10/26/2009

USA TODAY's editorial board argues that a recent settlement in the case of the "flying imams" could have a "chilling effect on the ability of airline crews and officials to protect passengers from a perceived threat." Settling with the six Muslim clerics may have saved the airports and airlines from a bruising legal battle, but it sets a troubling precedent, according to the paper: "Airlines and airport authorities need flexibility to act in the interest of safety without worrying about being sued." In response, Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations writes that the incident illustrates the need for greater religious and ethnic understanding. "Flight safety should be based on legitimate law enforcement techniques, not on racial or religious profiling," he writes.

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