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March 5, 2021
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NORTHWEST
(2007-01-17)
(wgvu) - AN INCIDENT INVOLVING ALLEGED RELIGIOUS PROFILING HAS LED SOME METRO DETROIT MUSLIMS TO THREATEN A BOYCOTT OF NORTHWEST AIRLINES. AND A PROGRESSIVE MUSLIM SCHOLAR VISITING WEST MICHIGAN THIS WEEK IS CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT HE SEES AS A BROADER PATTERN OF DISCRIMINATION. EARLIER THIS MONTH, A GROUP OF DETROIT AREA MUSLIMS COMING HOME AFTER A PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA WAS DENIED BOARDING A FLIGHT IN GERMANY EARLIER THIS MONTH. NORTHWEST AIRLINES SAYS THEY WERE TOO LATE GETTING TO THE DEPARTURE GATE. BUT A GROUP LEADER SEES ANOTHER MOTIVATION, INSISTING THEY WERE THERE IN PLENTY OF TIME. OMID SAFI IS A PROGRESSIVE MUSLIM SCHOLAR AT THE CHAPEL HILL. HE'S HERE FOR A PRESENTATION AT GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY. SAFI SAYS RELIGIOUS BASED PREJUDICE AGAINST MUSLIMS IS IRRATIONAL. AS HE PUTS IT THERE IS NO 'MUSLIM RADAR" - YOU CAN'T TELL IF A PERSON IS MUSLIM JUST BY LOOKING AT THEM. SOME DARK SKINNED BEARDED PEOPLE FROM INDIA, HE SAYS, MAY BE HINDU; WHILE MANY FROM SAUDI ARABIA AND OTHER MIDDLE EAST NATIONS ARE CHRISTIAN. THE SOLUTION, HE POSITS--USING DANGEROUS ACTIONS, RATHER THAN APPEARANCE OR PERCEIVED BELIEFS. SAFI'S SPEECH TONIGHT IS ENTIRLED BEYOND THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS: A PROGRESSIVE MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE.
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