Chicago, Nov. 21 (Reuters): Muslim leaders expressed outrage today after six imams were removed from a commercial airline flight in Minnesota for what they said was nothing more than trying to say evening prayers.
“They were treated like terrorists ... humiliated,” said Abu Hannoud, civil rights director for the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who said the men were taken off the US Airways flight in handcuffs.
He said the men were still trying to find a flight back to Phoenix where most are affiliated with a major mosque after the carrier refused them passage following the incident yesterday evening.
“We are concerned that crew members, passengers and security personnel may have succumbed to fear and prejudice based on stereotyping of Muslims and Islam,” added Nihad Awad, executive director of the council, in a statement from the group’s Washington headquarters.
“We call on relevant authorities to investigate whether proper procedures were followed by security personnel and members of the US Airways flight crew,” he said.
Angry nursing moms
With babies at their breasts, nursing mothers staged airport protests around the US today after Emily Gillette, 27, was ordered off a Freedom Airlines flight last month in Burlington, Vermont, for breast-feeding her daughter too openly.