Our greatest fear is that we are afraid…

I just read an article on the BBC Online where a Jewish man’s prayer items triggered  a bomb scare, forcing the plane to land in Philadelphia.  He was not arrested and the plane landed just fine.

A few months ago, a Latina grandmother was asked to unboard a plane after she politely asked the flight attendant for an extra 2 minutes to finish prayer her rosary. It was her first time on a plane and she was going to visit her pregnant grand daughter.  Without giving her a chance to reconsider, the flight attendant called security, who rushed the plane, escorted the soon-to-be great grandmother off the plane to a holding room.  She missed her flight and a chance to be with her family.  Though charges were filed, they were eventually dismissed.


Is this religious discrimination? Or have we reached a point where the safest mode of transportation — still is, by the way, despite the many terror threats — is becoming the worst without foundation?  I’m not suggesting a person of the Jewish faith lighting a menorah in the middle of the aisle won’t get arrested or charged with threatening to blow up a plane.  What I am wondering is if we have in essence reached a point in our lives where even a great-grandmother and an Orthodox Jew should be seen with great timidity? We already feel uneasy around someone who we stereotypically identify as Muslim.  That is an unfortunately reality.  It’s not right. But it’s what people do when they are afraid of what they are told to be a known fact by the media.


So the question remains, what are we so afraid of?
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