Ayatollah Reinhard

Letter to the Oregonian, regarding a Dave Reinhard editorial about six Muslim imams pulled off a flight in Minneapolis:

Does David Reinhard even read the paper he works for?

It’s hard to tell, because in his editorial about the six Muslim clerics who were removed from a US Airways plane in Minneapolis, he writes: “Before takeoff, three of the imams stood up and started saying their evening prayers.” Never mind the fact that — if he knew even a fraction of what a man his age should know about one of the world’s largest religions — he should know that Muslims kneel and face Mecca to pray (that’s what the prayer rugs are for, Dave). Sort of hard to do in the row of an airliner.

Standing itself is sort of difficult on most planes, what with the overhead luggage compartments. Maybe in Reinhard’s world they were all short imams, or they crouched to say their prayers.

But the article that ran on page A2 of the Oregonian‘s Wednesday morning edition [22 November 2006] clearly says that “three of them said their normal evening prayers in the terminal.” It’s right there in the second sentence of the story.

Reinhard’s entire piece is predicated on the idea of the imams doing something strange on the plane, but it’s clear from the news reports in his own paper that the only visibly “strange” thing they did was say their prayers before boarding a flight.

If Dave Reinhard’s not reading the Oregonian, why is he writing for the Oregonian?