Friday, September 08, 2006

In Canada, Orthodox Man Removed From Plane For Praying

On September 1, an Orthodox Jewish man started to daven on an Air Canada flight from Montreal to New York as the plane approached the runway. The flight was stopped and he was removed.
"He was clearly a Hasidic Jew," said Yves Faguy, a passenger seated nearby. "He had some sort of cover over his head. He was reading from a book.

"He wasn't exactly praying out loud but he was lurching back and forth," Faguy added.

The action didn't seem to bother anyone, Faguy said, but a flight attendant approached the man and told him his praying was making other passengers nervous.

"The attendant actually recognized out loud that he wasn't a Muslim and that she was sorry for the situation but they had to ask him to leave," Faguy said.
Because the man did not speak either English or French, he was escorted off the plane so they could find a translator. Still, it is not entirely clear why he had to be removed, seeing that it was clear that he was Jewish and just praying.
...Air Canada Jazz termed the situation "delicate," but says it received more than one complaint about the man's behaviour.

The crew had to act in the interest of the majority of passengers, said Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stewart.
Does "more than one complaint" as opposed to "a number of complainst" or "many complaints" mean that there were just two complaints? If, as implied by Air Canada's statement, there were no more than a handful of complaints, then how was removing the man "in the interest of the majority of passengers"?

The part I find most interesting is the end of the article:
The Jewish group B'nai Brith Canada has offered to help give Air Canada crews sensitivity training.
Is there a need for sensitivity training?

Antisemitism remains at high levels in Canada League for Human Rights releases 2005 data

Posted On 03/22/06
Antisemitism remains at high levels in Canada League for Human Rights releases 2005 data

Ottawa, March 22, 2006 – The League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada today released its 2005 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, an annual study on patterns of prejudice in this country. In total, 829 incidents were reported in 2005, representing a marginal decrease of just 3.3% compared to 2004 when an increase of 46.7% was documented. The number of antisemitic incidents in 2005 marks the second highest total in the 23-year history of the Audit. Since 2001, the total number of incidents has increased almost three-fold.

B’nai Brith Canada is seeking a reversal of Canada’s passport policy, which denies Canadian citizens born in Jerusalem the right to have Israel noted in their passports as their country of birth. An application for judicial review of the Government’s policy has been filed by David Matas, B’nai Brith’s Senior Legal Counsel.
One thing for sure--someone does.

Meanwhile, on June 6
Canadian Terrorists Planned To Behead Prime Minister

From the DNC’s Associated Press:

Family members and friends of 15 Canadians charged in an alleged terror plot make their way through media as they leave court in Brampton, Ont., Canada, on Tuesday June 6, 2006.

Canada plot allegedly involved PM attack

By BETH DUFF-BROWN, Associated Press Writer

Some of the 17 Muslim men accused of plotting terror bombings in Canada also planned to storm Parliament, take hostages and behead the prime minister and other leaders, according to accusations revealed Tuesday by the lawyer for one of the suspects.
But before the police raid...

Raid officers learned about Muslim traditions

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Before the raids came the sensitivity training: Tactical-squad Mounties learned how to properly handle Korans prior to arresting 17 terrorism suspects on the weekend.

And that's not all. The RCMP also made sure there were clean prayer mats on hand for their suspects when they were sent to jail cells.

I would be very curious to know if Air Canada has taken B'nai Brith Canada up on their offer.

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