I wonder how Mohammad Khan is getting on in his legal action against Virgin Atlantic. Mo — a Muslim, the clue’s in the name — was waiting to board a flight when he started ‘harmlessly’ talking about 9/11. There is no reason to believe he has any connections with extremists, but he was kicked off the flight because of security concerns and had to fly out of the UK with another airline. Although he was later offered a refund, he is now suing, claiming he was ‘racially and religiously profiled’ by the Virgin staff. ‘I know this wouldn’t have happened if I’d been a white man in his sixties,’ Mo complained. No, probably not. But if the world were comprised entirely of white men in their sixties, then 9/11 might not have happened. The world might also be a nicer place to live, although there might be too many bridge tournaments for my own taste.
It is axiomatic that white men in their sixties are privileged oppressive bastards, but it is also true that they have been remarkably quiet of late. No white men in their sixties were suspects in the recent carnage in Barcelona in which 15 people were killed and scores more injured. The police instead were looking for people who look a bit like Mo — Muslim men in their twenties. Nor were older white folk implicated in the knife attack in Turku, Finland, in which two women were murdered and eight people injured. Nor yet in the attack in Hamburg in which one person was killed and six injured.
In all of those cases the police were after people who might well be called ‘Mohammed’. They don’t give out the names of suspects anymore because everybody knows it’s probably someone called Mohammed.