Thursday, April 17, 2008

Man Prays on Plane, Removed: Racial Profiling?

A strangely-dressed man refused to move from the back of a airliner in New York City. Carrying what appeared to be a book, he continued praying as flight attendants ordered him to take his seat.

He appeared to be praying.

The man was finally removed from the airliner.

He's a member of both an ethnic and a religious minority.

Racial profiling? Ethnic stereotyping run amok?

I doubt it. The man is an Orthodox Jew, whose habits of prayer were a very bad match for airline regulations. And, in my view, common sense. Although I accept the possibility that some delay led to him being in an airliner about to take off at the exact moment when he absolutely had to start praying.

So far, I haven't noticed the Anti-Defamation League, or any other advocacy group, popping up with cries of abuse and profiling. Even though, in common with Muslims who have been ejected from airliners for peculiar behavior, he was dressed funny and acting oddly.

This situation is different, of course. The praying man's not Muslim. If he were, I suspect that we'd have another case like the incredible flying imams of Minnesota.

It's early days, though. Maybe groups like the ADL just take longer to start talking to the press about 'racial profiling.'

But, I doubt it.
Information from
"Praying passenger is removed from plane at JFK"
USA Today (April 17, 2008)

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.