So tell me, my politically correct friends, what would you do?
You're waiting to board an airplane and you spot six bearded Muslim men imams, as it turns out in the concourse waiting to board with you. Three of them being praying loudly, shouting "Allah! Allah!" when you and your fellow passengers are called for boarding.
You, being a good liberal, think nothing off it.
According to the Washington Times, "Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin."
"They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane," one air marshal told the Times. "That would alarm me."
But not you. You're no bigot. You're noÖ profiler.
So what if three notably non-obese imams asked for seat belt extenders? So what if, despite being told there were no available seats in first class when asked for an upgrade, two of the imams were found sitting there when they were removed from the plane?
No matter. You're with Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, who called removing the imams an act of racism and Islamophobia.
Alas, I'm not nearly as stup..er "open-minded" as you. My family and I will proudly stick with the "Islamophobics" on this one, and wait for the next flight out.
How much sympathy do I have for idiot imams in the post-9/11 world who feel the need to shout "Allah!" at the top of their lungs while boarding an airplane? Slightly less than I feel for the drunken Yankees fan who wanders onto Yawkey Way screaming "The Red Sox can kiss my [sound of muffled blows and breaking glass]."
It requires a level of political correctness that borders on mental illness to find the imams' behavior benign. Their actions were so openly provocative that Ann Coulter suggests this all might be a publicity stunt by US Airways to get Muslims to boycott just in time for Christmas.
She may be onto something. It's hard to imagine a more appealing slogan for the nervous holiday traveler than "We're the airline angry Muslims refuse to fly!"
But after reading the Washington Times' coverage of the provocative, unnecessary and unsettling behavior of the imams (who had just attended a "fight the power!" imam convention), I think it's more likely this was a lawsuit set-up from the beginning. It's the political equivalent of the "Swoop and Squat," a staged car-wreck of stupidity on behalf of p.c. sensibilities.
Now come the usual threats of boycotts, lawsuits, blah, blah, blah. Angry liberals demand I be offended that Muslims acting weird at airports aren't treated the same way as Methodists (as if you could actually GET a Methodist to pray aloud in public).
These imams were not treated unfairly, not in the least. Yes, it's a shame that rational people must view Muslims as inherently more dangerous than non-Muslims, I agree. In fact, it's tragic. But such is the tragic state of Islam.
Do even the most liberal among us find it unreasonable for leaders of the only major world religion with an ongoing terrorism problem to pay a price for the shameful state of their faith? After all, these imams weren't attending a conference on "How To Rescue Islam From Radicals" or "Creating A Moderate Muslim Army To Confront The Islamists." Instead it was yet another gathering of moaning Muslims, whining "I'm a victim, America's full of bigots, when is someone going to kill all the J...oops Ahmed! You were supposed to take that off the agenda before the press arrived!"
Offended? Six well-educated imams could be offended by the wholesale slaughter going on in the name of Islam across Baghdad today violence that didn't occur when (non-Muslim) Poland, Romania or Estonia were liberated from their Soviet dictators.
Offended imams might be disturbed by the fact that nearly every act of Muslim-on-Muslim violence in Iraq is accompanied by the cry "Allahu Akbar!" They could even be offended by the refusal of Muslim nations to send troops to Iraq to fight this alleged blasphemy against Islam.
How about a little outrage over the hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims being slaughtered in Darfur by Muslim warriors? Or Sudan's Muslim government refusing to allow UN peacekeepers into the region?
But being offended by these events would involve being offended by Muslims. And as US Airways is learning, being offended by the actions of Muslims, however provocative or idiotic, is simply not allowed.