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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

40 Muslims kept from Detroit flight, council says

Thousands of American Muslims returned to Michigan this month exhausted in body but revitalized in spirit after performing the hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that is a religious duty.

But not all travelers had an easy time getting home.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is expected to hold a news conference today regarding the treatment of 40 American Muslim pilgrims -- some from Canton, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights -- who were allegedly denied passage on a flight to Detroit.

The men were reportedly denied boarding on Northwest Airlines Flight 51 from Germany on Jan. 7. CAIR-Michigan is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the incident.

Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski said Monday that the passengers were denied boarding because they arrived for the flight just 20 minutes before departure, a violation of airline and governmental regulations. [Link]

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