Airlines Still Mum On Why Muslim Clergy Couldn't Fly
When two airlines denied three Muslim clergymen access to flights to Charlotte two weekends ago, they refused to comment on why those decisions were made. Well, nothing's changed. An American Airlines spokesman wouldn't talk on tape. He would only say the airline is still investigating why American refused to let an imam named Al-Amin Latif onto a plane in New York. The other incident occurred in Memphis. There, an Atlantic Southeast Airlines pilot refused to take off with two imams on board even though they had cleared all security checkpoints. They had to catch another flight six hours later. A.S.A. spokeswoman Kate Modolo says the airline is investigating the incident but would not discuss specifics, including the employment status of the pilot. Federal regulations say pilots have the ultimate authority to decide if an individual may pose a safety threat on their flight. But they can't make that decision based on a person's race, color, national origin, religion, ethnicity or sex. The three Muslim clergymen were trying to fly to Charlotte for the annual meeting of the North American Imams Federation. The conference's main topic was Islamophobia.