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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – A North Carolina attorney for several Muslim leaders says two airlines owe his clients an apology for kicking them off commercial flights.

Imams in Memphis, Tenn., and New York were headed to a national conference in Charlotte over the weekend when they were asked to leave the planes without reason. The imams had passed through security at the airports before being removed by security.

The attorney for the imams, Mo Idlibi, said Tuesday his clients were humiliated. He called it blatant discrimination and says he’s considering a lawsuit against the two airlines.

He says airline pilots have the discretion to remove passengers. But he says if their reasoning is based discrimination, the airlines will be held accountable.

There was no immediate response from American Airlines or Atlantic Southeast Airlines.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest461

    It’s the way it has always been and the way it will always be. If the Captain/commanding officer of a vessel or an aircraft have reason to restrict passage to an indivdual, they do it. No questions asked!

    Perhaps the “gracious ones” could have left their traditional garb in the suitcase and dressed as a normal, traveling citizen. There wouldn’t have been a problem. This is a tricky, iffy world we deal with these days, especially regarding those from the middle east that threaten more terrorism to our people and our country. You don’t just walk around being pompous, sporting arab dress while boarding aircraft drawing attention to yourself in such a manner. There is no need for such “advertisement” as it is inflammatory to the other passengers, NOT descriminitory!!!

    Far too many Americans learned all they needed to know abour Islam after 9/11!!! So, get your little lawsuit together and we’ll get ours!

  • Guest1971

    I agree 100% with you Guest461. The Captain is responsible for the safety of all his/her passengers, as well as his flight crew & himself. He obviously felt uncomfortable with these men on the plane & he took the proper action for himself, his crew & his passengers.

  • Guest1972

    Wow… what a wonderfully bigoted post… So you think that a captain should make choices based on his/her prejudices as to who gets to fly?

    What if a captain feels threatened by the garb of Hasidic Jews… does s/he have the right the expel them from a plane?

    What about gays, blacks, Hispanics, couples with children, couples without children, etc…? You see, it’s a slippery slope.

    Not everyone who is a Muslim threatens anyone. Indeed these imams were going to a tolerance and peace conference.

    Do you demand that all other religious figures leave “their traditional garb in the suitcase”? Do you demand nuns to take off their robes, Jews to take off their yarmulkas, Buddhist monks to travel without their robes, and so on?

    This is what I despise about living in this area… the ignorance and bigotry that pervade so many people. The sadder thing is that most of the ignorance and bigotry is perpetrated by local churches and national pundits.

  • TechNerd

    The fact that they are asking for an apology is absolutely amazing to me. Guess what guys? We just killed Osama, and al-Qaeda is telling everyone who will listen that they will retaliate against the USA.

    With all of this going on, why would you begin to think that travelling by plane in full Islamic garb is a good idea!? Behind our celebration in the last week has been a deep underlying fear of the retaliation that Islamic extremists have been shouting about.

    When Islamic extremist groups hold up signs shouting the death of America, when they say that they plan to attack us AGAIN, we fear them. To be so insanely inconsiderate of the fellow passengers on the plane is just a jerk move. It seems to me that these guys WANTED this to happen and they sure did dress the part.

    The pilot does not need to apologize. The airline needs not apologize. Not one of the passengers on the plane should feel bad for their decision to take these two subjects off of the plane. They were seen as a threat and were certainly doing nothing to quell the fears of the passengers. I would have wanted them off of my plane as well.

  • Guest3568974

    Oh come off of your high horse and drop the horse manure. The captain is in charge of the life of everyone on the plane. If he feels the need to ask someone to leave, he should be able to. End of story. These men were dressed as muslims. After 9/11 and the recent threats we have been getting , I would have them removed too. And as for your comment about hasidic Jews and other religions…remember, they haven’t killed 3000 Americans yet. These men made themselves a walking target by the way they dressed and looked (and acted for all we know). The pilot also has a right if you break in the cabin now to shoot you immediately, no questions asked. How about educating yourself instead of spouting off the words of some bleeding heart liberal. Notice their lawyer is muslim? Because even a bottom feeding American lawyer wouldn’t take this case.

  • Guest461

    …first of all we lost over 3000 innocent souls in America to terrorist activities by Muslims. They were only unarmed civilian women, children and businessmen, not soldiers. We have had many attempts before that and many afterwards. The PRIMARY aggressors have been MUSLIMS of middle eastern decent! They will be watched, observed and scruitinized at every corner due to THEIR actions and behavior. They have proven what they want to accomplish. I mentioned nothing of blacks, mexicans, Jews, Buddhists or ANYONE else besides the middle easterners that are hell-bent on destroying America. They are violent, they will kill and I can guarentee you they will attempt more attacks in the future! There is no “slippery slope” here, there are facts, proof, threats and actions against this great nation and it’s people.

    They can practice their “peace” in their own rock-throwing, AK-47 weilding countries. We don’t do that here and don’t need them here. If they choose to be here they can fit it as everyday citizens or they can flaunt their arab-wear and be scruitinized. It is a fact and it will not change. As I said preiviously, the MAJORITY of America learned all they need to know about Islam after 9/11!

    That being the case, I suppose I AM a bigot and damned proud of it! I love my country and DESPISE those that go against it with evil intent. When I KNOW a threat is in close proximity, I ready myself, keep my eyes open and my hands ready! Sorry Cracker-Jack if you don’t like this approach, it’s simply the way it is and well deserved.

    It sounds like you despise this area and it’s citizens, but I’m not aware of anywhere in this United States where your attitude is welcome. So if you consider moving from the area, make it a long, one-way trip to Pakistan, Afganistan, Syria or any of the other poor, suppressed, dictator ruled countries where the people have NOTHING but their fanatical religion, mud huts to live in and rocks to throw. THERE…you may be welcomed…maybe. Just NOT here!

  • Guest6969696969

    Incidentally, the 9-11 *Hi-Jackers* wore Western Style clothing, were clean-cut & Shaven…
    As for Islam itself, it’s NOT a “Religion”, It is in fact a Ideology, (Hell-bent on destroying “Infidel’s”), if they do not assulimate…
    Furthermore; If your a “Bigot”, You need to look at OUR so-called CoC, yes, The “Anointed One” and His connections with the SEIU, whom are now fully UN-masked for what they are, communist’s; affiliated, with known communist groups.
    Whom with do you think The Messiah got his start? Organizing, (Community Organizer, remember?) the SEIU, Acorn, While in His younger years schooled with KNOWN Radicals and Marxist supporting people and Ideals;.
    We Dear reader’s whom I hope get this message, America is being destroyed from WITH-IN,,,
    Proof is in the pudding…
    A May Day rally in Los Angeles, co-sponsored by the SEIU and various communist groups, as well as other unions, reflected yet another step in the normalization of self-identified communist and socialist ideologies in the Obama era. http://www.answercoalition.org/la/news/t…. Not only did the SEIU help to organize the rally in conjunction with communists, they marched side-by-side with communists, while union members carried communist flags, communists carried union signs, and altogether there was no real way to tell the two apart.

    Southern California citizen journalist and photographer “Ringo” was on hand to record the day’s events, and posted a full-length photo essay on his site Ringo’s Pictures. http://www.ringospictures.com/index.php?…. To bring this important photo essay to a wider audience, I present here a small selection of Ringo’s May Day pictures; visit his site to see dozens more photos from the rally. http://www.ringospictures.com/

    In case you think the SEIU is some peripheral out-of-the-mainstream organization:

    The SEIU devoted $28 million to Obama’s campaign, making the SEIU “the organization that spent the most to help Barack Obama get elected president.” http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/indexp…. Furthermore, who is Obama’s favorite White House guest and one of his closest confidants? http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/belt….

    The individual who has visited the Obama White House the most: SEIU President Andy Stern, who has visited 53 times.

    Obama is closely linked with the SEIU.
    The SEIU is closely linked with communists.
    You do the math.

    NOW, whom is thy Enemy? maybe OUR OWN .GOV AND CoC??
    In closing, I don’t give a Cat’s A** who wears what, while traveling, The Groping/Child Molesting TSA & DHS cleared these people before boarding their flight, thus “cleared”. So, If I decide to wear, Muslim Garb, I should be pulled off a flight, being WHITE and clean cut?

    Matter of fact, I’m more “afraid” of going out with My Spouse, for dinner/dancing *Down-Town*,(Or anywhere else in Wilmington for that matter), and getting Robbed/Shot or Lord knows what, by wanna-be Gangster’s & PUNKS that are crawling all over Wilmington Day & night, breeding like RATS, Sucking on the .GOV Teat at taxpayers expense, contributing nothing to society…
    For example Creek-wood can/could be compared to Terrorist’s; Living in Modified “Mud-Huts”….
    Pick your Posion…

  • debbie2563

    The citizens of this country always shows tolerance for other religons,etc. It is time because of 9/11 that we are shown tolerance and respect for our feelings. All Muslims know they are going to be scrutinized because of 9/11, so why continue to draw attention to yourself. Also, of all Muslims, one would think these Imams would have shown more consideration and respect for their fellow travelers. A big thank you to the Captain for showing respect and uderstanding to his passengers.

  • Guest_informed

    Let me state an example of why people are afraid when there is a flight with multiple Muslim men. Remember the American Airlines incident that happened this weekend on descent into San Fran? A MUSLIM man started yelling in Islamic “God is great” and then rammed the cockpit door multiple times, trying to force his way in. Luckily he was subdued.

    That is just one example is why people are afraid. If Islam is really a religion of peace, why don’t Muslims stop the radicals from killing people all around the world? Why don’t they say enough is enough and force the radicals out?

  • Onthewingsoflove

    As a commercial pilot with hundreds of flight hours and as a veteran of the Air Force, what these pilots did is plain and simple discrimination.

    Those who forget history, such as the posters below, should remember that it wasn’t all people of Muslim faith who attacked us on 9/11. It was a fundamentalist faction called Al-Qeda.

    I wonder if my fellow posters would be so rah-rah about the story if I decided I didn’t feel comfortable with young white males with short cropped hair wearing fatigues on my plane… after all, that’s what Timothy McVeigh looked like and he killed quite a few hundred people in OKC.

    Please, don’t confuse being religious with being fundamentalist. There are quite a few fundamentalist Christians who scare me just as much as many fundamentalist Muslims or Jews or whatever else.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Only about ten-percent of Muslims are homicidal, jihadist lunatics.

    The other ninety-percent are peace loving people who simply remain silent or render financial support to the other ten-percent.

  • Guest461

    Nice try. But as a “commercial” pilot with only “…hundreds of flight hours…” you are flying right seat with your diapers still on! Let’s talk 22,000 (that’s THOUSAND…) hours to brag about solid, commercial experience! We all know that Timothy McVeigh and his cohort were simply aberrations of our society, not a product of it. If you want to associate McVeigh as a typical example of our military, again you lose total credibiity and show lack of time in the military, if any at all. These psychos have and always will be around in one’s or twos, but not as a nation as is the “Nation of Islam”.

    Look at the news, watch their anger, their violence, their signs, the hatred, their threats and their wishes to fulfill “Allah” and crush the infidels. That would be us, right here in “America”. These people openly threaten our country and our society with impudence. They are here among us…waiting.

    With having a father that retired from the USAF, that was also a POW and put in over 20K hrs of USAF flight time in his career, you just don’t come to par in your statement claims.

    No Air Force time…Horsehooie! You’re legend in your own mind, don’t try to be a SEAL either…
    No commercial pilots license…not even with your “hundreds of flight hours”
    No understanding of the relationship with Islam and Al Qaeda or their goals to cause harm to America and its people.

    I’ll choose to be a BIGOT, if that’s what you choose to call me. I’ll choose to protect the people I’m responsible for that are in my aircraft or on my vessel.

    That’s why they call me, “Captain” and you, “Coward”! At least I wear a suit with identification and rank…you wear a sheet and cover your face.

  • Guest_informed

    Well its good to see a fellow pilot, but Timothy McVeigh didn’t kill 3,000 people on 9/11 nor did he make threats to carry out attacks in many different countries around the world. He was one man. This is an entire network of radical Islamists. People DO get skeptical, specifically because of that.

    Timothy McVeigh didn’t crash multiple airplanes into multiple targets either. In fact, in recent past, its been mostly extremist Muslim men who have hijacked planes. You can’t deny that, because it’s true.

    Lets take Osama. DO you REALLY think that he lived in Abbottabad for 6 years completely unnoticed? Heck, we even had CIA in a house just a few blocks from him keeping tabs on his house. Not to mention Osama’s house stuck out like a sore thumb. I seriously doubt the Pakistani’s didn’t know Osama was living there. If the CIA did, and had men keeping tabs on the house, the people living there and the military had to have known. Now that that part is settled, since its virtually impossibly they didn’t know he was there, why didn’t they do anything about it? They could have conducted their own raid and took Osama out. Why, if they are for peace all around the world, did they not attrest or kill Osama? Why did they not force the radicals out.

    Look, I obviously know not all Muslims are terrorists, but a religion that seems so bent on peace sure doesn’t seem to do anything about the extremists that give all Muslims a bad name.

  • Guest4396

    They should not be allowed in the United States to begin with.

  • Guest1

    GOOD! No discrimination to remove passengers whose religion requires them to kill nonbelievers, just good judgment.


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