View Full Version : Four Arab-Americans kicked off Northwest flight

21st Sep 2001, 22:31
"the airline has no choice but to re-accommodate a passenger or passengers if their actions or presence make a majority of passengers uncomfortable and threaten to disrupt normal operations of flight."

Is that right? If a majority of passengers don't like the way someone looks, he or she can be thrown off a plane?

21st Sep 2001, 23:02
There is no doubt that the suicide "pilots" not only inflicted a heinous crime on the American people, they also inflicted a huge burden on their fellow Arabs and other Muslims that they will have to carry for years to come.

Any person of Middle Eastern background is going to be viewed with great suspicion if he shows any interest in aviation and the same will apply to passengers. Anyone thinking of employing a person of Middle Eastern background is going to think long and hard before he does so. Personal profiling will be the way that security will be beefed up by either the airlines or the other passengers and can you blame them?
The damage that it will do to Middle Eastern airlines will surely make them as unviable as the major western ones are this week.

Let us hope that action is taken by the Middle Eastern countries to lance this boil; the after effects would be easier to deal with than if the USA is forced to act.

21st Sep 2001, 23:26
what's worse is that people from South Asia - including non-Islamic people like Sikhs and Hindus from India - are experiencing what can only be termed as harassment at US airports.

Unfortunately people who had nothing to do with the horrors last week are being unfairly targetted - just because they "look Middle-Eastern" to some American eyes.

The hope is that this is a temporary abberation and things will be a bit more "normal" eventually.

The Guvnor
21st Sep 2001, 23:53
If you think that's bad, try these:

KMOL story (http://www.kmol.com/news/topstory/story.asp?content_id=659442)


Sean's story (http://www.airliners.net/discussions/trip_reports/read.main/13127/)

I personally know (and have a lot of time for) the author of the second item - and he most certainly does not look like your average Middle Eastern terrorist!

22nd Sep 2001, 00:27
Sounds like McCarthy all over again...

Please, everyone, let's not forget that between white and black, there are a thousand shades of grey.

Even if caution is a virtue, zeal is not.

22nd Sep 2001, 00:47
Your friend Sean seems a right BS artist Guv. Tearjerker of a story has all the old dears on that site tut-tutting but it's all hogwash - his profiled age is a teenager; he has a beer in the lounge, a vodka on the plane and then he gracefully looks out the LH window and sees a F-16 formated on the wingtip - in the middle of the night!! :eek: And I'm supposed to believe the rest of his story?

The Guvnor
22nd Sep 2001, 01:10
Actually, Roundout he's in his mid 20s and his old man is a very senior exec with Air India.

22nd Sep 2001, 01:39
"Even if caution is a virtue, zeal is not."

Sanctimonious claptrap. You yanks might feel that European airport security is oppresive but that's more to do with the quality of your domestic internal security....if zeal gets me and mine safely to our destination . then I'm all for it.


22nd Sep 2001, 01:48

Your quote was from my post. I am not a Yank, and your reply is far off the mark. Zeal will not get you to your destination safely. At best, it will rock you right back to sleep.

[ 21 September 2001: Message edited by: Gantenbein ]

22nd Sep 2001, 02:08

"Zeal" might not be a qaulity wanted on the flight deck but it's sure as hell needed in the mind numbing world of airport security. I suspet you are not a native English speaker ?....check out dictionary for meaning of "zeal" (PS "you'll never need "zeal" for ATC work !!!!!!).

Peter J

22nd Sep 2001, 02:21

No reply necessary. You have discredited yourself all on your own. Let's not distract the other participants from what this thread is about.

[ 21 September 2001: Message edited by: Gantenbein ]

Helmut Visorcover
22nd Sep 2001, 03:22
This is possibly the exact reaction the perpetrators wanted. Muslims/Arabs, anyone who looks remotely 'non-European' to be persecuted to get them firmly on one side of the fence or the other.
A part of the bigger picture than last Tuesday? The planning wasn't just to prang a couple of cabs into the WTC on the whim of 'Anti America/Capitalism' me thinks!

The reaction of the American people and the world following the event was carefully thought out. I even subconsciously give the above groups a second look (why?), do you now? I think events will unfold.

22nd Sep 2001, 03:31
I think it is sad that we are entering a time where racial profiling will raise its head, but 6333 people didnt go home on Tuesday 11th. For there sake and the sake of childrens parents everywhere, those who wish to complain of should do so quitely and into a corner where they carent be heard. All of us who fly are having to give up certain freedoms. I havent flown since the incident, but on Tuesday when I fly out of IAD, I know i need to be there early even though i dont have an baggage.

If you want to scream, and moan, please help yourself to a kick in the fruit stand

22nd Sep 2001, 11:55
Several hundered of the WTC victims were 'brown' - mainly Indian and Bangladeshi.i.e. people who you would now be suspicious of.(those who are advocating racial profiling). I've just come back from a thoroughly depressing JFK having had security take my nail clippers from my crew bag, in case I was planning some dastardly act with them. At the moment I don't enjoy going to work. To read some of the comments above makes me think these terrorists scored an even bigger victory than they can ever have dreamed of.

22nd Sep 2001, 13:13
Still, Eboy's question stands unanswered !
I'm also surprised at this possibly discriminating rule.

Northwest Airlines spokesman Doug Killian said that under Federal Aviation Administration rules, "the airline has no choice but to re-accommodate a passenger or passengers if their actions or presence make a majority of passengers uncomfortable and threaten to disrupt normal operations of flight."

Surely it's the actions of the other passengers that caused the disruption, no ?

[ 22 September 2001: Message edited by: traveler ]

22nd Sep 2001, 14:01
GUV what does a middle eastern terrorist look like? impossible to know, thats the sad thing.

23rd Sep 2001, 07:15
And now the whole horrible truth...blacks and Hispanics practice, you guessed it, racial profiling:

From the New York Times

September 23, 2001

Once Appalled by Race Profiling, Many Find Themselves Doing It


SEATTLE, Sept. 22 Ron Arnold understands racial profiling. "I'm a black American, and I've been racially profiled all my life," said Mr. Arnold, a 43-year-old security officer here, "and it's wrong."

But Mr. Arnold admits that he is engaging in some racial profiling himself these days, casting a wary eye on men who look to be of Middle Eastern descent. If he saw a small knot of such men boarding a plane on which he was about to fly, he said: "Yes, I'd be aware of them. I'd be nervous. It sickens me that I feel that way, but it's the real world."

Adrian Estala, 27, a risk-management consultant in Houston who is Hispanic, is struggling with the same emotions. Mr. Estala is "absolutely against" racial profiling, he said, because it is one of the most fundamental violations of liberty he can think of. But asked the same question about sharing an airplane flight with Arab-looking men, he said he would be anxious.

"Absolutely I have to be honest," Mr. Estala said. "Yes, it would make me second-guess. Anybody that says no, they're a better man than I am, or a better woman. I would feel nervous. I mean, who wouldn't?"

On the other side of the divide, Arab-Americans are also feeling new discomfort about attitudes toward them. Nadeem Salem, head of the Association of Arab-Americans in Toledo, Ohio, said such views were extremely offensive. "Think what it really means," said Mr. Salem, a second-generation American-born citizen. "People's civil liberties are being tarnished, compromised. That's not what this country is all about."

For many Americans who say they have deeply believed that it was wrong for law enforcement officers to single out members of minorities for special interrogation or searches, the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 have prompted a painful confrontation with the sudden anxieties they acknowledge feeling in the presence of one minority in particular. With all of the roughly 20 hijackers involved the attacks believed to have Arab backgrounds, these Americans say, the police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have ample reason to zero in on that group. "It's not right," said Virginia Hawthorne, a retired accountant from Bremerton, Wash., "but it's justified."

Such sentiments seem to have been in play on Thursday in Minneapolis when three Middle Eastern- looking men were denied permission to board a Northwest Airlines flight to their homes in Salt Lake City after several passengers complained of their presence, an airline spokesman said. The men were later permitted to take a Delta flight.

While expressing regret at what they portrayed as the need for more detailed interrogations of people of Arab background, many people said the subjects of such extra attention should understand and accept the reasons for it.

"They shouldn't be offended," said Leslie Brenaman, a retired Boeing graphics designer, who is white. "They shouldn't take it personally after what's happened."

Wali Khairzada, owner of Kabul Afghan Cuisine here, said he felt heartsick about a decision he made the other day: not to take his father- in-law, who is German, to the airport for his flight home.

"It makes me feel sad, but I feel I should stay away," said Mr. Khairzada, who came to this country in the late 1970's and became an American citizen in 1986. "I would be checked there far more thoroughly than the average person."

On the other hand, he added, he had been buoyed by racial profiling of a different sort in recent days. "So many people have come in to the restaurant to offer some support," Mr. Khairzada said. "I'm amazed, I'm grateful, I'm flabbergasted."

Ashraf Khan, 32, a mobile phone salesman from New Braunfels, Tex., who was ordered off a Delta Airlines flight from San Antonio on Monday while bound for his brother's wedding in Pakistan, said he was distressed by the pilot's action, which the airline said it was investigating. Delta offered to book him on a later flight, but by that time Mr. Khan had missed his connecting flight and, as a result, the wedding.

"I am really depressed about the whole situation," he said, "the way they've treated me, like I'm some sort of criminal."

In interviews around the country, many people expressed revulsion at the spate of attacks on Muslims, as well as on Hindus and Sikhs, and the vandalism at mosques. Those interviewed spoke of national ideals of colorblindness but in nearly the same breath they said that for the sake of national safety, the police should single out Arab-looking men for questioning.

Kathy Komlance, 43, who was wearing an American flag T-shirt as she worked at a taffy stand at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis, said she favored checking their credentials. "I think a person who is Arab should be questioned if they get on a bus or plane or go in a government building," Ms. Komlance said. "You don't want to be afraid of Arabs, Iranians or other foreign people. But how do you differentiate and figure out which one is the bad one from those who love freedom and our country?"

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll taken a few days after the attacks showed that Americans were supporting special measures intended for those of Arab descent. In the survey, 58 percent backed more intensive security checks for Arabs, including those who are United States citizens, compared with other travelers; 49 percent favored special identification cards for such people, and 32 percent backed "special surveillance" for them.

In the interviews, many people said they hoped the need for the sort of racial profiling they favored would be temporary, while others were firmly against racial profiling and said there was no justification for it.

"They should interrogate everybody the same way," said LaVonne James, a Seattle parks department worker. "I mean, at airports, they should stop everybody the same way, search luggage, ask all the questions. You just don't know. That little old grandma from Sioux City could be carrying something."

Others made a strong distinction between thinking and acting.

Tina Wells, 19, a shoes saleswoman here, said "there might be a little inkling in my mind" if she saw a group of Arab-looking men together on the street or at the airport.

"But I'd just get past it, as quickly as possible," Ms. Wells said. "I wouldn't change the way I behaved. I wouldn't not get on an airplane. It would just be wrong."

And some said they were going out of their way to be friendlier than ever to Arab-Americans. Sasha Nyary, who works for a community development organization in Brooklyn and is the mother of a daughter, Lily, 2, said she was seeking out a mosque and Arab-owned businesses in her neighborhood.

"There are a couple of ways I can walk to get to Lily's school at Third Avenue and Atlantic," Ms. Nyary said, "and this week I've deliberately chosen to go down the south side of Atlantic so I can maximize the number of Arab shopkeepers I see and greet."

Many people who belong to minorities said they felt especially torn by their newfound acceptance of at least one form of racial profiling.

"I've seen prejudice all my life, with me growing up as an African- American male," said Jermaine Johnson, 19, a business management student at Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis. "I try not to judge."

But Mr. Johnson added: "I would not feel comfortable at all if an Arab- looking person sat next to me on a plane. I would be nervous, I mean right now it could be anyone and that's not good if they sit next to you on a plane. I don't feel comfortable with the ones I don't know. It's hard to know who to trust."

Others said they were consciously trying to put aside any snap judgments they were making about others based on their race.

"I think it's just wrong to do anything like that, even with what's happened," said Viridiana Chaveste, 18, a cleaner at Seattle's Safeco Field who is Hispanic.

Her friend Karen Calderon, 20, agreed. "Honestly, thoughts would go through my head," she said when asked how she would react to seeing a group of Arab men on the street or in at airport departure gate. "But I wouldn't do anything about it. I wouldn't treat them any differently."

23rd Sep 2001, 10:33
For those now personally affected by this, (ie, every non-Arab American) this sort of puts a whole new spin on the ‘totally unreasonable’ reaction of the US Government in interring all the Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbour, doesn’t it?

And on a similar vein, a woman was awarded 1.25 million dollars four weeks ago for the ‘trauma’ she suffered as a passenger in an aircraft that successfully landed with no injuries to passengers or crew after a major malfunction. Perhaps this horrible tragedy will put ‘traumas’ such as this lady ‘suffered’ – and the ridiculous demands for outrageous payments for every slight or ‘mental anguish’ suffered - into proper perspective.

The Guvnor
23rd Sep 2001, 13:11
The people who were refused transportation have now commenced a class action suit, claiming racial discrimination and asking for one billion dollars in damages according to reports on CBS.

According to attorneys, a settlement is likely with each of the plaintiffs being given between $750,000 and $1.25m.

Green Guard
23rd Sep 2001, 15:34
Question 1.
By kicking the rooster ,can we really scare the monkey?
Question 2.
We all know the Arab and Middle Eastern people are generaly very tempermental.How can one then believe then that they are behind these cold and calculated attacks?
Question 3.
Mobile phones are useless above 3 or 4000 feet AGL. Were all the aircraft flying that low on that tragic day?