"An Ally in the Struggle Against Radical Islam," a Commentary by Jeff Jacoby

March 25, 2007

Author: Jeff Jacoby

Source: The Boston Globe


INTIMIDATING critics through trumped-up litigation and claims of "discrimination" is something of the house specialty at the Council on American-Islamic Relations. No surprise, then, that CAIR is involved in the lawsuit filed against US Airways by six imams who were kicked off a Minneapolis-Phoenix flight after their disruptive behavior alarmed other passengers. CAIR cranked out a press release on March 13 noting that the imams had "filed a lawsuit against the airline and Minnesota's Metropolitan Airports Commission alleging that their civil rights were violated."

What the release didn't mention, but the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Katherine Kersten discovered in the complaint, is that CAIR and the imams are also targeting as-yet unnamed "John Does" -- the "passengers . . . who contacted US Airways to report the alleged 'suspicious' behavior of Plaintiffs." That behavior reportedly included praying ostentatiously near the gate, refusing to take their assigned seats after boarding, and asking for unnecessary seat-belt extenders that could be used as weapons.

"The imams' attempt to bully ordinary passengers marks an alarming new front in the war on airline security," Kersten writes. "Average folks, 'John Does' like you and me . . . are our 'first responders' against terrorism. But the imams' suit may frighten such individuals into silence ."

Over the years, CAIR and other Islamist groups have gotten much mileage out of such strong-arm tactics . But there is good news: Some Americans are pushing back. And even better news: Some of the push-back is coming from Muslims who forcefully reject the Islamist project.