Posts Tagged ‘Henry Louis Gates’

The ethics of flying while Muslim

May 14, 2011

Most African-Americans are familiar with the charge of DWB. By now many even joke about being stopped by police for “driving while black.” The practice survives, even while police across the country have become sensitized to its wrongs.

It even reached the Presidency when a Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer arrested Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates for attempting to enter his own house without a key. President Obama commented off-handedly that the Cambridge police had “acted stupidly,” then apologized and invited the arresting officer and the professor to the White House to talk things over at a “beer summit.”

Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul can add another to the list of offenses that can attract the unwelcome attention of the authorities: FWM, or “flying while Muslim. They were removed from an Atlantic Southeast Airlines (“The Delta Connection”) flight because their garb made the pilots nervous. Fortunately for them, the pilots of a later flight from Memphis to Charlotte weren’t as skitish, and the two Muslim travelers reached their destination safely, albeit, tardily.

George Jonas of Canada’s National Post describes the incident and its meaning here.


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