December 21, 2006
The Imam Scam and the Democrats' House of Games
Remember when fear of flying was a normal, human response to an inner doubt that a 3 quarter million pound hunk of metal had any business being 30,000 feet in the air? Of course, that was before 19 men - all Mideast Muslims - ended their miserable lives on September 11, 2001 and took nearly 3,000 innocent victims along for the ride. Since that dreadful day, it's doubtful that even the most ardently PC liberal has boarded any airplane without carefully evaluating all fellow passengers - and not to evade inebriated conventioneers.
It is that same indelible angst of their brothers' making which a group of Muslims exploited last month to perpetrate a hideous apparent hoax. And the soon-to-be empowered Democrats and their gullible accomplices in the media proved the perfect patsies for this odious plan to make the skies ever more dangerous for Americans.
In a swindle blending the shakedown tactics of Jesse Jackson with the outright fabrications of Al Sharpton, the flying imams helped provide Democrats the perfect cover to breathe life into a deservedly dying bill -- The End Racial Profiling Act. Passage of this absurd waste of paper would all but assure terrorists unfettered access to our greatest of vulnerabilities - particularly airlines.
Step 1 -- The Plan
Our story begins in Minneapolis on November 18th, where approximately 150 imams attended the annual conference of the North American Imams Federation. The stated theme was "Towards Improving Imams Professionalism and Community Outreach." But their immediate and visible effect was an event that would dupe their enemies into enacting law which would be tantamount to suicide.
It's clear that modern Jihadists have learned to utilize liberal intolerance to inflict collateral damage and civilian casualties when waging public opinion wars abroad. But here at home, they know the secret lies in exploiting liberal intolerance of, well -- intolerance.
With just that in mind, this pack of terror-sympathizers hatched the perfect plot to outrage their weak-kneed allies on the left into a quite predictable course of action. These architects of fear included such stand-up "American" Muslims as:
- Siraj Wahhaj - an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 plot to blow up several New York Landmarks and a "character witness" for Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. The "Blind Sheikh," now reportedly on his death bed, is serving a life sentence in the U.S. Medical Center for Prisons in Springfield, Mo. He was the "spiritual leader" of the terror cell that carried out the first World Trade Center bombing and was planning to blow up the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels.
- Ashrafuzzaman Khan -- who is alleged to have run the Jamaati executioners death squads during the Bangladesh war. He escaped prosecution for the murders of a group of Bengali intellectuals when he fled that country in 1971.
- Imam Dr. Omar Shahin - who has been linked to fund raising activities for both al-Qaeda and Hamas. He's currently the President of NAIF and served 3 years as Imam and director of the Islamic Center of Tucson. The ICT's former president, Wael Hamza Jalaidan is believed to be a founder of Al Qaeda. Alumni of the mosque read like a whose-who of Islamo-terrorists, including Hani Hanjour, the Saudi who flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on 9/11.
Of definite note was the presence of guest speaker Rep. Keith (Hakim Mohammed) Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress. The Minnesota Democratic freshman and unrepentant radical Muslim - he has announced he will be sworn in next month with his hand on the Koran - is, not surprisingly, a strong backer of the ERPA.
Rounding out the conspirators were the Shills -- including CAIR and innumerable other Islamic activists and web-sites, which were strategically placed to play their parts in fueling the impending arsonists' media fire. Bunko Team ready -- Let the games begin.
Step 2 - The Setup
On November 20th, Shahin led 5 fellow Imams to the U.S Airways gates at Minneapolis-St Paul International airport purportedly to catch a flight to Phoenix. Once there, they quickly set the stage for their flim-flam. In the words of Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the airport, the six assembled in the gate area prior to boarding and
"were praying loudly and spouting some kind of anti-US rhetoric regarding the war in Iraq and Saddam Hussein."
Witnesses reported that they shouted "Allah" loudly and repeatedly. Imagine the anxiety this disturbance caused ticket-holders who were all too aware of the historic last words shouted by lunatic suicide bombers - including the 9/11 murderers.
Upon boarding the plane, the imams each sat in separate sections. But according to passengers and flight attendants, they then moved without crew permission from their assigned seats to 2 in the front row of first-class, 2 in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle, and 2 in the very rear of the cabin. Those paying attention reportedly recognized this as the identical seating pattern used by the 9/11 hijackers. Commenting on this dispersion model, a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous told reporters,
"That would alarm me. They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."
Frankly, it's difficult to imagine any reasonable person not being alarmed by this now-familiar stratagem. Sure, liberals would have us treat Muslims behaving strangely on airplanes the same as we'd treat similarly misbehaving frat boys returning from spring-break. It's the very fact that such lunacy goes against every human survival instinct that moves them to legislate us into their quixotic and suicidal world.
Now, there appears to be some controversy as to whether 3 or all 6 had one-way tickets and no checked baggage. Also in dispute is whether 1 or none had been legitimately bumped to first class, where 2 of them eventually sat.
No matter -- once the flight was delayed due to their outrageous behavior they moved about the cabin and conspicuously spoke Arabic in a deliberate effort to further heighten passenger terror. They also requested seat-belt extensions from the flight attendants, though neither necessary for nor actually used by any of them. Instead, they were placed on the floor for all to see, brandished as potential weapons or restraints.
As expected, at least one horrified passenger opted to obey the now familiar airport sign demanding "If you see something, say something!" Surely, everyone on flight 300 had seen more than enough.
Once notified, the pilot calmly asked the six to disembark for further screening. They refused. Again, likely according to plan, police were called onto the plane and the men were forcibly removed, taken into custody and quickly released when no weapons or bombs were found by the FBI. Setup complete -- the pigeons were cooped.
Step 3 - The Sting
Within hours, Muslim-rights groups, readily available, launched complaints of "religious harassment" which were quickly and obediently gobbled up by eager media. The complicit MSM predictably carried out their their duties by depicting the 6 as innocent imams returning home from an Islamic conference in Minneapolis, who were persecuted for praying prior to flying. Yeah, and Hyman Roth was just a retired investor on a pension returning to the U.S. Nonetheless, cries of "Islamophobia" were stridently shouted from the rooftops and the outrage immediately morphed into a plethora of proposed remedies.
CAIR quickly issued a statement demanding Congressional hearings to investigate this and other incidents of "flying while Muslim." And, according to Investor's Business Daily, just 2 days after the mock-hijacking, incoming Judiciary Chairman Conyers (D-MI), whose district includes one of the largest Islamic populations in the country,
[had] already drafted a resolution, borrowing from CAIR rhetoric, that gives Muslims special civil-rights protections.
This was an addendum to an already security-weakening bill Conyers had promised his Muslim constituency he'd see passed. What's more, taking political correctness to the verge of mental illness -- Pelosi (D-CA) and Ellison publicly called for criminalizing the act of profiling. The potentially compromised Speaker had already promised Muslims in 2004 to end racial profiling, limit the reach of the Patriot Act, and make immigration safe and accessible, adding that,
"Racial and religious profiling is fundamentally un-American and we must make it illegal"
Exactly one week after what looks a lot like a mock-hijacking, and in an effort to heighten visibility and thus liberal outrage, an "interfaith pray-in" was staged at the U.S Airways ticket counter in Reagan Washington National Airport. The event gave ringleader Shahin another opportunity to proclaim his version of the incident. Claiming it to have been the "worst moment of [his] life," he again flatly denied that any of the imams had done anything suspicious.
Shahin then called upon Muslims to boycott the airline, which might have an ironic impact - knowing that Muslims are avoiding U.S Airways has caused many to believe it to be the safest method of air travel.
The next day, Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, attempted to seal the terror-abetting deal when he told IslamOnline.net that,
".. we are desirous of large financial compensation for the imams, civil and federal sanctions for their conduct, and new broad-sweeping legislation that will extract even larger financial and civil penalties for any airline that participates in racial and religious profiling"
Such legislation is exactly what Pelosi, Conyers, et. al. had in mind - for starters anyway.
Step 4 - The Expected Payoff: The End Racial Profiling Act of 2007
S. 2138 provides federal funding defaults and potential civil penalties for any agencies which, when challenged, cannot prove that they did not racially profile anyone they questioned, detained, searched, or seized contraband from. It broadly defines the offense as (emphasis mine):
relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion in selecting which individuals to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities or deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial investigatory procedure....
It further requires that law enforcement agencies keep records as to the race, ethnicity, national origin and religion of all stops and searches. This data will be analyzed regularly by designees of the DOJ to determine if that agency is engaging in profiling. These inane determinations will be made based upon percentages of encounters compared to percentages of the population.
Such folly would keep our courts busy entertaining frivolous lawsuits driven by cherry-picked data and our law enforcement agencies more concerned with sticking to quota than solving and preventing crimes. Daniel Horan of the LAPD, who spent 6 years at the Los Angeles airport on profiling-related issues agrees:
"A law that would compel security professionals to focus on keeping their statistics within certain norms rather than on their mission keeping airline travel safe would have a devastating effect on our ability to ensure airline safety."
Moreover, such a law would ultimately provide exclusionary cause for captured terrorists, as well as yet another "blame the victim" modus for ACLU-molded lawyers to confuse low IQ juries.
Coincidently, in a July article exploring the same inherent flaws in the gathering of racial information at traffic-stops for analysis by Suffolk County, NY cops, I sarcastically concluded:
What next - a similar program at airports to affirm that Muslims, who comprise nearly 100% of the terrorist population, are not searched in numbers greater than the percentage they represent of the flying population? Has this country gone completely mad?
Last month's election results may both create the hypothetical and answer the rhetorical questions in that paragraph. Of course, even should the idiocy and mind-blowing danger of this legislation somehow manage to escape both Houses, it's unlikely that the president's veto pen would remain MIA. Surely Pelosi, Conyers, and even Ellison know this - they're likely laying the groundwork for what they predict as a post 2008 power Troika.
And that's exactly why this bill, which has been terminally ill for over 4 years, must be killed once and for all, along with those it would ultimately help to destroy us,. Furthermore, if Conyers wants special consideration for Muslims, he should have it. Specifically -- legislation must be considered which would make the actions perpetrated by these Imams at least comparable to crying "fire" in a crowded theater or otherwise inciting a riot.
The Next Speaker of the House of Games
Finally, nothing which took place on that airplane even remotely qualifies as religious or racial profiling. What was "profiled" -- to use the ridiculously misleading term du jour -- was intentionally suspicious behavior. Indeed, if 6 men walked into a bank wearing ski-masks, an alert teller would not wait to see their weapons before tripping the silent alarm: They were, after all, behaving in a manner highly consistent with that of armed robbers. Now that Islamic males of Mideastern extraction have defined manners equally consistent with murderous plane-hijackers, behaving as such should and must be met with similarly appropriate defensive maneuvers.
Whether the eager-to-oblige co-sponsors of the original act, Rep. Conyers and Speaker-to-be Pelosi were merely "marks" or something more is still open to conjecture. Then again, which would be worse - control of the House by those who would conspire with our enemies or those who would be so easily duped by them?
That's some choice.
Marc Sheppard is a technology consultant, software engineer, writer, and political and systems analyst. He is a regular contributor to American Thinker. He welcomes your feedback.