Saturday :: Aug 19, 2006

Terror Is Winning Without Firing A Shot

by pessimist

Despite the fact that the case against Rashid Rauf, the Briton alleged to be the ‘mastermind’ behind the airline terror plot, is falling apart rapidly because the Pakistanis can find no evidence against the ‘terror mastermind’:

[A]fter two weeks of interrogation, an inch-by-inch search of his house and analysis of his home computer, officials are now saying that his extradition is ‘a way down the track’ if it happens at all. It comes amid wider suspicions that the plot may not have been as serious, or as far advanced, as the authorities initially claimed.

But the damage has already been done:

Passengers refuse to allow holiday jet to take off until two Asian men are thrown off plane
19th August 2006

British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny - refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.

Patrick Mercer, the Tory Homeland Security spokesman, said last night: "This is a victory for terrorists. These people on the flight have been terrorised into behaving irrationally.

"For those unfortunate two men
to be victimised because of the colour of their skin
is just nonsense."

Keep in mind that the Tories are not currently in power in Britain.

Killer Attack Lap Poodle Tony Blair's Labour Party is in power in Britain, and there is every reason for Americans to think that the Tories would not be so understanding of what our Republicans would turn into an international incident if the Democrats were in power here in the States and this incident happened here.

But as the article continues, it appears that traveling Muslims understand the situation - and are willing to be peaceable about it in spite of the inconvenience:

College lecturer Jo Schofield, her husband Heath and daughters Emily, 15, and Isabel, 12, were caught up in the passenger mutiny. Mr Schofield, 40, an area sales manager, said:
"When the men were taken off they didn't argue or say a word.
They just picked up their coats and obeyed the police.
They seemed resigned to the fact they were under suspicion."

The incident fuels the row over airport security following the arrest of more than 20 people allegedly planning the suicide-bombing of transatlantic jets from the UK to America. It also raised fears that more travellers will take the law into their own hands - effectively conducting their own 'passenger profiles'.

That is already going on in America, as a Muslim doctor from Canada can attest:

Muslim doctor wants apology from U.S. airline
CBC News
19 Aug 2006

A Winnipeg doctor is demanding an official apology and compensation from United Airlines after being kicked off a flight in the U.S. this week, an incident he has characterized as "institutionalized discrimination." Dr. Ahmed Farooq, a Muslim, was escorted off an airplane in Denver on Tuesday.

According to Farooq, reciting his evening prayers was interpreted by one passenger as an activity that was suspicious. Farooq said the allegation came from a passenger who appeared drunk and had previously threatened him during the trip.

It used to be that such passengers would be the focus of the aircrew, subject to arrest upon landing. But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore:

"The whole situation is just really frustrating," Farooq said.

"It makes you uneasy, because you realize
you have to essentially watch every single thing you say and do,
and it's worse for people who are of colour,
who are identifiable as a minority."

American Blacks can identify, Doctor. Be thankful that you didn't experience what it's like to be lynched for Flying While Muslim.

But I digress.

Farooq said that even officials from the Transportation Security Administration soon realized the flight crew had overreacted, but by the time that conclusion had been reached the trio were forced to stay in Denver for the night and catch a flight the next day — at their own expense.

"There's no recourse," Farooq said. "There's no way to really be able to talk to anybody to really be able to reason it out. The police officers who talked to me afterwards and subsequent officials within the first three to five minutes, they were like, 'You know what? The crew made a mistake. We apologize that they took you off. They overreacted.'"

As would be the case with any other professional, Dr. Farooq wants resolution. Unlike American politicians, Dr. Farooq is getting some action from his government:

Winnipeg MP Pat Martin has called on federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to raise the issue with his American counterparts.

As if that will do any good.

But it's more than an illegal immigrant in America can hope for:

Elvira Arellano, a fugitive from the government, waits with her 7-year-old son and prays. “I’m not a terrorist,” said Ms. Arellano, who came to the United States illegally nine years ago and is facing her second deportation.
“I’m only a single mother with a son who’s an American citizen.”
Ms. Arellano is confident. “I didn’t allow them to deport me, and the community is supporting me,” she said. “I’m not afraid of anything because I’m in the house of God.”

The church’s pastor, the Rev. Walter Coleman, said helping Ms. Arellano was part of his calling. “There’s a tradition in this country as well as around the world that governments respect the dignity and the faith of the church and don’t trample on that,” Mr. Coleman said.

“I’m much more afraid of God than I am of Homeland Security.”
Ms. Arellano is hoping Congress will act on a private relief bill that would allow her and her son, Saul, a United States citizen who has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, to stay in the country, where she says he can get better medical treatment. She was granted a stay of deportation after a private relief bill was introduced in the Senate in 2003 because of her son’s medical needs.

Last year, two similar bills were introduced in the House, but no action has been taken.

Feeling safer yet?

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