Imams on a Plane: Racial Profiling, Real Terror Threat, or Sheik-Down Attempt?

“Six imams, two ministers, and a rabbi walk into an airport…” There’s the setup. The punchline is up to you.

Last week, six imams were removed, in handcuffs, from a Minneapolis to Phoenix flight after other passengers reported odd behavior.

The imams said they were only praying before the flight the same way you might pray before eating at a British sushi bar. In protest of this embarrassment, imams, ministers and a rabbi staged a “pray-in” yesterday at Reagan National Airport. No word yet on God’s opinion on the issue of prayer being used to attempt to score political points.

Here’s the AP report of the “pray in.” This story quotes the imams view of the incident, but doesn’t take into account reports from witnesses at the airport that day, many of whom say the imams behavior was reminiscent of 9/11, and others who simply think this is all a cheap attempt at a lawsuit — a sheik-down, if you will.

According to the Washington Times, “Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attack.” An anonymous U.S. Marshal was quoted as saying, “That would alarm me. They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane.” It would scare anyone who lived through the horrific events of 9/11.

The men asked for seatbelt extensions, although none of them were significantly overweight, talked about al Qaida and Osama bin Laden and walked the length of the plane several times after moving from their assigned seats to positions throughout the cabin.

Some are calling it a lawsuit set up. Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson is calling it racial profiling and discrimination. Witnesses are just calling it scary.

Yeah, well Sheila Jackson is a moron. Is that profiling? You bet. She’s a Democrat politician, so the odds are that I’m right on the money.

Profiling? Yes, behavior can lead to that. For example, if a guy walks into a bank wearing a ski mask, the tellers get a little jumpy. To the activist, this is a clear-cut case of cloakism.

Now sit back and watch as “activists,” thanks to this “incident,” start using prayer as a method to inflict fear and legal action all around the nation. This isn’t exactly my idea of the purpose of prayer, but hey, we all have different definitions.


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Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: