Saturday, February 17, 2007

Follow up on Hijacking Story

via pajamas media

The most underplayed story in France so far this year:

An airplane did not crash into the Eiffel Tower or the Elysée Palace today. So why worry? An insignificant flight from Nouakchott to Nouadhibou—nowhere to nowhere if you get what I mean—made a forced landing because a kooky passenger asked to be flown to Paris.

Landing rights were refused in Morocco, granted in Las Palmas. End of story. Now you can concentrate on the tragic downsizing of Alcatel-Lucent. They are firing engineers, mon ami, engineers! That’s what happens when you let Americans buy a French high tech company. Why did the passenger want to go to Paris? To buy Louis Vuitton handbags? No, he said his request for asylum had been turned down several times. It figures. If you arrive in an airplane, your chances improve radically. Especially if you land on the roof of the Préfecture.

The pilot of the Mauritanian flight, interviewed on Radio France Internationale, added a few details: The hijacker walked into the cockpit (people still leave their doors unlocked in some African villages) and aimed two loaded revolvers at the pilot and co-pilot. Take me to Paris, he ordered. The pilot asked why he wanted to go to Paris, and the hijacker replied: Can’t you see all the bad things they are doing to Muslims.

Muslims? Something to do with Muslims? That’s news to me. The story was briefly reported on earlier radio broadcasts (I don’t think it made it to the TV) as a minor incident: a loner on a domestic flight that went to his head, happens all the time

But the man's motives were not terrorism; he wanted the plane to fly to France so he could request political asylum, said Mohamed Ould Mohamed Cheikh, Mauritania's top police official.

When I blogged yesterday about the AP take and the Reuters take, both purposefully ommitted the fact that this man was a Muslim. Just an ordinary, secularist who was desperate to seek asylum in order to avoid oppression.

So I guess when a MUSLIM man hijacks a plane in order to go to FRANCE because of "all the bad things they are doing to Muslims" that this is no longer considered terrorism. I guess hijacking a plane is not a terrorist act anymore... well, at least if your name is Mohamed.

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