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“Preliminary Victory” In Imams’ Suit Against US Airways

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imams-lawsuit-us-airways.jpgRemember the headline in neocon-central, right-wing noise, FOX sister newspaper, Washington Times: “How the Imams Terrorized an Airliner”? IN YOUR FACE WT!

On the heels of the favorable HLF trial in Dallas, the Imams’ discrimination suit against U.S. Airways received its first victory as the federal judge in Minnesota rejected almost all of the arguments made by U.S. Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission in the case of six imams, or Islamic religious leaders, removed from a flight last year in Minneapolis, then arrested and denied further service.

These two cases (HLF & the Imams) represent a victory for the fundamental rights of all Americans, where the acid test is not how the majority is treated but how an embattled minority is treated by the judiciary and juries, especially in light of increasing Islamophobia in this country. This is a moment of time where all fair-minded Americans, civil rights activists and anyone concerned about human rights in general can feel good about being Americans. This is a moment of time when the repeat of McCarthyism (this time against Muslims) has been halted, even if ever so slightly. More from the Star Tribune:

U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery’s opinion and order rejected almost all of the defendants’ arguments for dismissal. She said the question of whether airport officers had probable cause to arrest the men must be determined by the objective facts they had available at the time.

Montgomery said it is “dubious” that a reasonable person would conclude from those facts that the imams were about to interfere with the crew or aircraft. She said the plaintiffs had stated a plausible claim that MAC officers violated their constitutional rights.

Montgomery, considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs, said the facts they alleged “support the existence of an unconstitutional custom of arresting individuals without probable cause based on their race.”

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Attorneys for the Imams were of course delighted with this first victory:

Frederick Goetz, one of the imams’ attorneys, praised the judge’s decision, saying “This has always been a straightforward civil rights case. You had six individuals … doing absolutely nothing wrong. They prayed in the airport and got arrested. That’s unconstitutional, and they deserve redress… You don’t arrest people because of their faith. You don’t arrest people because of their national origin. That’s just fundamentally wrong.”

Another attorney in the case, Omar Mohammedi, said: “This preliminary victory shows that any American can have a day in court. The case is about civil rights violations and constitutional principles that we all cherish. Our judicial system has always been, and will remain, the hope for all minorities who seek to redress civil rights violations.”

CAIR similarly welcomed the developed:

“We are pleased that despite the tremendous level of misinformation, unsubstantiated smears and Islamophobic rhetoric surrounding this case, an impartial examination of the facts lead the judge to rule in the imams’ favor. At its core, this case has always been about the ability of all Americans to practice their faith without fear of intimidation or harassment.”

Related Posts:

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Amad

    November 21, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    Reminds me of the weasel Zuhdi Jasser, the neocon “Muslim” puppet, who was “disappointed” by the lawsuit and was ultimately hailed as the “voice of reason” by all the right-wing and neocon blogs and papers:

    http://ktar.com/?nid=6&sid=415649

    Zuhdi, you represent the traitor that Muslims have had to deal with throughout the ages. The traitor, who for the sake of publicity and other worldly reasons, has turned his back on Muslims. That is why, Zuhdi, you will be loved by the Islamophobes and despised by the majority of Muslims.

  2. Umm Reem

    November 21, 2007 at 12:20 PM

    Alhamdullilah!!

    One of the Imams, Omar Shaheen, had asked me to write a paper on how the media had twisted the whole incident etc. It was really sad going through all the articles of all the ‘credible’ newspapers…but alhamdullialh with patience comes victory, with difficulty comes ease!

  3. Danya

    November 21, 2007 at 2:50 PM

    Alhamdulilah very good news!

  4. Mahdi Bray

    November 21, 2007 at 4:17 PM

    Clearly the court did today what we at MAS Freedom have always urged the media and the public to do; ignore the Islamophobic hype and follow the facts. When we held the nationwide interfaith prayer in and press conference at National Airport on behalf of the 6 imams, we told the world that the imams had done nothing wrong. We made it clear that the facts reveal that it was US Airways that had violated the Imams’ rights. We also presented facts that the Imams had been victims of religious prejudice. It is because of the facts and not the sentiment of fear and religious prejudice that this case has moved forward with merit. Truly facts are really stubborn things.

  5. Amad

    November 21, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Grand kudos to MAS freedom foundation for doing that press conference during a time when even many muslims were taking cover due to the right-wing propaganda assault that turned the story upside down- turning the victims (imams) into the instigators and even terrorists.

    It takes courage to speak up for an unppular but just cause.

  6. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    November 21, 2007 at 5:27 PM

    As salaamu ‘alaykum,

    Alhamdulillaah for the decision and I join brother Amad in asking Allaah (swt) to reward all those who support Muslims in seeking justice, even when it is not popular.

    I do think it is important to caution everyone that this is just a preliminary motion and this decision just means that the case will go forward it does not necessarily indicate that the Imams will win although it does appear that the Judge is at least open to hearing the case with an open mind which is what justice calls for.

  7. Solomon2

    November 21, 2007 at 8:25 PM

    Pardon me, but for the second time someone asked me a question, yet my answer got trapped as “spam”. Shall I give up reading and posting here entirely?

    Your comment was in moderation, not in spam. I didn’t see another one from you though -Amad

  8. DrM

    November 21, 2007 at 10:21 PM

    Sounds good so far. Jazakallah Khair Amad! Is a perpetual loser like Jasser still around. Typical neocon shabbos goy.

  9. Amad

    November 21, 2007 at 10:58 PM

    Waiyakum DrM… and keep up the good work on keeping the pressure on the neocons.

    We cannot let their new kingpin, Juliani, come to power otherwise we may have to emigrate to Canada to keep up with our blogs!

  10. DrRed

    November 22, 2007 at 3:35 AM

    This is good news…Also i was wondering if you guys can put an entry up about the recent Saudi Case of the woman getting punished…i would like to know what you guys think…thanks

  11. Hamdi

    November 23, 2007 at 7:46 PM

    The white bearded man to the right in the picture is a rabbi who wishes to stand up for the Muslims in this case.

    Just thought I’d point that out.

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