The profits that Delta Air Lines logically expects from its plans to work with Saudi Arabian Airlines on flights from New York and Washington to Jeddah are just a tip of the Shariah iceberg that is lurking for the ship of the United States, according to an expert in Islam and its influences on America.
Robert Spencer,director of Jihad Watchand author of nearly a dozen books on Islam, including, "The Truth About Muhammad," told WND today that Muslims, especially those from Saudi Arabia, are moving with their monetary muscle into the United States to create an acceptance of Islam when and wherever they can.
The latest episode involvingDelta came about after a Washington attorneyquestioned the airline about its plans to discriminate – on the U.S. soil of Washington and New York airports – against Jews and prevent them from boarding flights to Saudi Arabia – based on the religious discrimination present in that nation.
TheAmerican Center for Law and Justicecalled on the Federal Aviation Administration and Congress to investigate the relationship between Delta Air Lines and Saudi Arabian Airlines over the government-owned Saudi operation's discrimination against Jews.
And ACLJ chief Jay Sekulow noted that U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., sent a letter to the FAA requesting a probe into the matter "to determine whether Delta Air Lines violated U.S. law or regulation and to ensure no U.S. citizen is denied their right to fly solely on the basis of their religion."
The organization said, "Delta is spinning hard" on the concerns, "claiming that it does not discriminate."
"But this spin falls apart in the face of Delta's previous statements. On January 10, 2011, Delta issued a press release stating that Saudi Arabian Airlines was joining SkyTeam, a select group of airlines that Delta trumpets as 'a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity.'"
The ACLJ asked, "So why is this a problem? Simply put, Saudi Arabia (in addition to being a hub of terrorist financing and so radical that its religious police force girls to burn to death rather than escape a school fire without their abayas) is known to blatantly discriminate in its visa policies."
It continued, "Delta can't control Saudi Arabia's immigration policy, but it can control whether it does business with Saudi Arabia."
The Washington attorney who raised the original questions, Jeffrey Lovitky, today told WND that he got a brushoff from the airline when he questioned its actions, and never heard from the company further.
He said the airline may be doing what it considers a business practice, but that doesn't necessarily make it right; and that perhaps no airline should be allowed to operate direct flights from the United States because of the Saudi restrictions on the other end.
Spencer agreed that would be a resolution. But he said there are lot of other influences from Saudi Arabia that already are well-established across the U.S. – other tips of that Shariah iceberg.
Saudis have given millions of dollars to universities for Islamic study centers, they have invested heavily in the U.S. media including Fox, they have funded the authorship of books that suddenly have an absence of criticism of Islam, they have provided contributing editors for school text materials and other projects, he noted.
"They have endowed university departments such that they suddenly reflect a warmly positive view of Islam," he said. "You won't find any discussion of [jihad] there."
In fact, Israel National Newsreported in June, under the headline: "Islam Buys Out Western Academia," that Georgetown, the "oldest Catholic university in the United States, took $325,000 from the Council on American-Islamic Relations," which the FBI identifies "as the U.S. channel of Hamas."
The report noted that university already had gotten $40 million from Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
The University of Southern California had gotten $1 million back in 1976, and other universities involved in getting money from those interests are Duke, $200,000 for a program in Islamic development studies; Georgetown, $750,000 from Libya for a chair of Arab Culture; Harvard, $30 million from Riyadh; the University of Arkansas, $20 million for a Middle East Studies Center; Berkeley, $5 million for another "studies center;" Cornell, $11 million; Texas University, $500,000; Princeton, $1 million; Rutgers, $5 million.
Rutgers recently was toldby the Zionist Organization of America to address an anti-Semitic atmosphere it has allowed on its campus, including threats by one person to "skin alive" a Jew.
"The consequences of the funding have been very clear," reported INN. "Seventy percent of political science lectures at the Middle Eastern Centre at St. Antony's College, Oxford, [which got Saudi money] were 'implacably hostile' to the West and Israel."
Spencer said it moves beyond even lectures, study centers and course work.
"I think it's an all-pervasive thing, like often times if you look at a college catalog, look at the stock photos of a beautiful campus and beautiful students. Usually there's one in a hijab [Muslim woman's head covering]," he said.
"It's a conscious effort to mainstream hard-line Shariah in the United States and doing so by bombarding us with images and subtle presentations of Muslims being perfectly ordinary and going about ordinary business…"
He recalled a "silly romantic comedy" he had seen during his travels recently. During a dinner party on film, there was talk about terrorism, followed quickly by the comment that Muslims "are just people like anyone else."
The comment had nothing at all to do with the movie story line, he said.
WND repeatedly has reportedon the issue of Islamic influences installing their religious beliefs in textbooks across the United States.
In a case from just a few months ago, the Texas Board of Education warned it would "reject future prejudicial social-studies submissions that … offend Texas law with respect to the treatment of the world's religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and/or by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others."
The resolution included pages of footnotes documenting the specific offenses discovered in various textbooks, including "patterns of pejoratives toward Christians and superlatives toward Muslims, calling Crusaders aggressors, 'violent attackers' or 'invaders' while euphemizing Muslim conquest of Christian lands as 'migrations' by 'empire builders.'"
According to Discover the Networks,"In recent years, religious extremists based in Saudi Arabia have exerted immense influence on what America's K-12 schoolchildren learn about Islam and the Middle East. Specifically, these extremists have poured large sums of money into the coffers of organizations that produce K-12 curricula whose ideological leanings are sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalism and, conversely, critical of the United States and Israel."
One infamous case had students being ordered to pretend to be Muslims during their public school classes, including learning the principle parts of the Islamic faith and being able to explain them.
Spencer warned that such efforts are numbing Americans to what Islam actually is and does.
"It does have an impact. It's just like with all the leftist cultural initiatives," he said. "If you had spoken about gay marriage 20 years ago it would have sounded outlandish and no one would have been onboard.
"But the continual mainstreaming of this attitude and idea and gay culture – it has been a success," he said.
Today, he said, "Islamophobia" is taking its cues from the longrunning campaign against "homophobia."
At the grist blog,author Christopher Mims noted that a WikiLeaks document from a year ago even suggested Saudi Arabia's minister of petroleum, Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, "was involved in crafting the final agreement" of the Copenhagen Accord regarding the issue of "global warming."
Israel National Newsalso reported the influence might even have reached as high as President Obama.
"Obama … announced the appointment of Azizah al-Hibri to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom," the organization reported last month. "Al-Hibri … is a Muslim professor and the granddaughter of a sheikh, who claims that the Quran inspired Thomas Jefferson and the Founders and that the Saudi criminal justice system is more moral than the American one because it accepts blood money from murderers."
"Al-Hibri has made her career whitewashing Islamic law and even presenting it as superior to American law," the report said. "Rather than trying to bring Islam in line with the modern world, Azizah Al-Hibri pushes for the modern world to be brought in line with Islam."
"The oddest moment in Al-Hibri's career of promoting Islamic law in the United States may have come when before Clinton's impeachment proceedings, she actually wrote an article discussion how a sitting president of the United States might be tried under Islamic law," the report said. "Had the president been testifying in an Islamic court, he would not have been placed in this terrible predicament in the first instance," she wrote, adding, under Islamic law, his accusers "would be punished."
The dispute involving Delta erupted when a series of letters became public by a lawyer complaining about the arrangement that apparently would have Delta prevent Jews and possibly others from boarding flights to Jeddah from New York and Washington.
The airline has released a series of public statements defending itself as participating in "a standard industry" agreement, but it repeatedly has declined to respond to WND questions.
But the airline earlier boasted of its arrangements with Saudi Arabian Airlines: "We are honored that Saudi Arabian has chosen to link its future growth and success with Delta and our SkyTeam partners," the airline's Charlie Pappas, a vice president, said then.
The Washington-based organization, which focuses on rights and constitutional issues, said in a statement it is demanding that Delta Air Lines end its partnership with SAA, which is owned by the Saudi government and "embraces discriminatory policies targeting Jews, Christians and women."
"For Delta to form a business relationship with a country that has a disturbing record of human rights violations is not only problematic, but warrants further scrutiny from the federal government and Congress," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for ACLJ, said in a statement.
"Delta says it does not discriminate in its business practices, but then says it cannot control what other nations do. Delta can't have it both ways. If you choose to do business with a government that discriminates on the basis of religion, ethnicity, and gender – you simply cannot brush it aside," he said.
"We're calling for FAA oversight of this deal and a congressional investigation. Delta can do the right thing – and cancel this business relationship, and it should."
Larry Klayman, the Washington attorney who founded Judicial Watch and now is ofFreedom Watch USA, also is encouraging a boycott:
"It's incumbent on all Christians, Jews and people who find discrimination abhorrent to make it clear to Delta that they will not fly on the airline," he told WND, "until Delta withdraws from its alliance with Saudi Arabia.
"You have to wonder where the potential allies on the left such as Jesse Jackson, who have claimed to have experienced similar discrimination … why are they not speaking out. Where is the president, who endorsed the Ground Zero mosque, yet will not stand up for Christians and Jews."
"This is outrageous, repugnant and illegal," he said. He said Delta has joined President Obama in "kowtowing" to "nefarious Muslims."
His reference was to the famous imageof Barack Obama greeting the Saudi king with a bow.
The dispute even pulled the Saudi government into the fray.
"Rumors being circulated via the Internet regarding passenger flight restrictions on Saudi Arabian Airlines are completely false. The government of Saudi Arabia does not deny visas to U.S. citizens based on their religion,"the government said on PRNewswire.
"Liars," said Pamela Geller on herAtlas Shrugs blog.She noted that on Delta's own website is the statement, "The government of Saudi Arabia refuses admission and transit to nationals of Israel."
Delta's website also states, "Visitors holding passports containing any Israeli visa or stamp could be refused entry."
AtJihad Watch,the dispute was spelled out in a statement attributed to Detroit rabbi Jason Miller: "The issue here is one of principle. Delta isn't being forced to include Saudi Arabian Airlines into its SkyTeam Alliance. In fact, Delta could stand on principle and refuse to include Saudi Arabian."
WND reported earlierthe issue first was presented to Congress, the public and others bytalk radio host and former U.S. Rep. Fred Grandy,whose engaged in his own battle against discriminationwhen his former radio station demanded he tone down criticism of Islam on his program. He then left the station.
Grandy and "Mrs. Fred," – Catherine – recently were interviewed by Talk 1200 show host Jeff Katzabout the controversy, which was described as "outrageous."
Their conversation has been posted onlineas well as embedded:
"Creeping Shariah? Now [it is] jetspeed Shariah. Hat's off to Delta. It looks like Delta will be the first Shariah-compliant airline in the United States," Catherine Grandy said.
Katz noted, "As a Jewish man, I might not be able to fly on Delta Air Lines in the future."
Fred Grandy told Katz that he spent time in Washington briefing members of Congress and other policy makers "on this kind of threat."
"This creeping Shariah, economic jihad, gets you everywhere you turn," Catherine Grandy said. "This is just not right. I'm sure this will be tested."
Fred Grandy saidthere were several questions raised by the controversy, including would passengers continue to fly on Delta, what should the government do and the advance of Shariah in the United States.
"If this isn't one landing strip at a time, I don't know what is," he said.
The challenge to Delta was raised by Lovitky, who told WND that he personally brought up the issue with the Delta CEO Richard Anderson when he discovered the plan while making travel arrangements. He said Anderson didn't respond, but Kathy M. Johnston, a coordinator for the airline's "Customer Care" did write a letter.
She blamed the plan to discriminate on Saudi Arabian requirements and said Lovitky should consult the State Department.
"Delta must also comply with all applicable laws in every country it serves and by the same token passengers are responsible to obtain the necessary travel documents required for entry into another country prior to their day of travel," she wrote. "If a passenger travels without proper documents, the passenger may be denied entry into that country and our airline may be fined. Delta assumes responsibility for ensuring that each passenger boarding our aircraft has the proper documents for travel to their ticketed destination."
Lovitky told WND that whatever discrimination the Saudis choose to enforce in their nation, it becomes a problem when Delta applies it to American citizens on American soil.
"Delta Air Lines acted in a purely voluntary manner in agreeing to this alliance with Saudi Airlines," he wrote in a letter asking the Delta board to act on the matter. "Accordingly, Delta has made itself responsible for ensuring that passengers on any flight jointly operated with Saudi Airlines will not be subject to discrimination on the basis of their gender, religion, or any other inappropriate grounds."
Restrictions could include clothing requirements for women and banning passengers from "carrying and reading religious literature of their choice."
"This includes, but is not limited to, both Christian and Jewish sacred texts, such as the Old Testament and the New Testament, as well as any objects that reflect their religion, such as a cross necklace," Lovitky said.
"You can imagine how foreign it is to our values as Americans," he told WND. "To adhere to restrictions of this nature is extremely burdensome.
"This needs to be addressed in a way which is consistent with our Western values," he said.
"I urge Delta to shun any reciprocal travel arrangements with Saudi Arabian Airlines until the government of Saudi Arabia provides assurances that persons who acknowledge being Jewish on their visa applications will be granted visas."
He also was upset that Delta's response to a followup letter was to say, "we respectfully consider this matter closed and we will not be responding to this matter again."