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January 21, 2010

A Double Standard At Work

Muslims can condemn the US president, praise Muslim dictators, and engage in all manner of suspicious behavior on airplanes in this country without being removed from airplanes Ė and get windfall legal settlements if they do.

On the other hand, polite Jewish kids who pray in a traditional manner on a plane will be cause for diverting the flight for an emergency landing , and will be removed from the plane for further investigation.

No, Iím not kidding. Really!

A teenage airplane passenger using a Jewish prayer object caused a misunderstanding that led the captain to divert the Kentucky-bound plane to Philadelphia and prompted a visit from a bomb squad.

A 17-year-old boy on US Airways Express Flight 3079 traveling from New York to Louisville was using tefillin, a set of black boxes attached to leather straps and containing biblical passages, said Philadelphia police Lt. Frank Vanore.

When used in prayer, one box is strapped to the arm while the other box is placed on the head.

"It's something that the average person is not going to see very often, if ever," FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver said.

The teen explained the ritual after being questioned by crew members, but the captain decided to land in Philadelphia anyway, authorities said.

Whoa. The kid explained it, but the captain declared an emergency anyway? Are you kidding? Couldnít someone in the control tower just have called a rabbi to find out about this stuff? Or better yet, just look it up on the internet?

And as for the idiot from the FBI saying that the average person will not see such a thing very often, I think that is a stretch. While you might not see it in person, it is very likely that you will see the phylacteries in use in movies, on television shows, and in news photos. Take this as an example.

western-wall-on-tisha-b-av-05-cc-Aaron-Wenner[1].jpg

Now I wonít accuse the pilot of anti-Semitism. I donít think that was at work here. Instead, I think this is an example of PC run amok Ė the pilot deciding that any concern raised about any passenger demanded the same treatment that a suspicious-acting Muslim would get, even though the explanation provided was perfectly reasonable and easily verifiable. You know, the same reason we treat Congressional Medal of Honor winners and elderly nuns the same way we treat guys matching the profile of the Crotch Bomber (or worse) -- in order to avoid accusations of profiling.





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