View Full Version : Jewish man removed from airplane for praying

09-06-2006, 12:01 PM
Some fellow passengers are questioning why an Orthodox Jewish man was removed from an Air Canada Jazz flight in Montreal last week for praying.
The man was a passenger on a Sept. 1 flight from Montreal to New York City when the incident happened.

The airplane was heading toward the runway at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport when eyewitnesses said the Orthodox man began to pray.

"He was clearly a Hasidic Jew," said Yves Faguy, a passenger seated nearby.

"He had some sort of cover over his head. He was reading from a book.

"He wasn't exactly praying out loud but he was lurching back and forth," Faguy added.

The action didn't seem to bother anyone, Faguy said, but a flight attendant approached the man and told him his praying was making other passengers nervous.

"The attendant actually recognized out loud that he wasn't a Muslim and that she was sorry for the situation but they had to ask him to leave," Faguy said.

The man, who spoke neither English nor French, was escorted off the airplane.

Air Canada Jazz termed the situation "delicate," but says it received more than one complaint about the man's behaviour.

The crew had to act in the interest of the majority of passengers, said Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stewart.

"The passenger did not speak English or French, so we really had no choice but to return to the gate to secure a translator," she said.

The airline is not saying if the man was told he was not allowed to pray, but a spokesperson said the man was back on board the next flight to New York.

Jewish leaders in Montreal criticized the move as insensitive, saying the flight attendants should have explained to the other passengers that the man was simply praying and doing no harm.


09-06-2006, 12:11 PM
Lets see, he is reading from a book, possibly a bible. And lurching back and forth, Yeah he's a threat.:rolleyes2

09-06-2006, 12:13 PM
It's probably a good idea for the flight attendants to get sensitivity training. There is one possible difficulty: some of the prayers require standing and before one of those prayers three steps forward and backward are taken and afterward backwards again. That cannot be done from a seat. Much also depends on the time that he was praying. The morning prayers are the longest, it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour, afternoon is only about 10 minutes, and evening about 15 minutes. If it was the afternoon prayer he may have thought that he had time to pray before the plane took off.

I had a similar experience on a flight from Miami to Lima. I started praying in the morning and then we hit turbulence. The flight attendant ordered me back to my seat, but I was in the middle of praying. The turbulence wasn't so bad that I saw a risk of injury so he let me continue at my own risk.

09-06-2006, 07:05 PM
Makes sense. It was a flight from Montreal.

When in Quebec or France, expect anti-Semitism.