Moderate Muslim Group to Help Defend Airline Passengers in Flying Imams Suit

Both SeeDubya and Allahpundit are calling this development awesome, and I couldn’t agree more.

Lawyers and a Muslim group say they will defend at no cost airline passengers caught up in a lawsuit between a group of imams and U.S. Airways if the passengers are named as “John Does” and sued for reporting suspicious behavior that got the Muslim clerics booted from a November flight.

The six imams are suing the airline, Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission, and the unnamed “John Does” to be named later, for discrimination, saying they were removed from the flight for praying in the airport.

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix-area physician and director of American Islamic Forum for Democracy — a group founded in 2003 to promote moderate Muslim ideas through its Web site ( — told The Washington Times his group will raise money for legal fees for passengers if they are sued by the imams.

“It’s so important that America know there are Muslims who understand who the victims are in air travel,” said Dr. Jasser. “But I hope it doesn’t get to that point because the backlash will be even greater when Americans see Islamists trying to punish innocent passengers reporting fears.”

The lawsuit specifically cites two passengers who stared at the men as they prayed, then made a cell phone call that the imams say went to U.S. Airways to complain about the prayer.

Gerry Nolting, whose Minnesota law firm Faegre & Benson LLP is offering to represent passengers for free, says the judicial system is being “used for intimidation purposes” and that it is “just flat wrong and needs to be strongly, strongly discouraged.”

Absolutely! The passengers who reported the Imams as they prayed at the gate didn’t do so because they were prejudiced. They were scared, and Dr. Jasser’s group can help alleviate some of the fear that Americans have toward some Muslims.

Allahpundit notes that Faegre & Benson, a very prestigious lawfirm, wasn’t even the first firm to offer to help the passengers pro bono. While you’re at Hot Air, be sure to scroll down Allah’s post and check out the video of Dr. Jasser, a very vocal critic of CAIR and a defender of “24”, on Neil Cavuto’s show yesterday.

If you’re so inclined, you can donate to help Dr. Jasser’s efforts here.

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  • kim

    There is little doubt that Osama bin Laden and Ahmadinejad do not represent the beliefs of the vast majority of the billion and a half Muslims, to whom their faith is a comfort.

  • kim

    That said, Dr. Jasser is a very brave man. It has been fear of the extremists that has suppressed the moderates.

  • Bil

    Interesting logic – the passengers weren’t “prejudiced”, they were “scared.”

    Well, why were they scared?

    The answer is that they were scared because they were prejudiced. They were prejudiced about Moslems, thinking all of them are potential terrorists.

    To pass off their fear as being a reasonable reaction, instead of admitting to the cause of that fear is like saying a superstitious person who refuses to walk under a ladder is merely “scared” instead of “superstitious”.

  • J.R.

    Interesting logic Bill, how convenient to just assume those who witnesses the behavior are just prejudiced. Did you interview them yourself? Did you witness the iman’s behavior yourself?

    Regardless of their motivation, those who called and complained to US Airways about the iman’s actions did absolutely nothing illegal and in no way should any lawsuit be brought against them. I can’t understand how that can even be possible, it’s not like they themselves pulled the imans off the flight, that was US Airwars decision.

  • John Irving

    To pass off their fear as being a reasonable reaction, instead of admitting to the cause of that fear is like saying a superstitious person who refuses to walk under a ladder is merely “scared” instead of “superstitious”.

    Um, right. Have you looked at the NYC skyline lately?

    I’d say it’s more like the fear of someone who, having been bitten (or having someone close to them bitten) by a poisonous snake reacts to any other unidentified snake putting on a threat display. It’s a reasonable display of caution.

    I do believe, as kim has said, that the vast majority of Muslims are not represented at all by the fanatics trying to hijack their faith. But instigators like the “Flying Imams” aren’t among those, they are trying to manipulate events to their own ends.

  • Heralder


    Know why they were scared? It’s a tough question but I’ll take a shot in the dark.

    It may have also been suspicious behavior, but geez, who could tell?

    When a black man walks into a bank with one hand jammed in his pocket, he’s sweating and looking around for cameras, I know the security guard on duty would be in remiss of his duties were he to shake off possible signs of a robbery to avoid being called prejudiced.

    But I’m sure you’d be absolutely comfortable getting on a plane with a bunch of Muslims who make a show of praying at the gate, switching thier seats around to be in front of all the plane exits, ask for seat belt extensions that they do not use but place on the floor in front of them, while criticizing the war in Iraq and president Bush in Arabic and English.

    All completely natural behavior and we’re all racists if we think otherwise…right?

  • Michael

    Bil is one of those who Lenin called “useful idiots”.

  • Robert the original

    Jesse Jackson once said that he himself would fear back teenagers following him along a dark road more than he would white teenagers.

    I doubt if Jackson is prejudiced against blacks.

    The Imams did a lot more than pray and there were a lot more complaints than two.

  • Sheik Yur Bouty

    Where did that “Do not feed the trolls.” sign go?

    I know I saw it laying around here somewhere.

    (rummaging through drawers)

  • Heralder

    On the topic, I think this is an excellent developement.

    It would be nice if we could refer to these moderates as simply ‘Muslims’, and the extremists as ‘Muslim Extremists’.

    It’s time decent, intelligent Muslims got their religion back.

  • JLawson

    Don’t know about you, but I was taught in the military it was a bad idea to walk underneath ladders – because jostling a ladder accidentally can lead to things dropping (tools, paint, people) and causing damage.

    However, if you think you’ve GOT to walk under ladders for some sort of macho reason… (shrug) Hey, it’s your head, not mine.

    That said – only an idiot stands under a ladder, shakes it, and then dares stuff to drop on him. Those flying Imams did a damn good job of showing to me they weren’t innocent, and their threats of legal action don’t do anything towards promoting their innocence. I think they were just pushing the envelope, seeing what they could get away with. And when someone called them on it, they threaten legal action to expand what would be considered a ‘normal’ range of actions for travelling Muslims.

    So we’re to now accept the norm for travelling Muslims is to pray loudly, voice hatred for US/Bush?whoever, swap seats at random, and generally do everything possible to prep for a hijacking EXCEPT follow through.

    Yeah, that makes me feel like they’re innocent lambs caught up in unfortunate circumstances.


  • If this gets publicity, Maybe its the straw that will break the Kamil’s back.

  • Lee

    This is good news – I hope we see more Muslims “stepping up to the plate” in a similar manner.

  • jhow66

    Hey p’p’ I hope that does not mean what I think it does. But coming from you it is a no brainer.

  • bryanDalaKimsans===

    One less nail to hang his raison d’etre on!

  • Truly an excellent development.

    The imams should be hauled before a court and sentenced to a year behind the checkout counter at Target.

    At the newly opened “pork only” line.

  • Not April Fool’s, must be insanity! Like I’m going to donate to anything with the word “islamic” in the name, or to any organization run by muslims. Eat my Christian American shorts, bart! Here, hold my cross and Bible while your moderate buddies cut my throat.

  • graciela nirza

    I think is about time for america to stop whit this discrimanation after all this years we know about the gov lie to us about irak and evry thing ells way noth about 9/11 after all wher is osama bin laden i dont think is hard to fined someone like him if he was real….

  • kim

    Hey, graciela, the Pathans are after him, just like the Sunni tribesmen in Anbar are after the foreign devils.

  • kim

    These people tried to highjack the word of Allah. Let me tell, you, Allah is pissed. La illahah illalah, Mohamudar rasullalah.

  • MikeSC

    Yes, apparently to Bil, when Arabs do the IDENTICAL behaviors of previous hijackers, it is wrong of people to notice it.