CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) was handed a victory of sorts on C-SPAN's Washington Journal call-in show this morning. The subject was the "civil rights" lawsuit CAIR attorneys have filed on behalf of the flying imams, whose highly suspicious actions last November led to their ejection from a US Airways plane prior to takeoff.
Open for discussion was this morning's USA Today opinion piece which bared the "chilling effects" of CAIR's effort to obtain the names of passengers who reported the imams' threatening behavior. These on-the-ball citizens, along with many airline employees, have actually been named as "John Doe" defendants in CAIR's bogus suit. Now, the action against the airline was entirely expected (and, for my money - likely orchestrated). But extending the complaint to include those who dutifully heeded the now familiar "see something, say something" plea is nothing short of diabolical.
As USA Today put it:
"This legal tactic seems designed to intimidate passengers willing to do exactly what authorities have requested - say something about suspicious activity."
And, of course, it does. Meanwhile, an "opposing view," penned by Arsalan Iftikhar, national legal director for CAIR, and appearing on the same opinion page claimed that:
"[The lawsuit] is not against any passengers who reported "suspicious" activity in good faith."
And, of course, it is. And trying to sell it as a paranoid response to those "flying while Muslim" changes nothing.
At least, so one would think. Unfortunately, this morning's calls to C-SPAN told an entirely different and extremely unnerving story.
Notwithstanding the moderator's televised reading from the Op-Ed, including those portions which clearly outlined the imams' startling behavior that triggered their removal, most of the callers stated that they were firmly behind the suit, blaming:
- The ignorance of White America
- Blatant Religious and Racial Profiling
- Americans' lack of knowledge about other cultures
- Denial of Freedom of Religion
- And, of course, President Bush
So, screaming anti-American slogans and words similar to the final cries of suicide bombers while changing assigned seats without authorization and brandishing potential restraints and weapons in a post-9/11 airplane cabin is within anybody's cultural or religious rights? Houston ... we've got a problem, a huge problem.
Adding fuel to this spreading fire is the fact that Washington Journal is as fair a call-in show as you're likely to find anywhere, with calls selected sequentially from Republican, Democratic and Independent lines. Yet the vast majority of callers appeared to have fallen hook, line, and sinker for CAIR's tactical rhetoric that the imams were innocent victims of discrimination. CAIR wouldn't stoop to lining-up callers with speed dialers to flood the lines, would it?