I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

And so it begins (or continues)

From the Daily Mail in the UK.

British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny - refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.

The extraordinary scenes happened after some of the 150 passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic.

(Note: The Brits use the term "Asian" to refer to people of the Middle East.)

And it's not just in Britain. We've got another one close on its heels here in the US.
A Winnipeg doctor is demanding an official apology and compensation from United Airlines after being kicked off a flight in the U.S. this week, an incident he has characterized as "institutionalized discrimination." Dr. Ahmed Farooq, a Muslim, was escorted off an airplane in Denver on Tuesday. According to Farooq, reciting his evening prayers was interpreted by one passenger as an activity that was suspicious.
Sadly, this doesn't even come as a surprise anymore. The efforts of this administration and its mouthpieces on the right wing have apparently succeeded in convincing a large number of otherwise civilized people that we are not fighting a group of radical, criminal terrorists, but are in fact engaged in a war with the religion of Islam itself. While not yet documented in our laws, it has apparently become a de facto illegal act to be Traveling While Muslim.

To see what's fueling this fire of self-destruction, take a look at the reactions to this blatantly panic-driven case of fear driven profiling discrimination from some of the more "notable" rightie bloggers.

From Capt. Ed.
The incident shows that citizens will start imposing their own solutions to flight safety in the absence of demonstrably intelligent security while attempts at attacks continue:
Solutions to flight safety? What was the specific threat to flight safety on this particular plane being solved here? Keep in mind that the news report indicates that the two passengers in the first story had already passed all of the normal security clearance checks and were sent on their way the next day with an expense paid stay overnight at a local hotel while they waited for another flight. There was nothing going on with them. In the second story I linked, the passenger was forced to find accommodations and take a later flight at his own expense. He was basically told, "too bad."

From one of the biggest loons on the right wing:
Haven'’t authorities told us over and over to be vigilant and trust our instincts in these situations? Yet now we have a UK Homeland Security spokesperson denigrating British citizens for doing exactly that.
There's a substantial difference between "trusting your instincts" and taking the flight control process into your own hands. Refusing to fly on the plane because somebody who looks different than you on board is one thing. You're free to take a boat or walk/swim to your destination if you wish. Holding up the flight for everyone and eventually having the brown skinned people removed before the plane can depart is something else entirely. Oh, and notice the key use of the word "vigilant" above. Can you say vigilantee"? I knew you could.

And scraping the bottom of barrel, continuing on the vigilant theme, we have this clown's message to the government regarding the incident:
If we, the general public, see no reason to believe that you take our safety and wellbeing seriously, and G-d knows that there is no reason to believe that after five years of you playing Russian Roulette with our lives, then we'’ll just have to take care of matters ourselves.
Take matters into our own hands, eh? Yes, that's worked so well historically.

I remember being accused of hyperbole or hysteria when I was alarmed over the racist fear mongering of Michelle Malkin, one of the worst perpetrators of these scare tactics on "teh internets" and her endorsement ointermentnt camps. It doesn't seem so very far away now. There's already a movement underway to make Muslims carry "special" ID cards so they can be identified. Special re-education camps for them are no longer impossible, reading the cards today.

Remember, my little public minded private law enforcers... when we turn a blind eye to the group lynching the colored feller who had the temerity to whistle at the white girl, the next time they may just be stringing up a guy who was just bringing some potatoes home from the market. I'm sure Dr. Ahmed Farooq feels really welcome these days, and is just ever so grateful to be living in the "free and open society" of our perfect western, democratic culture.

UPDATE! More on blatant vigilantism being endorsed by the right wing. Be sure to check this out.

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