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Iraqi says had to change t-shirt before US flight
Yahoo ^

Posted on 08/30/2006 5:10:08 AM PDT by sonsofliberty2000

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Iraqi architect on Tuesday said he was forced to change his t-shirt before boarding a flight in New York because the shirt had "We will not be silent" written on it in Arabic and English. ADVERTISEMENT

Raed Jarrar wrote on his Internet blog (http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com) that he was required to change out of the shirt prior to boarding a JetBlue flight from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to California this month because officials told him people were offended by the shirt.

In an interview with New York Public Radio on Tuesday, Jarrar said, "I grew up and spent all my life living under authoritarian regimes and I know that these things happen. But I'm shocked that they happened to me here, in the U.S."

Jarrar could not immediately be reached for comment.

JetBlue said it was investigating the August 12 incident.

"We're not clear exactly what happened," JetBlue spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said.

The American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee said the U.S. Transportation Department and the Transportation Security Administration were also investigating the incident after the committee lodged complaints on behalf of Jarrar.


TOPICS: Extended News; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: 20060812; aaac; aaadc; aadc; adc; codepink; globalexchange; iraqi; jarrar; leftwingnuts; quetheviolins; raedjarar; raedjarrar; raidjarrar; tangosierra; tshirt; whiner
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Also here, from Raed's blog:

http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/2006/08/back-from-mideast.html

I just came back from a short trip to Jordan and Syria. The trip to Syria was so fast, but I managed to visit some Lebanese refugee camps. I am so impressed by the Syrian people's generosity in receiving Lebanese refugees. The Syrian government didn't even have to send food or supplies to the refugees because of the overwhelming grassroots support. When I was in the school/refugee camp, many neighbors were walking in with food and clothes. Neighbors donated mattresses, TVs, satellites, money, and other aid.

The other thing you can't miss in Jordan and Syria is people's anger against the US. On more than occasion, I got shouted at because I live in the US. The most interesting incident was during a visit to a Lebanese refugee camp. I was called by two young Lebanese people, and they asked me whether me and the rest of the delegation visiting their shelter where coming from the US. I said yes. They said: "you better get the hell out of here unless you want us to make a scene". I tried to explain that we are the "good" Americans who are against the war, so they said go back home and change your government. "you can't come here visit us in a shelter that we were sent to because of your tax money and your bombs, and expect us to be nice to you". So me and the other Americans got the hell out of there.

The trip to Jordan was more productive and organized. I managed to put together a couple of meetings with Iraqi parliamentarians representing the major groups in the parliament. One meeting was with two MPs, one representing the biggest Sunni Group, and the other representing the biggest Shia group in the parliament. They gave the US delegation that accompanied me a strong and united message against the US presence in Iraq. It was a clear Sunni/Shia demand to end the occupation and set a timetable for withdrawing the US troops. Another meeting was with MPs and some other NGO representatives of mainly secular and liberal Iraqis. We had some other meetings with Human rights organizations as well. Read Tom Hayden's piece in The Nation for more details about our meeting in Amman.

That week in Jordan and Syria was so intense. I came back to DC for a day, then I took the bus to New York to watch Fear Up: Stories from Baghdad and Guantanamo, and participate in some discussions.

The next day, I went to JFK in the morning to catch my Jet Blue plane to California. I reached Terminal 6 at around 7:15 am, issued a boarding pass, and checked all my bags in, and then walked to the security checkpoint. For the first time in my life, I was taken to a secondary search . My shoes were searched, and I was asked for my boarding pass and ID. After passing the security, I walked to check where gate 16 was, then I went to get something to eat. I got some cheese and grapes with some orange juice and I went back to Gate 16 and sat down in the boarding area enjoying my breakfast and some sunshine.

At around 8:30, two men approached me while I was checking my phone. One of them asked me if I had a minute and he showed me his badge, I said: "sure". We walked some few steps and stood in front of the boarding counter where I found out that they were accompanied by another person, a woman from Jet Blue.

One of the two men who approached me first, Inspector Harris, asked for my id card and boarding pass. I gave him my boarding pass and driver's license. He said "people are feeling offended because of your t-shirt". I looked at my t-shirt: I was wearing my shirt which states in both Arabic and English "we will not be silent". You can take a look at it in this picture taken during our Jordan meetings with Iraqi MPs. I said "I am very sorry if I offended anyone, I didnt know that this t-shirt will be offensive". He asked me if I had any other T-shirts to put on, and I told him that I had checked in all of my bags and I asked him "why do you want me to take off my t-shirt? Isn't it my constitutional right to express myself in this way?" The second man in a greenish suit interfered and said "people here in the US don't understand these things about constitutional rights". So I answered him "I live in the US, and I understand it is my right to wear this t-shirt".

Then I once again asked the three of them : "How come you are asking me to change my t-shirt? Isn't this my constitutional right to wear it? I am ready to change it if you tell me why I should. Do you have an order against Arabic t-shirts? Is there such a law against Arabic script?" so inspector Harris answered "you can't wear a t-shirt with Arabic script and come to an airport. It is like wearing a t-shirt that reads "I am a robber" and going to a bank". I said "but the message on my t-shirt is not offensive, it just says "we will not be silent". I got this t-shirt from Washington DC. There are more than a 1000 t-shirts printed with the same slogan, you can google them or email them at wewillnotbesilent@gmail.com . It is printed in many other languages: Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, English, etc." Inspector Harris said: "We cant make sure that your t-shirt means we will not be silent, we don't have a translator. Maybe it means something else". I said: "But as you can see, the statement is in both Arabic and English". He said "maybe it is not the same message". So based on the fact that Jet Blue doesn't have a translator, anything in Arabic is suspicious because maybe it'll mean something bad!

Meanwhile, a third man walked in our direction. He stood with us without introducing himself, and he looked at inspector Harris's notes and asks him: "is that his information?", inspector Harris answered "yes". The third man, Mr. Harmon, asks inspector Harris : "can I copy this information?", and inspector Harris says "yes, sure".

inspector Harris said: "You don't have to take of your t-shirt, just put it on inside-out". I refused to put on my shirt inside-out. So the woman interfered and said "let's reach a compromise. I will buy you a new t-shirt and you can put it on on top of this one". I said "I want to keep this t-shirt on". Both inspector Harris and Mr. Harmon said "No, we can't let you get on that airplane with your t-shirt". I said "I am ready to put on another t-shirt if you tell me what is the law that requires such a thing. I want to talk to your supervisor". Inspector Harris said "You don't have to talk to anyone. Many people called and complained about your t-shirt. Jetblue customers were calling before you reached the checkpoint, and costumers called when you were waiting here in the boarding area".

it was then that I realized that my t-shirt was the reason why I had been taken to the secondary checking.

I asked the four people again to let me talk to any supervisor, and they refused.

The Jet Blue woman was asking me again to end this problem by just putting on a new t-shirt, and I felt threatened by Mr. Harmon's remarks as in "Let's end this the nice way". Taking in consideration what happens to other Arabs and Muslims in US airports, and realizing that I will miss my flight unless I covered the Arabic script on my t-shirt as I was told by the four agents, I asked the Jet Blue woman to buy me a t-shirt and I said "I don't want to miss my flight."

She asked, what kind of t-shirts do you like. Should I get you an "I heart new york t-shirt?". So Mr. Harmon said "No, we shouldn't ask him to go from one extreme to another". I asked mr. harmon why does he assume I hate new york if I had some Arabic script on my t-shirt, but he didn't answer.

The woman went away for 3 minutes, and she came back with a gray t-shirt reading "new york". I put the t-shirt on and removed the price tag. I told the four people who were involved in the conversation: "I feel very sad that my personal freedom was taken away like this. I grew up under authoritarian governments in the Middle East, and one of the reasons I chose to move to the US was that I don't want an officer to make me change my t-shirt. I will pursue this incident today through a Constitutional rights organization, and I am sure we will meet soon". Everyone said okay and left, and I went back to my seat.

At 8:50 I was called again by a fourth young man, standing with the same jetblue woman. He asked for my boarding pass, so I gave it to him, and stood in front of the boarding counter. I asked the woman: "is everything okay?", she responded: "Yes, sure. We just have to change your seat". I said: "but I want this seat, that's why I chose it online 4 weeks ago", the fourth man said " there is a lady with a toddler sitting there. We need the seat."

Then they re-issued me a small boarding pass for seat 24a, instead of seat 3a. They said that I can go to the airplane now. I was the first person who entered the airplane, and I was really annoyed about being assigned this seat in the back of the airplane too. It smelled like the bathrooms, which is why I had originally chosen a seat which would be far from that area.

It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days. When you go to the middle east, you are a US tax-payer destroying people's houses with your money, and when you come back to the US, you are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker.

If you want to call Jet Blue and ask about their regulations against Arabic script, you can use the following numbers:

* If calling within the U.S., Bahamas or Puerto Rico: 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) * If calling from the Dominican Republic: 1-200-9898 * If calling from outside the U.S. or Dominican Republic: 001-801-365-2525 * Customers who are deaf or heard of hearing (TTY/TDD): 1-800-336-5530

or you can leave them some comments here. Help make the US a better place by stopping such unconstitutional violations of our rights.

1 posted on 08/30/2006 5:10:09 AM PDT by sonsofliberty2000
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To: sonsofliberty2000

Since when is wearing a T-shirt a "constitutional right"?


2 posted on 08/30/2006 5:17:37 AM PDT by RasterMaster (Winning Islamic hearts and minds.........one bullet at a time!)
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To: sonsofliberty2000

Betcha there's more to this story.


3 posted on 08/30/2006 5:17:38 AM PDT by Thebaddog (Labs Rules! Brilliant!)
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To: sonsofliberty2000
It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days. When you go to the middle east, you are a US tax-payer destroying people's houses with your money, and when you come back to the US, you are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker

Tough!


4 posted on 08/30/2006 5:19:11 AM PDT by Clovis_Skeptic (Islam is a religion of peace my as@)
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To: sonsofliberty2000

"The trip to Syria was so fast, but I managed to visit some Lebanese refugee camps. I am so impressed by the Syrian people's generosity in receiving Lebanese refugees."

This guy is a Hiz'bullah mole in the US. Deport his sorry A$$.


5 posted on 08/30/2006 5:20:26 AM PDT by roaddog727 (Bullsh## doesn't get bridges built.)
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To: roaddog727

He works with Code Pink.


6 posted on 08/30/2006 5:25:28 AM PDT by kristinn
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To: RasterMaster
It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days.

Delta has flights leaving every day. Just be sure not to wear that t-shirt.

7 posted on 08/30/2006 5:26:09 AM PDT by Tennessee_Bob ("Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.")
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To: roaddog727

Good to see good americans complaining about this.

Guy is a scumbag attention whore trying to push our buttons.


8 posted on 08/30/2006 5:26:34 AM PDT by stevestras
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To: sonsofliberty2000
It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days. When you go to the middle east, you are a US tax-payer destroying people's houses with your money, and when you come back to the US, you are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker.

It amazes me that, not for one minute, does this guy blame the Arab Muslims that have highjacked his religion, routinely blow up their own children and seek to destroy Western civilization, for the treatment he receives at the airport. Sorry bub, Constitutional rights or not, how stupid can you be to wear a tee-shirt like that to an airport at this particular time. No sympathy here. Try placing the blame where the blame is due.
9 posted on 08/30/2006 5:26:59 AM PDT by piperpilot
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To: kristinn
"He works with Code Pink."

Even better cover for him then. He can make his anti-US commentary and blend in (nut-job by association), while further radicalizing the Code-Pinkos.

If I were the prudent person, I would start looking into his background a bit further.
10 posted on 08/30/2006 5:31:41 AM PDT by roaddog727 (Bullsh## doesn't get bridges built.)
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To: sonsofliberty2000
It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days.

Yup. I have a thought. Why don't you leave? Oh, and don't let the door hit you in the @ss.

11 posted on 08/30/2006 5:31:49 AM PDT by Lurking in Kansas (Nothing witty here… move on.)
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To: roaddog727

I saw in interview with him on CNN. He is associated w/ CODE PINK, as part of the "Peace" coalition.


12 posted on 08/30/2006 5:32:36 AM PDT by devonian
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To: sonsofliberty2000
"We will not be silent"

You'd think folks would LEARN!!!


We will not be sold out!


13 posted on 08/30/2006 5:33:39 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: stevestras

"Good to see good americans complaining about this."

Exactly right. The Brits did it a few weeks ago. I hope stuff like this continues.


14 posted on 08/30/2006 5:33:53 AM PDT by roaddog727 (Bullsh## doesn't get bridges built.)
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To: sonsofliberty2000
I was called by two young Lebanese people, and they asked me whether me and the rest of the delegation visiting their shelter where coming from the US. I said yes. They said: "you better get the hell out of here unless you want us to make a scene". I tried to explain that we are the "good" Americans who are against the war, so they said go back home and change your government. "you can't come here visit us in a shelter that we were sent to because of your tax money and your bombs, and expect us to be nice to you". So me and the other Americans got the hell out of there.

LOL!! Only an idiot lib would believe that Lebanese refugees were parroting the Dem talking points from their refugee camp in Syria!! LOL!! These guys just simply try too hard and end up over-playing their hand every time.

15 posted on 08/30/2006 5:34:30 AM PDT by Space Wrangler
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To: devonian

See my post #10.


16 posted on 08/30/2006 5:34:41 AM PDT by roaddog727 (Bullsh## doesn't get bridges built.)
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To: sonsofliberty2000
It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days. When you go to the middle east, you are a US tax-payer destroying people's houses with your money, and when you come back to the US, you are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker.

And who brought that about..........
17 posted on 08/30/2006 5:36:01 AM PDT by YellowRoseofTx
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To: sonsofliberty2000

More here:

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2006/08/man_wearing_we_will_not_be_silent_t-shirt_banned_from_plane/


18 posted on 08/30/2006 5:36:51 AM PDT by sonsofliberty2000
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To: sonsofliberty2000

Sad case. They should have arrested him if there was a reason, else released him.

Arabic T-Shirts don't bring down planes. He's now just a time- and money- waster.


19 posted on 08/30/2006 5:39:04 AM PDT by Syberyenta
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To: Elsie

Hmmmm Naked Cows


20 posted on 08/30/2006 5:39:21 AM PDT by Charlespg (Civilization and freedom are only worthy of those who defend or support defending It)
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To: sonsofliberty2000

I am calling BS.

Not on your post, but on his blog ramble.

There is NO WAY the federales told Raed "people here in the US don't understand these things about constitutional rights".


21 posted on 08/30/2006 5:41:44 AM PDT by Xenalyte (No movie shall triumph over "Snakes on a Plane.")
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To: sonsofliberty2000
It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days.

This guy reveals the nature of the problem without even realizing that he has done so. WIth this one statement he reveals that is considers himself and arab/muslim NOT an american. Indeed he doesnt even call himself and american...he is only "living" in America. His loyalty is to Islam not to America and that is the problem. If he isnt working with terrorists he is clearly sympathetic to their cause.
22 posted on 08/30/2006 5:44:25 AM PDT by Prysson
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To: roaddog727
"This guy is a Hiz'bullah mole in the US. Deport his sorry A$$."

Somebody shoot the SOB!

23 posted on 08/30/2006 5:47:39 AM PDT by blam
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To: sonsofliberty2000
I don't think it went down as he described, and I DEFINITELY think there's more to this story... but if it DID happen exactly this way, this is compete BS. Unless that shirt said 'I am carrying a bomb' or contained profanity, he shouldn't have been asked to change shirts. Since when does it really matter THIS much if people are offended by what THEY perceive to be the meaning of a shirt?

I am offended that this happened. Go back and read my previous posts if you must to ensure that I'm not a Lib or a Troll, but I think this guy got unnecessarily pissed on.

24 posted on 08/30/2006 5:50:26 AM PDT by ericthecurdog (The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.)
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To: Prysson

Secondary search "for the first time" in his life ??!!

My blue-eyed blonde Boston bred wife has been searched multiple times, as have my equally blond teenage sons. If this guy isn't shaken down EVERY SINGLE TIME he approaches an airport something is seriously wrong with the whole process.


25 posted on 08/30/2006 5:53:55 AM PDT by prov1813man
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To: sonsofliberty2000

I'm seeing a trend here of muslims "getting up in our face" now. Purposely trying to push our buttons so they can squawk they are being discriminated against - sort of like the gay activists when they say "we're here, we're queer & we're in your face!".

These people are instinctively genius at manipulating the media - but I think a lot of people are starting to catch on now.


26 posted on 08/30/2006 5:54:50 AM PDT by alicewonders
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To: Thebaddog
I'll bet some fund-tracking would show some "interesting" destinations.

Like Hezbollah.
27 posted on 08/30/2006 5:55:47 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 1 John 4:15, John 11:25, John 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13)
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To: sonsofliberty2000

We need the Israeli screening process for the flying public. Their planes are safe, ours are not necessarily.


28 posted on 08/30/2006 5:57:02 AM PDT by Toby06
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To: RasterMaster; sonsofliberty2000; Thebaddog

This hezbo wannabe doesn't understand why a t-shirt sporting a message of defiance with arabic script might cause concern on an airplane. From his incoherent essay about his little vacation through jihadistan, it is apparent that a mind is a terrible thing to waste.


29 posted on 08/30/2006 5:57:31 AM PDT by VRWCmember
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To: blam

"Somebody shoot the SOB!"

Shootin's too good for him. A horrible waste of ammunition. Better off feeding him head-cheese.


30 posted on 08/30/2006 5:58:04 AM PDT by roaddog727 (Bullsh## doesn't get bridges built.)
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To: ericthecurdog

I don't think it was the meaning of the shirt that got him in trouble - it was the arabic writing that no one knew what it meant. He was daring us to stop him - daring people on the flight to be scared of him. This is their new plan - keep us on edge & freaked out - so that WE look like paranoid idiots.

It's a media war.


31 posted on 08/30/2006 5:58:24 AM PDT by alicewonders
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To: alicewonders
This is their new plan - keep us on edge & freaked out - so that WE look like paranoid idiots.

Well...this time it worked.

32 posted on 08/30/2006 5:59:58 AM PDT by ericthecurdog (The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.)
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To: sonsofliberty2000
It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days.

Yeah, I know.

Oh, and while you're on the plane -- don't reach down to tie your shoelaces!

Have a nice trip.

33 posted on 08/30/2006 6:00:13 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus ("Whatever." -- sinkspur)
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To: sonsofliberty2000
Personally I'm more concerned with the fact that I'll be kidnapped, beheaded, blown up and/or tortured because I'm an American Christian if I were to visit a Muslim country. I wish the only problem that Americans would be subjected to in Muslim countries would be the removal of their t-shirts.

I guess there is some moral equivalence between death and undressing. At least no one asked him to wear panties on his head.
34 posted on 08/30/2006 6:00:14 AM PDT by OneRatToGo
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To: ericthecurdog
Unless that shirt said 'I am carrying a bomb' or contained profanity, he shouldn't have been asked to change shirts.

The message is one of defiance, and it is presented in both English and Arabic. Wear the tshirt to an anti-American flag-burning rally, but don't wear it when you are traveling on an airplane.

35 posted on 08/30/2006 6:00:24 AM PDT by VRWCmember
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To: sonsofliberty2000

They should have just shot this asshole and been done with it.


36 posted on 08/30/2006 6:06:57 AM PDT by HIDEK6
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To: sonsofliberty2000
So me and the other Americans got the hell out of there.

The grammar in this sentence should be sufficient to start deportation hearings.

37 posted on 08/30/2006 6:09:41 AM PDT by Triggerhippie (Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.)
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To: ericthecurdog
Unless that shirt said 'I am carrying a bomb' or contained profanity, he shouldn't have been asked to change shirts.

It all depends on WHO asked him to remove the shirt. If it was the airline - they have every right to ask their passengers to do whatever they want. The airline is a private company - not the United States government. If the airline insists that all their passengers have to wear orange tutus - so be it. The customers have the right to fly on another airline if they don't like it.

38 posted on 08/30/2006 6:17:00 AM PDT by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
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To: Tokra

Correct.

The airlines have a right to keep you from making everyone else on the plane uncomfortable or nervous.

We already know what happens when you get very nervous people on airplanes, such as those that need to be on their medication, but aren't for some reason.


39 posted on 08/30/2006 6:23:45 AM PDT by Nabber
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To: sonsofliberty2000

"I got some cheese and grapes with some orange juice and I went back to Gate 16 and sat down in the boarding area enjoying my breakfast and some sunshine."

HUH?


40 posted on 08/30/2006 6:25:44 AM PDT by toldyou
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To: sonsofliberty2000

Good for JetBlue!


41 posted on 08/30/2006 6:27:19 AM PDT by toldyou
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To: Clovis_Skeptic

AMERICA LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT


42 posted on 08/30/2006 6:27:59 AM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: sonsofliberty2000
...I was wearing my shirt which states in both Arabic and English "we will not be silent"...

His fellow passengers won't be silent either.

43 posted on 08/30/2006 6:28:32 AM PDT by mpoulin
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To: Tennessee_Bob

since he likes the phrase, maybe it would bode well to carve it into his chest lest he forget the saying. Lets make sure he remembers it. Then let him travel shirtless.


44 posted on 08/30/2006 6:32:31 AM PDT by sportsterinred
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To: Lurking in Kansas; All

"Yup. I have a thought. Why don't you leave? Oh, and don't let the door hit you in the @ss."


I second that....! If he thinks it's his consitutional right to wear a t-shirt, then he didn't learn anything when he applied for citizenship.....

Media attention whore alert!!!!


45 posted on 08/30/2006 6:40:10 AM PDT by groovejedi ((Bolton for Prez!!!!!))
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To: sonsofliberty2000
So I answered him "I live in the US, and I understand it is my right to wear this t-shirt".

Indeed it is. And it is the constitutional right of Jet Blue to refuse you service if you do not meet their standards of appropriate attire.

You're not the only person in the US with rights, assclown.

46 posted on 08/30/2006 6:43:43 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: sonsofliberty2000
I wonder if I would be able to board an airplane if I wore a tee shirt with a bulls eye painted over muhammad?
47 posted on 08/30/2006 6:46:24 AM PDT by John D
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To: sonsofliberty2000

http://www.parkerstudio.com/AAW/notsilentstories.html

more of the shirts


48 posted on 08/30/2006 6:47:40 AM PDT by Ellesu
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To: Ellesu

This movement is simply a confrontation of the FREE WEST saying that Islam will be who they want to be. I think its time to move Islam aside. They have no right in my society if my society says they dont.


49 posted on 08/30/2006 6:50:24 AM PDT by sportsterinred
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To: Nabber

Here's an e-mail I sent:
===
""It sucks to be an Arab/Muslim living in the US these days. When you go to the middle east, you are a US tax-payer destroying people's houses with your money, and when you come back to the US, you are a suspected terrorist and plane hijacker.""

You had to change your t-shirt, you say?

Thank heavens you were dealing with American Christians. Two Americans in Iraq had their shirts changed for them by a mob:

http://www.francesfarmersrevenge.com/stuff/archive/images/iraq.htm

... that is, changed into smouldering ashes, along with thier entire bodies.

So cry me a river.

If you spent more time denouncing the mass murderers and their apologists waving the banner of Islam, instead of the people who are trying to cut them down and root them out, maybe you'd elicit a little more sympathy. Maybe if you didn't go out of your way to put your fellow airline passengers into a state of mortal fear as some sort of sick, perverted game, then maybe more people would give a damn.
===


50 posted on 08/30/2006 6:51:14 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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