From the Star Tribune:
A settlement has been reached in the “Flying Imams” federal lawsuit that was filed by six Muslim men who claim they were falsely arrested on a US Airways jet in the Twin Cities three years ago because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds.
According to federal court records, the settlement was reached Monday and filed with the court today.
A New York attorney for the imams, Omar Mohammedi, this afternoon called the settlement “satisfactory to the plaintiffs.” Mohammedi, who is with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) civil rights group, added that money is involved, but he declined to elaborate.
Another attorney for the imams, Frederick Goetz of Minneapolis, said a few details remained to be resolved before the settlement is finalized.
One of the imams, Marwan Sadeddin of Phoenix, told the Associated Press that the settlement does not include an apology but he considers it an acknowledgment that a mistake was made. He said he couldn’t divulge the terms because both sides had agreed not to discuss them publicly. “It’s fine for all parties. It’s been solved. … There is no need for a trial,” Sadeddin said.
“Law enforcement officials did what they believed was appropriate to ensure the safety of travelers based on the information available at the time,” said the MAC’s general counsel, Tom Anderson. ”We will continue to be vigilant in maintaining the security of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the safety of travelers who use it.”
According to the statement by the MAC, “the commission’s liability insurance policy limits potential financial exposure in such cases to $50,000. The insurer has the right to assume control of the defense or settlement of claims and exercised that right in this case.”
CAIR, the Washington-based civil rights organization that took up the imams’ cause soon after they were removed from the plane, hailed the settlement.
“[This] is a clear victory for justice and civil rights over fear and the phenomenon of ‘flying while Muslim’ in the post-9/11 era,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
The imams — Ahmed Shqeirat, Didmar Faja, Omar Shahin, Mahmoud Sulaiman and Sadeddin of Arizona, and Mohamed Ibrahim of California — argued that they were removed from the plane because of religious and ethnic bias.
Shahin, you may recall, was a representative of the Kind Hearts organization.
Muslim Voice Staff When the Tsunami disaster struck Muslim families in south East Asia, the students of Arizona Culture Academy answered the call and rushed to help. They emptied their piggy banks, brought their allowances, and lobbied their families to participate. In five days, $8,014.00 was collected and given to the Representative Imam Omar Shahin of the Kind Hearts Organization.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury today blocked pending investigation accounts of KindHearts, an NGO operating out of Toledo, Ohio, to ensure the preservation of its assets pending further investigation.
“KindHearts is the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the façade of charitable giving,” said Stuart Levey, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
KindHearts officials and fundraisers have coordinated with Hamas leaders and made contributions to Hamas-affiliated organizations. Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) Usama Hamdan, a leader of Hamas in Lebanon, reportedly phoned a top fundraiser for KindHearts during a September 2003 KindHearts fundraiser. During the call, Hamas leader Hamdan reportedly communicated to the fundraiser his gratitude for KindHearts’ support. The KindHearts fundraiser reportedly also provided advice to Hamdan, telling him not to trust the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
A previous outcome from the Flying Imams case was discussed here: Terror shield law doesn’t apply to officers
A shield law for those who report suspected terrorist activities does not apply to law enforcement, a judge ruled Friday in a discrimination lawsuit filed by six imams who were removed from a US Airways flight in 2006.
Posted on October 21, 2009 by pnaction
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