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MINNEAPOLIS, Oct 21, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) — Six Muslim imams, forced off a flight in Minneapolis after other passengers voiced concerns, settled their lawsuit against the airlines and federal officials.
The clerics called the settlement, awaiting approval by a federal judge, a victory, USA Today reported Wednesday.
“The settlement of this case is a clear victory for justice and civil rights over fear and the phenomenon of ‘flying while Muslim’ in the post-9/11 era,” Nihad Awad, national executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement. “We thank all those who supported the imams through the lengthy and difficult legal process.”
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport said it hasn’t changed any policies as a result of Tuesday’s settlement, which airport officials said they agreed to so the expense of a trial could be avoided.
“It is not an admission of guilt,” said Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs airport.
Suits also were filed against an FBI agent and US Airways. Neither entity commented on the settlement.
The imams were removed from a US Airways flight Nov. 20, 2006, after a passenger told a flight attendant the men were praying and cursing U.S. policies in Iraq before boarding. The clerics, after airport police determined they weren’t a threat, took a different flight home.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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