A passenger raised concerns about the imams — three of whom said their normal evening prayers in the airport terminal before boarding the Phoenix-bound plane, according to one — through a note passed to a flight attendant, according to Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for US Airways.
The six were returning from a conference in Minneapolis of the North American Imams Federation, said Omar Shahin of Phoenix, president of the group.
"They took us off the plane, humiliated us in a very disrespectful way," Shahin said after the incident.
Shahin said Tuesday that three members of the group prayed in the terminal before the six boarded the plane. They entered individually, except for one member who is blind and needed to be guided, Shahin said. Once on the plane, the six did not sit together, he said.
The ignorance level of some people is just astounding.
When Shahin went back to the airport Tuesday morning, a ticketing agent told him his payment for Monday's flight had been refunded and the airline wouldn't sell more tickets to him or the other imams. An airline spokesman in Arizona said he wasn't aware of the ticketing decision and could not comment.
I suppose the easy solution for this would be for Muslims -- and anyone else who doesn't adhere to the comforting familiarity of Christianity -- to abandon their faith and start praying and dressing like "normal" folks when attemting to fly. Cut your hair, shave your beards, get yourself some golf attire at Stein-Mart, and pray to Jesus. You'll get to your destination with no problems. Just consider it as another airline tax.