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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

The time to descriminate and profile someone is before they get to the plane. Once on the plane they should be free of any and all weapons and have been through Security. Let's face it, none of the 911 terrorists had T-shirts saying "go Islamic Jihad"! Mohammed Atta wouldn't be chanting "Allahu Akhbar", "death to America" or" Hooray for Hamas". He'd be the guy sitting in first class wearing a suit and tie and making sure no one noticed him until it was too late. Very much like the 911 terrorists did. Like it or not. Agree with it or not. We have a constitution and bill of rights that applies to everyone. If someone wants to board a plane wearing muslim dress or a T-shirt with Kill Bush in Arabic they have a right to do so. Even if you and I hate it. It was Voltair who said "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it". Sometimes freedom can be a double edged sword but it's still in our best interest to keep both edges sharp.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

I was talking about this with my teenage son last night, and he pointed out something interesting. For some reason, he has apparently been on some sort of watch list, because every time we fly with him he gets flagged for extra scrutiny from security and it's always a hassle to get him on the plane.

Awhile back, he bought a copy of the Koran to look through, because he wanted to find out what was causing so much contention.

The last time we flew, he didn't get popped by security. Not a look, not a hiccup -- he sailed right through. Last night we were talking about the T-shirt case and I made the comment that about lawsuits making people afraid to confront a Muslim. He then recalled that the only one time he's been able to get through security without a problem was the time he had a copy of the Koran in his carry on.

Hmmm...could be coincidence...

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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

To preserve our Freedoms, our Liberties, our Constitutional Rights then there is a certain amount of risk that we all must take on as the price for those things.
If you single out even 1 individual and take from them their Freedom, their Liberty or their Constitutional Rights then none of us will have them either and the Terrorist have won.
By definition the Terrorist have accomplished their objective because we have become Terrorized to the point that we forsake our way of life in order to preserve it.
That can not happen........for any reason.

Oh and by the way....GO GATORS !!! National Champions......Eat that Al Qaeda !!!

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

I agree with all of that. But my point is that we may be clinging so tightly to that doctrine that we're going overboard and turning a blind eye to threats.

Yes, terrorists are victorious if we cast our freedoms aside. But I'd also argue that they're victorious if we cower down and step on eggshells to avoid offending them. Can anyone recall any movie or TV plot since 9/11 (other than those dealing with 9/11) that had Islamic terrorists? We still have movies with terrorists in them, but now they're magically driven by everything but Islamic extremism. It's ridiculous. It's the elephant in the room everyone's afraid to talk about.

Our good nature and love of freedom is being turned against us to extort us into silence, so that an extremist fringe can grow unchallenged. Why is it growing unchallenged? Because we're afraid to confront it. Terrorism is a weapon of fear -- fear that erodes liberties, and fear that prevents defensive action. It's a knife that cuts both ways through society.

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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

The Constitution and the attached Bill Of Rights with the proceeding Amendments are not "Collective" Rights but rather "Individual" rights.
In order to suspend one persons rights you have to suspend the entire Constitution and the attached Bill Of Rights and proceeding Amendments and in doing so, none of the rest of us are protected any longer either as the Constitution and the attached Bill Of Rights and proceeding Amendments has been suspended. That is the Basis of this Nation and what makes it special and the envy of the world.
It is a contradiction to say "its OK to take this persons rights away in order to protect these peoples rights".
Political Correctness is the problem as I see it. The worry of offending someone is what is killing us here. I submit to you that no where is it written that you are protected from being offended, or made to be nervous.
Profiling is not the same as discrimination in my opinion. If Muslims are blowing up airplanes then stop every Muslim boarding and thoroughly check them, In the place of Muslim, Insert Irish, White men, Black women or whoever that fits a certain group that is causing havoc and mayhem. That just makes good sense, but don't completely stop them from boarding the plane based on race, religion or nationality or Tee shirt quotes.

CVC wrote:
The idea of war is to make the enemy surrender or annihilate them.

This quote from CVC is from another thread but it makes a great point.
Through our Political Correctness and our impulse to not offend anyone we do not fight wars as they need to be fought and alot of our young men and women die needlessly as a result.
The only acceptable surrender of an enemy is one based on the knowledge of complete annihilation otherwise. I said Knowledge of annihilation not threat of.
You can't achieve that Knowledge if you don't want to offend anyone by killing them.
If you are not willing to accept collateral casualties then not one pair of U.S. Soldiers boots should touch the ground. Killing is offensive and should be the absolute last alternative but when the decision is made to do killing then it should be all out and for complete victory or else shut up and sit down.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

"The Constitution is not a suicide pact." -- Abaham Lincoln

The T-shirt was written in Arabic. Big deal. But translated, it contained an in-your-face political message. OK, so maybe you don't consider "We Will Not Be Silent" to be threatening because you think he's talking about free speech. But what if he's talking about the "voices of martyrs murdered by zionists?" What if the T-shirt translated to "Death to America?" What if it said "I intend to blow up this plane?"

If I have my headphones up too loud and it bothers passengers next to me, is it reasonable for the crew to ask me to turn it down? What if I open up a collection of porno magazines and it offends passengers next to me? Don't you think the crew would ask me to put it away or move me to another area of the plane?

So why is a T-shirt that bothers passengers different? Part of the crew's job is to keep the peace between passengers.

You have the right to free speech and the right to free assembly. But you don't have the right to be a public nuisance or create a disturbance that could affect safety or the ability of the crew to manage passengers.

Nothing that happened to the wearer of that T-shirt was so offensive as to warrant nearly a quarter of a million dollars. That's almost as much as what government insurance pays out to families of a soldier killed in combat. Stewing over a T-shirt is, at most, worth a free upgrade to 1st class or a free ticket.

Besides, given the message, what do you think the chances are that this was intended from the start as bait to elicit a response in order to generate a lawsuit and publicity? I think this one ranks up there with stuffing a cockroach into a taco at a fast food restaurant, hoping that the company will pay out rather than deal with negative publicity.

CVC
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

I think the difference should be is if the act is a security threat or does it just make people feel uncomfortable or is there a prior rule against it.

If the airline has a rule that no foriegn language shirts are allowed then they should make him change or deny passage.

If somehow he is a security threat then he should be denied passage.

But, if people on the plane just don't like what he is wearing then tough.

I say tough because what happens when I am the one wearing the offensive shirt? I won't say, oh it's ok, I'll take off my hunting shirt, or my camo shirt or my Republican party shirt. I'll be pissed and fight it. So, if I don't stand up for the rights of that Muslim jerk then I won't have any rights to fight for myself.

I do agree with you and I do speak out against Muslims. My main point is if you don't want me to lump all Muslims together then as a Muslim speak out against the radical Muslims. If you don't then you are part of that group and deserve my ire.

We must speak up and not be political correct.

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Location: California
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

The fact is that we live in a free society. One of the reasons we are so hated and envied by so many others throughout the world is that freedom. We must defend the rights of those we consider to be offensive as we would defend our own or we are hypocrites. Our founding fathers were considered to be offensive, radical, dangerous individuals. Every effort was made to censure and silence them. Benjamin Franklin's only contribution to the declaration of independence was the line " we hold these truths to be self evident". This was a direct insult to the King of England. At the time such a slip of the pen would get you hung for treason and heresy.

This issue goes way beyond a T shirt and what's on it. Was it worth several hundred thousand bucks. Hell no. But it was a free speech issue and as such, worth defending. We cannot whittle away at these rights. We must defend them and defend them for all. If we fail we are handing the very terrorists we are trying to stop a victory they could not otherwise gain.

expatriate's picture
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

I beg to differ. There is nothing in the Constitution guaranteeing you the right to do whatever you want in public, no matter how it affects others. Whether you like it or not, our society has accepted limits on free speech via culturally accepted norms. An airliner is not a public square, and limits on speech and behavior are much more severe because one unruly passenger (for whatever reason) can threaten everyone by affecting safety of flight.

Looks like we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. IMO we've just taken a giant step backward and caved in to terrorism by letting our fear drive us to silence.

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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

I agree with Expatriate. Private businesses do not have to have to give you all the freedoms you think you are entitled to. The airline is required to maintain civility among their passengers, so they can safely get them from point A to B. Would a t-shirt stress me out? Probably not, but the airline has a right to enforce a dress code. I'm sure I can't board a plane naked or even in a bikini!

I don't know the details of this particular case, but I'm guessing the dress code was not spelled out in all the "fine print" that so many businesses now have.

Freedom of speech is not a given either. A person cannot say or print whatever they wish. Publications and even open forums such as this one, are privately operated and do censor.

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