Tag Archives: Tell MAMA

Thomson Airlines has passenger detained for reading a book

It is not often that I agree with the Tell MAMA organisation, usually preferring to view it as yet another hate-spitting, worse-than-parasitic fake-charity or pseudoquango with special responsibility for grievance-mongering and offence-seeking.

However, on this occasion I entirely endorse the organisation’s mildly stated and wholly logical view.

A Ms Shaheen, who is an NHS mental health practitioner, was

…reported by airline staff who spotted her reading ‘Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline’ on an outbound Thompson flight… Police quizzed her under the Terrorism Act about the award-winning book, which compiles essays and poems about the war.

This moronic jobsworthism is entirely counterproductive. Ms Shaheen, an wholly respectable British Muslim, has been treated as a terrorist suspect because some semi-literate brownie-point seeker without the slightest idea of anything that really matters saw fit to police the reading matter of people of many times their own intelligence.

I would go further than Tell MAMA. The airline should not merely ‘apologise’. They should IMHO be sued into the middle of next week by the righteously indignant Ms Shaheen, should be boycotted (that’s Thomson without a P, as in ‘Venezuela’ [Hergé]), and should be obliged, preferably on TV, to identify and publicly humiliate the idiot responsible.

Thomson Airlines defended its crew’s decision, insisting they are trained to be ‘vigilant’.

Yes. Right. And if Thomson regularly have their own passengers ‘taken away’ for reading the sort of books that they could perfectly easily have bought at the airport, then said victims are just going to have to read the airline’s house magazine, aren’t they?