Valley Muslims Say Prayer got Them Kicked off Flight

November 22, 2006

Author: Michael Kiefer

Source: The Arizona Republic

Minutes after their flight arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, five Valley Muslim leaders announced that they had not been acting suspiciously before they were removed from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis.

"The crime we did?" said Omar Shahin, one of the five. "That we perform our prayer."

Meanwhile, a national Islamic civil rights group asked for an investigation into the questioning of the imams in Minnesota, saying that the incident was the result of "prejudice and ignorance, not by real evidence of a threat to passenger safety."

Shahin is the imam, or leader, of the Arizona Cultural Academy, a mosque and Islamic religious school in Phoenix.

The five men, several of whom are well-known in the Phoenix interfaith community, said that they were taken from the plane Monday because they are Muslim.