Battlepanda: D.I.Y. Profiling


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

D.I.Y. Profiling

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.

Passengers told cabin crew they feared for their safety and demanded police action. Some stormed off the Monarch Airlines Airbus A320 minutes before it was due to leave the Costa del Sol at 3am. Others waiting for Flight ZB 613 in the departure lounge refused to board it.

In their defense, in addition to being brown and talking funny, the men drew suspicion by wearing leather jackets in summer and checking their watches regularly.

The worst part of it is, the 'fraidy cats didn't even have to pay for their bigoted paranoia by missing their flight -- the two men were forcibly removed from the flight instead.

Jumping to conclusions about people being terrorists simply because of their religion and ethnicity does nothing to make us safer. Don't often agree with a Tory, but Patrick Mercer, the Conservative Homeland Security spokesman gets it exactly right: "This is a victory for terrorists. These people on the flight have been terrorised into behaving irrationally."