The Washington Times reports that air marshals, pilots and security officials have expressed concern that, in the aftermath of the flying imams episode, airline passengers and crews will be reluctant to report suspicious behavior for fear of being called “racists.” I’d like to think that the survival instinct of Americans will continue to trump fear of such accusations, but who knows?
It is certainly true that, in the words of one air marshal, “the crew and passengers act as our additional eyes and ears on every flight” and that if they “are afraid of reporting suspicious individuals out of fear of being labeled a racist or bigot, then terrorists will certainly use those fears to their advantage in future aviation attacks.” Thus, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) attempts to do the nation a characteristic disservice by hyperventilating about the perfectly reasonable concerns expressed about the flying imams and the perfectly appropriate response of the airline.
Consider, for example, the disingenuous claim of CAIR spokesperson Rabiah Ahmed that Muslims have to “walk on eggshells” in order to avoid the kind of treatment that befell the six imams. The circumstances that led to that treatment, and the near absence of other such instances, suggest that, when flying, Muslims need only resist the urge to pray loudly before boarding, to switch seating assignments to a configuration used by terrorists in previous incidents, to ask for seat-belt extensions which could be used as weapons, and to shout anti-American slogans pertaining to al Qaeda and the war in Iraq.
I assume that few American Muslims have such impulses. Does CAIR disagree?
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