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Muslims detained by FBI for spending too long in lavatory

Muslims detained by FBI for spending too long in lavatory

A group of Muslims was detained Wednesday at Orlando Sanford International Airport, apparently because of a misunderstanding over an Islamic cleanliness ritual, authorities said.

The captain of Allegiant flight No.625 from Allentown, Pa., radioed ahead and asked airport police to meet the plane when it landed about 8:30p.m., said Larry Dale, airport director and commander of its 11-member police force.

Members of the group were lingering in the lavatory and asked for a cup, arousing suspicion, Dale said. An FBI agent was interviewing three men late Wednesday, but it appeared that the travelers were detained because of a religious custom dictating cleanliness and that they would be released.

“In today’s world, we’d rather be cautious,” Dale said.

About half a dozen people and one child – at least some members of the same family – were traveling from Pennsylvania to Central Florida for a volleyball and badminton tournament, Dale said.

The travelers are of Middle Eastern descent, and at least one of the women wore a head scarf, he said.

Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said devout Muslims customarily clean their private parts with water after using the restroom, and that is likely what members of the group were doing. The procedure is known as istinja.

“They [the airplane crew] didn’t understand it, probably,” Musri said. “If you didn’t know the reason, you’d say, ‘Why do you need the cup? Why are you taking it with you into the bathroom?'”

There was no disruption on the flight, Dale said.

“I’m glad they didn’t have to divert the plane to another airport,” Musri said. “Sometimes we overreact.”

Orlando Sentinel, 24 May 2012


  1. Why are Muslims so concerned about cleaning their asses when there is blood on their hands…

  2. Carry a cup with you and don’t cause a crazy row at the airport.

  3. Stop freaking out over everyone that is different than you…YOU are not perfect in any way shape manner or form.. I too clean my self with soap and water after using the restroom.. Who the hell are you or some flight people to tell me how to stay clean??? GROW UP and get over your damn paranoia

  4. @biggums: So does the Klan. And you have to be a Christian to join.

  5. I’m a Muslim woman, and I’m sorry, but for God’s sake take the CUP they give you for your drink and save it….then take it to the rest room, rinse it out and use it. Or better yet, take one of their paper towels – or two or three – soak it with water, and clean yourself that way. That’s what I do, and there is NO WAY I’d be asking someone for a cup right before I went into the bathroom.

    Use your heads!

  6. I’m Muslim and I would ask for a cup to clean myself. Or if I have to I have used some paper towels when I didn’t have something that holds water. Being a woman who also carries a purse I usually have a container in my handbag.

  7. Oh and what the world is a cup going to do to harm anyone? People r so paranoid!

  8. apparently Muslims can make bombs out of cups now.

  9. gayle and mr bennet,

    “Oh and what the world is a cup going to do to harm anyone?” People r so paranoid!” “apparently Muslims can make bombs out of cups now.” ya’ll are funny. a cup can’t be made into a bomb. just used to mix one. why do you think that you can’t take more then 3ozs of liquid on a plane? so if five people traveling together all go into the restroom in succession and spend what seems to an inordinate amount of time in there. i don’t think it is “hateful” to be concerned about it. each could carry a small amount of chemicals which could be mixed together to cause a small explotion. and unfortunately a small explosion could bring a plane down.

    “People r so paranoid” it used to be that no one thought anything of some could bringing box cutters on a flight, either. just cause your paranoid doesn’t me someone isn’t out to kill you.

  10. BG,

    I guess they try to conceal the stains just like Christians try to abslove of their sins from the Roman days (Christianisation of Rome) to date.

  11. @BiggumsT —-Sadly Christians have killed more people in the 20th century alone, than Muslims have in the entire history of Islam. Learn history.

  12. dongo and lorink,

    you are both right. christians have proven themselves to be bastards as have jews and muslims. all the abrahamics abd their texts have shown the god of abraham to be a blood thirsty, vengeful a-hole. so why do you defend him/her. the body count is not the point. it’s the motivation for wanting to kill. why can’t we all agree to abandon these silly ways?

    lorink are you bringing up the crusades?

    see dongo, that’s what makes me laugh. but it doesn’t take much to make a sewer rat laugh.

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