. If they refused to be seated when given the direction by the flught crew for take-off that is another factor. But that does NOT seem to be the case here.

      Americans SHOULD be more tolerant of someone praying in an airport or on an airplane -- no matter what religion (unless it involves a messy live animal sacrifice by a Santeria priest which can get messy). I say this as an American -- not because I am a Muslim.

      9/11 is no excuse. We need to learn from it and move on sensibly. But then what would Jack do in his retirement if he weren't fighting the cyber war on terr-rrrr. ;)


    • At 27/11/2006, 07:05, Anonymous jack said…

      "The bottom line is they should have a right to pray as long as they aren't disturbing anyone."

      True. They obviously disturbed enough of the other passengers that UA felt the need to call in the proper authorities.

      "If they refused to be seated when given the direction by the flught crew for take-off that is another factor. But that does NOT seem to be the case here."

      They refused to leave the plane to be questioned and the proper authorites were forced to physicaly remove them to be questioned.

      Your spin is not up to par PM. You're getting rusty ;)

      These imans new exactly what they were doing and they were loving it.

      And about praying ... don't worry the ACLU that stopped prayer in schools and other "public" places will work their way into "private" business sooner or later.

      Also your personal slurs on me now. I know you are better than that.

    • At 28/11/2006, 09:16, Blogger Twix said…

      When im flying anywhere over american skies im scared to even get up and go to the toilet let alone get up in a group and start praying.

      I can imagine myself in a plane with an imam coming up to me, "brother please come join us we are praying thoar prayer by seat 3C, come please we are starting." lol id freeze to death.

      Screw racism, ignorance, prejudice and all that crap it simply boils down to one thing... COMMEN SENSE

    • At 28/11/2006, 10:06, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      OK time for the verdict.

      Did imams display common sense?

      Yes: 6
      (Votes of Chica, NonArab Arab, Fo0f, Nzingha, PM, Forsoothsayer)

      No: 11
      (Votes of 13.5, Fish, Drima, Sugar Coma, Dot, Twix, Terror free, Matt, Sever, Jack, Tommy)

      Undecided: 4
      (Votes of AmitL, Palo-girl, Qd06, Midget).

      My opinion?

      I think what they did wasn't the smartest thing. And I'll leave it at that.

    • At 28/11/2006, 12:06, Blogger ren_crow said…

      If they wanted to pray they could have done it sitting in their seats. The argument that only handicapped people pray sitting down does not apply to praying in a damn airplane.

      So they were forcibly removed and questioned.....on the basis of what? That they looked liked a bunch of "suspicious arab men"?

      If these 6 imams were instead 6 catholic priests or 6 jewish rabbis i doubt they would cause much alarm. A simple reprimand from the air crew no less, if they were causing some kinda disturbance.

    • At 28/11/2006, 15:56, Blogger Haroun El Poussah said…

      Flying while Muslim is a deadly offense

    • At 28/11/2006, 20:03, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      ok, did you read my first post?
      "Is it alarming behaviour? Maybe."

      I think that means I go in he undecided category-
      as for blogger, its been giving me hell and all my responses in the last 2-3 have gone down the drain.

      i cant be bothered to repeat myself,
      so i guess, till- next time cats posts raise controversy..

    • At 28/11/2006, 20:56, Anonymous jack said…

      From the investigation ...

      Muslim religious leaders removed from a Minneapolis flight last week exhibited behavior associated with a security probe by terrorists and were not merely engaged in prayers, according to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials.
      Witnesses said three of the imams were praying loudly in the concourse and repeatedly shouted "Allah" when passengers were called for boarding US Airways Flight 300 to Phoenix.
      "I was suspicious by the way they were praying very loud," the gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department.
      Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.
      "That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."
      A pilot from another airline said: "That behavior has been identified as a terrorist probe in the airline industry."
      But the imams who were escorted off the flight in handcuffs say they were merely praying before the 6:30 p.m. flight on Nov. 20, and yesterday led a protest by prayer with other religious leaders at the airline's ticket counter at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
      Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, called removing the imams an act of Islamophobia and compared it to racism against blacks.
      "It's a shame that as an African-American and a Muslim I have the double whammy of having to worry about driving while black and flying while Muslim," Mr. Bray said.
      The protesters also called on Congress to pass legislation to outlaw passenger profiling.
      Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas Democrat, said the September 11 terrorist attacks "cannot be permitted to be used to justify racial profiling, harassment and discrimination of Muslim and Arab Americans."
      "Understandably, the imams felt profiled, humiliated, and discriminated against by their treatment," she said.
      According to witnesses, police reports and aviation security officials, the imams displayed other suspicious behavior.
      Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized. One flight attendant told police she "found this unsettling, as crew knew about the six [passengers] on board and where they were sitting." Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor, the flight attendant said.
      The imams said they were not discussing politics and only spoke in English, but witnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
      The imams who claimed two first-class seats said their tickets were upgraded. The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded, they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.
      A flight attendant said one of the men made two trips to the rear of the plane to talk to the imam during boarding, and again when the flight was delayed because of their behavior. Aviation officials, including air marshals and pilots, said these actions alone would not warrant a second look, but the combination is suspicious.
      "That's like shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater. You just can't do that anymore," said Robert MacLean, a former air marshal.
      "They should have been denied boarding and been investigated," Mr. MacLean said. "It looks like they are trying to create public sympathy or maybe setting someone up for a lawsuit."
      The pilot with another airline who talked to The Washington Times on condition of anonymity, said he would have made the same call as the US Airways pilot.
      "If any group of passengers is commingling in the terminal and didn't sit in their assigned seats or with each other, I would stop everything and investigate until they could provide me with a reason they did not sit in their assigned seats."
      One of the passengers, Omar Shahin, told Newsweek the group did everything it could to avoid suspicion by wearing Western clothes, speaking English and booking seats so they were not together. He said they conducted prayers quietly and separately to avoid attention.
      The imams had attended a conference sponsored by the North American Imam Federation in Minneapolis and were returning to Phoenix. Mr. Shahin, who is president of the federation, said on his Web site that none of the passengers made pro-Saddam or anti-American statements.
      The pilot said the airlines are not "secretly prejudiced against any nationality, religion or culture," and that the only target of profiling is passenger behavior.
      "There are certain behaviors that raise the bar, and not sitting in your assigned seat raises the bar substantially," the pilot said. "Especially since we know that this behavior has been evident in suspicious probes in the past."
      "Someone at US Airways made a notably good decision," said a second pilot, who also does not work for US Airways.
      A spokeswoman for US Airways declined to discuss the incident. Aviation security officials said thousands of Muslims fly every day and conduct prayers in airports in a quiet and private manner without creating incidents.

    • At 28/11/2006, 21:19, Blogger Cairogal said…

      Religiously, they are excused from prayer during travel, are they not? I can see both sides of this. One of the emams was on CNN and said the airline was not being entirely truthful. The airline thought their behaviour was weird. If I were those emams, I would offer to conduct, free of charge, a company-wide seminar for the employees of US Airways, in order to share some Islamic practices with them. People fear what they don't understand. I've seen Muslims drop to the street on a cardboard box. I've seen Muslims pray in the airport. However, we're also not dealing with a very worldly bunch of airline staffers.

      On the flip side, I suppose these emams knew they were likely to evoke some sort of response.

    • At 29/11/2006, 01:32, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      "The imams said they were not discussing politics and only spoke in English, but witnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. "

      this is so funny, im not sure wheher to laugh or just.. yeah

      a bunch of organized, highly trained, malicious terrorists got on a plane and started talking about al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Bush and god forbid.. "criticizing the war in Iraq"..

      oh, and by the way.. when Muslims pray.. they say the word Allah outloud.


    • At 11/12/2006, 09:27, Blogger zaujababa2 said…

      like most things reported "islamic," it's best to wait a few days before believing the sensationalized entertainment that passes as news. check out the interview on democracy now with the "flying Imams."

      > Published: 12.07.2006
      > Guest Opinion: Six imams guilty only of 'flying
      > while
      > Muslim'
      > MARYAM MIR
      > Tucson Citizen
      > Ignorance is bliss - and, sadly, far too often
      > easier
      > to swallow.
      > With the recent events and "facts" swirling around
      > the
      > six "Don't Fly With Me" imams, it's no wonder the
      > American public has misinterpreted their prayer
      > practice.
      > So what are the facts surrounding the incident of
      > the
      > six imams kicked off a US Airways flight in
      > Minneapolis on their way to Phoenix?
      > ? Contrary to news reports, all imams were
      > traveling with return tickets. They have the
      > itineraries to prove it.
      > ? All of them were traveling with luggage,
      > either carry-on or check-in.
      > ? Neither the pilot nor any of the flight
      > attendants talked to them about leaving the
      > aircraft.
      > ? While on the plane, all the imams went to
      > their assigned seats.
      > Imam Omar Shaheen, assigned a seat in first class,
      > offered Imam Marwan his seat. Imam Marwan is blind
      > and
      > needs help while traveling. But he declined the
      > offer
      > and took his own seat.
      > ? Shaheen (290 pounds) did ask for a seat-belt
      > extension to comply with federal regulations.
      > ? While on the airplane or inside the
      > terminal,
      > all the imams communicated in English out of respect
      > for one of the imams who does not speak Arabic.
      > ? Claims that the group was making pro-Saddam
      > and anti-American statements are completely false.
      > Ignorance is bliss - and it's misleading.
      > What constitutes Islamic prayer?
      > A Muslim is required to pray five times a day. This
      > consists of morning, early, late afternoon and after
      > sunset. The final daily prayer is in the late
      > evening.
      > Prayer consists of reciting certain verses of the
      > Qur'an in Arabic. The words, "Allah-u Akbar," (God
      > is
      > great) are recited, not chanted, during segments of
      > the prayer.
      > The physical form of the prayer includes standing,
      > bowing, sitting and a partial prostration (forehead
      > down) on the floor. These actions are repeated with
      > each prayer.
      > When Muslims travel, their prayers may be shortened
      > and combined.
      > For example, both afternoon prayers can be done
      > together, one after the other, in a shorter version.
      > The prayer can also be done while sitting. I have
      > prayed on planes while seated.
      > Ignorance is bliss - but it can be corrected.
      > Every hospital in America has a chapel, or
      > meditation
      > room, for use by visitors and patients. Moreover,
      > chapels are in airport terminals worldwide.
      > Some can be found in U.S. airports, but those are
      > few
      > and generally inconvenient.
      > Ignorance is bliss - and affects everyone, one way
      > or
      > another.
      > No one is immune to misunderstandings of cultural or
      > religious practices or both.
      > On Air Canada Jazz recently, a Hasidic Jew was
      > removed
      > from his flight from Montreal to New York because
      > fellow passengers became anxious after he began
      > praying.
      > A flight attendant vocally acknowledged that the man
      > was not a Muslim but said his fellow passengers were
      > too nervous with him on board.
      > Ignorance is not bliss. It is only ignorance.
      > However, absorbing the truth and recognizing the
      > reality of a situation is far safer and healthier
      > for
      > all.
      > Tucsonan Maryam Mir is an American Muslim who enjoys
      > listening to Frank Sinatra.

    • At 12/12/2006, 09:08, Blogger Qatar Cat said…



      Haroun El Poussah,

      Yeah that was hilarious. I liked "driving whie black" more though.


      OK you go to the undecided then :P


      Thanks for the article.


      Yes that's what I think too.


      Thanks, that was interesting.

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