Seattle Interfaith Leaders to Seek Probe of Imam’s Forced Removal from Delta Flight

March 31, 2014

 

On Tuesday, April 1, the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), along with a group of pastors, rabbis, imams, and labor leaders, will hold a news conference to ask Delta Air Lines and the U.S. Department of Transportation to investigate the apparently bias-motivated removal earlier this month of a Seattle-area imam (Muslim religious leader) from a flight by Delta employees.

The imam, who is a Delta Platinum Elite member, was forced to disembark his flight and take another flight. He was reportedly informed by the Delta employee who escorted him off the plane that this was being done because a crew member judged “the way you used the restroom” to be “doubtful.”

“The Department of Transportation must investigate this shocking incident to hold Delta Air Lines accountable for discriminating against a respected religious leader,” said CAIR-WA Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari. “Not all passengers who go to the bathroom get kicked off their flight, so Delta’s discriminatory act was due solely to the imam’s perceived racial, ethnic and religious affiliation.”

Bukhari noted that there have been a number of similar incidents nationwide in which Muslim leaders and community members have been forcibly removed from airplanes after boarding due to their language, religious attire or appearance.

Cair.com: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12431-seattle-interfaith-leaders-to-seek-probe-of-imams-forced-removal-from-delta-flight.html

CAIR and other advocacy groups join Pilots’ Unions and Flight Attendants Unions in calling new airport pat-downs invasive, humiliating

Two of the largest pilots’ unions in the nation are urging commercial pilots to rebel against current airport screening rules. In late October, the Transport Security Administration implemented more invasive patdown rules. Travelers (including Muslims) and pilots were faced with a new dilemma — have a revealing, full-body scan or what some are calling an X-rated patdown.

Last week, the head of Allied Pilots Association, a union representing 11,000 American Airlines pilots, wrote an email to pilots suggesting that they forgo both going through a full-body scanner and submitting to a public patdown. Instead, Captain Dave Bates urged pilots to opt for a private patdown.

“In my view, it is unacceptable to submit to one in public while wearing the uniform of a professional airline pilot,” Bates said in an email.

Pilots are piping mad over the options, saying the full-body scanners emit dangerous levels of radiation and that the alternative public patdown is disgraceful for a pilot in uniform. Some pilots have said they felt so violated after a patdown, they were unfit to fly.

CAIR offices have already received complaints, particularly from female travelers who wear hijab, about being subjected to the new pat-down procedure.

The enhanced pat-down involves a much more intrusive manual search of passengers’ bodies by TSA officers. Passengers who have undergone the new pat-down procedure have reported feeling humiliated by a search they describe as invasive and that has involved TSA officers touching the face and hair, the groin area and buttocks, and in between and underneath breasts.