Case of the ‘Flying Imams’ Prompts Congressional Action

Well good. It’s time someone actually put political correctness away and sees CAIR for the terrorist supporting organization it is.

( – An Islamic advocacy group is taking flak — and prompting congressional action — over a decision to sue ordinary citizens who expressed concern about six Muslim imams who tried to catch a U.S. Airlines flight last November.

The airline removed the imams from the plane after other passengers reported seeing them engage in “suspicious” activity.

“The flying imams” lawsuit was announced on March 13 by Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The imams are suing US Airways and Minnesota’s Metropolitan Airports Commission, alleging that their civil rights were violated.

And while CAIR says the airline is the main focus of the lawsuit, the imams also are suing “John Does”– described in the lawsuit as “passengers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport who contacted U.S. Airways to report the alleged ‘suspicious’ behavior of Plaintiffs’ performing their prayer at the airport terminal.”

One of the unnamed “John Doe” defendants is described as an “older” man who “picked up his cellular phone and made a phone call while watching the Plaintiffs pray” at the U.S. Airways gate.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a conservative public interest law firm, has offered to defend for free any individual citizens named in CAIR’s lawsuit.

On Tuesday, U.S. lawmakers got into the act. House Republicans proposed a measure to protect public-transportation passengers from being sued if they report suspicious activity involving their fellow passengers, the Washington Times reported.

By a vote of 304-121, the House agreed to send the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007 back to committee so that language shielding passengers can be inserted into the bill.

Republican lawmakers mentioned CAIR’s lawsuit, warning it would have a “chilling effect” on passengers who might be less inclined to report suspicious behavior. But some Democrats argued that shielding people from such lawsuits would encourage racial profiling on the part of passengers.

In a March 23 letter to CAIR, Becket Fund President Kevin Hasson denounced the targeting of private citizens. “It has never been in the civil rights tradition to sue ordinary citizens,” Hasson told CAIR

“In fact, threatening to sue fearful senior citizens who make telephone calls is about as far removed from the ‘movement to advance civil rights in this nation’ as I can imagine. It is most certainly the right of individual citizens and, indeed, their duty — especially in wartime — to report their suspicions to the authorities.”

Hasson said actions taken by authorities in response to passengers’ complaints may be fair game for litigation, but the “ability of the citizenry to make such calls in the first place is not.”

Hasson is urging CAIR to “use whatever influence you may have” to convince the imams and their lawyer not to sue individual citizens.

Original Link.

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