Flying While Muslim
On November 20, 2006, six imams were getting ready to fly back home to Phoenix, Arizona, and Bakersfield, California, after a three-day Islamic conference in Minneapolis. Before boarding the plan, the time for one of the five daily prayers arrived and the imams prayed together in the airport.
At 6:30 PM, the imams boarded US Airways Flight 300. Shortly afterwards, airport police and Federal Air Marshals removed the imams from the plane, placed them in handcuffs and detained them in an interrogation room. After several hours, the FBI cleared the imams and the airport authorities released them. The airport refused to let the imams board the next available flight home.
As a clear violation of our right to practice Islam, the Muslim Legal Fund of America assisted the imams with their law suit against the Metropolitan Airports Commission and US Airways, which eventually settled out of court.
- Six imams prayed in a public area at the Minneapolis airport
- They were deplaned, handcuffed, detained and interrogated for several hours
- The FBI cleared them and the airport authorities released the imams
- Airport authorities refused to let the imams board the next flight home
Why is the case important to you?
- This case impacts the right to religious expression without fear of persecution
- Your freedom to travel without fear of harassment could be affected
- The high-profile nature of this case will cause it to serve as an example
- The imams’ struggle for justice is a struggle for all Muslims, like you