Muslim leaders have condemned the actions of British passengers who staged a mutiny to get two Asian men removed from a plane. The men attracted attention because they looked and spoke differently to the rest of the passengers, who were mainly white people. The majority of the passengers were wearing holiday clothes and t-shirts whilst the two Asian men wore sweaters and leather jackets, despite being on a flight to Manchester from the warm region of Malaga in Spain. They also spoke in a foreign language, which everyone presumed to be Arabic. The passengers refused to let the plane take off until the men were removed. The frightening thing about this incident is that the airline didn’t even stop to consider that this might be a misunderstanding or that the passengers had misjudged the situation and overreacted. They automatically assumed the men must be terrorists and had them removed from the plane. Whatever happened to being innocent until proven guilty?
There was also another incident where a British born Muslim airline pilot was escorted off a flight for no apparent reason. Many people of all nationalities travel on aircraft nowadays and we can’t condemn them because of their accents or appearance. They have as much right to travel as everybody else, whatever their colour, race or creed. If we start removing Muslims from planes, are we going to start removing drunks and yobs as well? Where will it all end? The recent spate of terrorist threats has thrown the nation into panic with everyone’s feelings and emotions running high. The downside to this is that it has made everyone paranoid. I agree we need to be vigilant at all times but we also need to be level headed and calm too. Otherwise we risk living in a divided society where fear and paranoia reign supreme and where innocent people are judged and labelled for being different. We will just be playing into the hands of the terrorists. One of Britain’s most senior Muslim policemen has already warned of the danger of creating a new offence of “travelling whilst Asian”.
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