Sunday, March 18, 2007

US Airways Passengers Who Reported 'Suspicious' Imam Activity May Be Sued
Bring it on.

Six Muslim imams who were forcibily removed from a US Airways flight last year and are now suing the airline for discrimination may also be suing some passengers who were aboard the flight.

In the lawsuit filed last week, the imams say that unnamed "John Doe" passengers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported that they engaged in "suspicious" behavior — praying in the terminal — before they boarded the plane...

Omar Mohammedi, the imams' New York-based lawyer, said that the imams have not yet decided whether to pursue this complaint, but if they do it would affect only those passengers who were prejudiced in their suspicions....

He said that if the passengers were suspicious based only on the imams' appearance, "then they should be liable . . . these people should be careful not to abuse the process and be responsible."

The lawsuit alleges that US Airways unlawfully removed the six imams from Flight 300 for discriminatory reasons based on race, religion, ethnicity, or other outside appearances when they tried to board a flight after attending a North American Imams Federation conference...

The lawsuit says US Airways has "falsely claimed" the imams' "suspicious" behavior, including saying "God is Great" in Arabic on the plane, talking about President Bush and Iraq and purchased one-way tickets with cash. Passengers also reported that some of the imams asked for seat belt extenders and switched seats...

The lawsuit also claims that a couple sitting behind some of the imams in the terminal were "purposely turning around to watch" them as they prayed, and that a "John Doe" then picked up his cell phone and made a call while he watched them pray...An internal probe by US Airways found there was no racial profiling in the incident.

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