Friday, January 02, 2009

Really don't mind if you sit this one out...

This is just completely nuts:

Officials ordered nine Muslim passengers, including three young children, off an AirTran flight headed to Orlando from Reagan National Airport yesterday afternoon after two other passengers overheard what they thought was a suspicious remark.
And the suspicious remark?

"My brother and his wife were discussing some aspect of airport security," Irfan said. "The only thing my brother said was, 'Wow, the jets are right next to my window.' I think they were remarking about safety."
The position of the airline?

"At the end of the day, people got on and made comments they shouldn't have made on the airplane, and other people heard them," Hutcheson said. "Other people heard them, misconstrued them. It just so happened these people were of Muslim faith and appearance. It escalated, it got out of hand and everyone took precautions."
But wait, there's more!

"For us, it just highlights that security is everybody's responsibility," Howe said. "Someone heard something that was inappropriate, and then the airline decided to act on it. We certainly support [the pilot's] call to do that."
The passive voice raised to a universal screech. We are all complicit in what AirTran Airlines did. When everyone is to blame, no one is to blame.

Except, of course, "traditionally Muslim in appearance" people, who should know better than to have conversations on American planes. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, after all.

But those people don't get on airplanes anymore; apparently.

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