December 7, 2006

A couple of dispatches from the home front of the increasingly-absurd war being waged against the U.S. by Muslims screaming religious intolerance:

1. Falcon Kathy at Hang Right Politics thinks she knows the reason behind the “Flying Imams” incident staged last month at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport – you know, that incident I wrote about the other day. Turns out a group of concerned Muslim clerics in the Minneapolis area are now using that incident to push airport officials to have the airport set aside a private area for meditation where Muslims can pray:

Airport officials said Friday they will consider setting aside a private area for prayer and meditation at the request of imams concerned about the removal of six Muslim clerics from a US Airways flight last week. Steve Wareham, director of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, said other airports have “meditation rooms” used for prayers or by passengers who simply need quiet time.

A group of Somali clerics met with airport officials Friday and said they would attract less attention if they had a private area for prayer. Devout Muslims pray five times daily, facing the holy city of Mecca.

I’ve traveled through the Minneapolis airport on numerous times (in fact, its one of my fave airports to connect through), and it’s huge. So huge, that if they don’t already have a meditation room or (gasp!) chapel on the premises, I’d be VERY surprised; many large airports do. If, in fact, it doesn’t anywhere amongst its terminals, it wouldn’t hurt society or an increasingly-frazzled traveling public to make one available for people who want to pray or spend some quiet time. I just don’t think the (if true) absence of a meditation room is sufficient reason for creating an incident where people get arrested and passengers frightened and/or worked up. If, in fact, that was the intended purpose…

…something Debra Burlingame, widow of American Airlines captain Charles Burlingame, who piloted one of the doomed planes in the 9/11 attacks, doesn’t buy. In fact, the imams behavior on board the planes sounds all to familiar to her. Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, she writes:

“…After boarding, they did not take their assigned seats but dispersed to seats in the first row of first class, in the midcabin exit rows and in the rear–the exact configuration of the 9/11 execution teams. The head of the group, seated closest to the cockpit, and two others asked for a seatbelt extension, kept on board for obese people. A heavy metal buckle at the end of a long strap, it can easily be used as a lethal weapon. The three men rolled them up and placed them on the floor under their seats. And lest this entire incident be written off as simple cultural ignorance, a frightened Arabic-speaking passenger pulled aside a crew member and translated the imams’ suspicious conversations, which included angry denunciations of Americans, furious grumblings about U.S. foreign policy, Osama Bin Laden and “killing Saddam.”

(Hat tip: Capt. Ed.) Like I mentioned in my earlier post, my feeling is these guys were up to no good, and weren’t just trying to make some kind of political statement. I’m not saying they were actually planning on taking that plane down, but there WAS a targeted audience for their actions; we just don’t know who they were – yet.

2. Then there’s this story about a Dearborn, Michigan woman who is filing suit against the fitness chain where she works out because a gym patron had the audacity to interrupt her prayers during her workout there. I kid you not. Here’s the story (hat tip: Little Green Footballs):

Fitness USA, a gym chain, is investigating an alleged civil rights violation involving a local Muslim woman who says her afternoon prayer was interrupted by a fellow patron, and that her complaint to management about the situation was rejected.

“The manager told me, ‘You have to respect her (the patron), but she does not have to respect your God,'” said Wardeh Sultan of Dearborn. “I’ve had my membership for seven or eight years, and I’ve never had a problem with praying there.

The allegations are among a series of recent complaints by Muslims who say they are free to practice their religion in the United States, until someone tells them they cannot. Recently, the same Fitness USA facility enacted a new dress code to allow Muslim women to wear more modest clothing, in compliance with some Islamic practices.

Is there anything about this story that makes any kind of sense? Using a fitness center as a location for praying? I mean, how about – oh, I don’t know – scheduling your workout around your prayer obligations? Is that so extreme? And what about the “more modest clothing” bit (which obviously means a headscarf and other loose-fitting clothing)? Look, there’s a reason why people sorta avoid loose-fitting clothing at fitness centers. There’s a lot of machinery where bad things can happen if your clothing gets caught in it during a workout. Me, I’m just waiting for the day when that happens to her or some other woman and causes injury. Wanna bet the first dime she drops will be to a lawyer who’ll then sue the chain for damages, claiming that it was negligent in allowing patrons to wear loose-fitting clothing in the first place?

Look, I have no problem with Islam as a religion, per se. But this whole crap about Muslims wanting the free and open society like the one we (and they) live in to somehow go through these hysterics and legal calisthenics (no pun intended) simply to allow them to practice their religion as they see fit is not only arrogance, but absurd and bordering on the dangerous as well. One can laugh at the seeming foolishness of these kinds of things, but you can bet organizations like CAIR and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee – undoubtedly with the enthusiastic support of the ACLU – are encouraging these kinds of cases to be brought before the American legal system to see just how far they can go.

My hope is that, sooner or later, the American people will wake up to this kind of cancer that is threatening to destroy our society from within.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:07 | Comments Off on Religious Intolerance?
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