E-mails target judge who called terror fears ‘dubious’ Sided with Muslim imams who were booted from flight
(World Net Daily) An e-mail campaign is being aimed at a federal judge who sided with six Muslim imams who were booted from an airline flight after other passengers and crew became suspicious of their behavior.
The judge, U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery, has issued a ruling in a lawsuit brought by the imams that dismissed most of the defense arguments raised by U.S. Airways, saying it was “dubious” that a “reasonable” person would have been suspicious of the imams because of their behavior.
It was Nov. 20, 2006, when the six dropped to their knees in an airport terminal and prayed loudly to Allah, according to the Florida Family Association, the campaign organizer.
“Then they separated and individually boarded the jet. They asked for seat belt extenders which were considered unnecessary by the airlines because of the size of the men. The imams also made anti-American comments about the war in Iraq. Several passengers, as well as the crew, became alarmed by what they felt was suspicious behavior of the imams. The airport police and Federal Air Marshal agreed the circumstances were suspicious enough to warrant asking the men to leave the airplane,” the group said.
The imams refused and police escorted them off the plane, and they later filed a lawsuit against U.S. Airways and others.
Montgomery’s conclusion was that the airline did not have a good reason to consider the imams’ behavior suspicious.
“How safe will you feel if the federal courts ultimately rule that airlines and passengers cannot question or respond to suspicious behavior of passengers board their jets?” the association asked.
The organization is offering a web option of sending an e-mail to the judge or her clerks.
“An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily questioned whether the imams were ‘victims or provocateurs’ and suggested that it is possible the incident was planned in advance to gain publicity for planned congressional legislation against profiling,” Florida Family said.
“Denouncing ‘the provocative agenda of these imams,’ Debra Burlingame opined that ‘it is nothing short of obscene that these six religious leaders (…) chose to turn that airport into a stage and that airplane into a prop in the service of their need for grievance theater.'”
As WND has reported, one of the imams, Omar Shahin, had previous links to Osama bin Laden.
“Judge Montgomery’s ruling strips away our rights to be concerned about legitimately suspicious behavior. She sided with the Muslim imams’ right to behave in a manner that would knowingly raise suspicion and strike fear among the other passengers,” Florida Family said.
“Score one for the forces of intimidation and terror-enabling,” said a posting on Jihad Watch. “The imams’ … lawyer is thrilled.”
“This preliminary victory shows that any American can have a day in court,” said Omar Mohammedi, attorney for the imams. “The case is about civil rights violations and constitutional principles that we all cherish. Our judicial system has always been, and will remain, the hope for all minorities who seek to redress civil rights violations.”
U.S. Airways has said the captain’s decision was neither arbitrary nor capricious and he relied on a passenger’s note and the opinions of flight crew members.
On the Jihad Watch website’s forum page, “flowerknife” raised the issue of reasonable.
“Define what reasonable is for us judge. Is it reasonable to be conserned before (sic) or after your (sic) dead?”
The imams had attended a conference in Minneapolis of the North American Imams Federation, said Shahin, who is president of the group.
“They took us off the plane, humiliated us in a very disrespectful way,” Shahin said after the incident.
Florida Family was founded by David Caton and has quarterbacked efforts to get American businesses to abandon the sale of pornography. “David has been a consistent and faithful friend to America’s families. He is highly effective in defending community values,” said the American Family Association.
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