Skip to comments.Flying Imam Settlement Makes Us Less Safe
Posted on 10/29/2009 9:06:34 AM PDT by Starman417
The case of the Flying Imams reached a settlement; and it favors political correctness and misguided views on profiling and religious sensitivities over common sense.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which represented the imams, said the settlement is "a victory for civil rights."
"The six imams are pleased," Hooper said. "Their rights were maintained by the settlement."
This is no victory for civil rights. These imams gave reasonable cause for alarm, based as much upon behavioral profiling as much as religious and ethnic profiling. The settlement sends a message that favors stupidity over safety:
That lawsuit has now been settled out of court for an undisclosed amount which might serve the defendants' short-term interests but carries a long-term price for air safety.
Consider what the pilot and police knew, or thought they knew, at the time: Passengers reported the men had been praying loudly in the terminal, chanting "Allah, Allah" and cursing U.S. policies in Iraq. Once on board, the men took separate seats in the cabin's front, middle and back. Two imams asked for seat belt extenders, which include a heavy metal buckle that could be used as a weapon, but left them on the floor. The pilot was told that three of the men had one-way tickets. A passenger who spoke Arabic said one imam expressed fundamentalist views. All told, the imams' actions appeared to be either intentionally provocative or clueless as to how others might perceive them in the aftermath of 9/11.
Yet, after a federal judge ruled in July that the defendants could be liable for civil damages and authorities lacked probable cause to detain the imams, the airline and airport operators settled the case last week, without admitting any wrongdoing.
While the settlement spared them the uncertainly and expense of a trial, it could have a chilling effect on the ability of airline crews and officials to protect passengers from a perceived threat. Pilots have to make quick, tough judgment calls: Take off with frightening suspicions unresolved or err on the side of caution. The only way to determine whether a real threat existed was to remove the clerics from the plane and investigate.
In this case, some of the initial suspicions proved unfounded. It turned out that the imams, who had been attending a religious conference in Minneapolis, didn't have one-way tickets and hadn't changed their seat assignments, as first thought. They denied making remarks about Saddam Hussein or U.S. involvement in Iraq. Even so, that was the information available to the captain when he had to make a "go/no go" decision. Airlines and airport authorities need flexibility to act in the interest of safety without worrying about being sued.
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net
That was the whole idea.
We are not less safe. US passengers will never allow a plane to be taken again. Period.
If these a-holes had tried anything ‘real’ in flight’ they would have suffered real injuries and damages. Not this lawsuit crap.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.