I’m curious what people think about the event that took place here in the Twin Cities with the Imams a couple weeks ago, where they were kicked off the plane for “suspicious behavior”.
My initial reaction was that it was complete bullshit, a bunch of uptight white-ass Minnesotans who got scared about people of Mid-Eastern descent doing their normal prayers before getting on the plane. It sure doesn’t take much imagination to see how that would happen.
However, the more I read about what happened, the less convinced I am of my initial take on the matter. Believe it or not, it was Katherine Kersten’s column on the subject that first caused me to question what happened. You have no idea how much it pains me to admit I was persuaded by Katherine Kersten.
Caveats abound, of course, the main one being that unless you are actually there, you have no idea whether one person’s definition of suspicious behavior would seem that way to you or not. But I have been struck by the number of supposed witnesses who said that in fact they travel to the Mid-East all the time, and what they saw from the six imams was indeed unusual.
Also unusual were the requests for seatbelt extensions from passengers who wouldn’t seem to require them (and then simply rolled them up after they obtained them), or the specific attempts to get a pair in the front, middle, and back of the plane. Would I be alarmed if I saw those things? I have to admit that I would be alarmed and concerned, but I probably wouldn’t have raised the issue with any crew member. I would have had a nice little bout of introspection as I tried to figure out if I was an uptight white-ass Minnesotan or these were actually people trying to down a plane.
Here’s Jane’s theory, and I think it’s compelling: Obviously these guys were not going to down the plane, as real terrorists tend to not do a dozen things to call attention to themselves while boarding the plane. Instead, they were trying to get kicked off the plane, to force just this kind of brouhaha.
It’s really the only thing that makes sense.