You probably heard that earlier this week, six imams who boarded a US Air flight in Minneapolis acted strangely enough to make their fellow passengers nervous.
It wasn't just that some of the imams prayed as a group, presumably in Arabic, before the flight -- although given that terrorists who killed innocent people on 9/11 and other dates have preceded and accompanied their murderous acts with prayers to Allah, that was disconcerting enough.
The imams also made critical comments about the war in Iraq -- not a crime in itself, but a little worrisome under the circumstances -- and asked for seat belt extensions that they reportedly didn't need. Also, some of the imams had purchased one-way tickets and had no checked baggage -- red flags for possible suspicion at times of heightened alert. All of this resulted in the imams being disinvited from the flight.
How unenlightened the passengers are! was the refrain. It's almost as if they fear that groups of Muslim men who engage in unusual behavior before boarding a flight might be up to something!
Where could they have gotten that idea?
The incident with the six imams may have all added up to nothing, or it may have been a trial run to test defenses, or it may have been an attempt to provoke a reaction, or something more. Who knows? More importantly, who knew then?
As I've pointed out elsewhere, instead of demanding that all the other airline passengers be more culturally sensitive -- i.e., willing to shut up and bet their lives that nothing was amiss -- why not ask the six imams to be more culturally sensitive? Why couldn't they pray 15 minutes earlier, preferably in a private room? If they had to pray in the airport waiting area, why couldn't they give the folks around them reassuring smiles and tell them that they would be praying now? At least one Muslim commentator at Gateway Pundit says the imams could have been more discreet.
But no. The usual victimology has begun. Some Muslims are threatening to boycott the airline.
Now we already have Muslims holding pray-ins at airports to protest the reasonable judgment call that US Airways made.
Pray-ins are fine. America could use more public prayer, especially by Christians. But when it comes to these six imams, it's not the praying per se that most people object to.
It's the veiled threat.
And there is a threat here; make no mistake about it. As Thinkinboutstuff points out, making passengers and crew members hesitant to act through repeated provocation followed by cries of discrimination could be used as a strategy to weaken our defenses.
That makes the Muslim pray-ins a threat to your safety. Don't stand still for it.
Maybe we should hold Christian counter-pray-ins right next to the Muslims and pray for, among other things, Americans with the courage to object when something seems wrong before an airline flight, and for Muslims with the courage to speak out against terrorism.