‘Might offend other passengers’


by Sunny
22nd January, 2007 at 3:41 pm    

I say boycott Qantas airlines.

A passenger barred from a Qantas airlines flight for wearing a T-shirt depicting US President George Bush as a terrorist has threatened legal action. Allen Jasson said he was sticking up for the principle of free speech by challenging the decision by the Australian flag carrier. Mr Jasson was stopped as he was about to board the flight from Melbourne to London last Friday.

Mr Jasson was ordered to remove the T-shirt after being told it was a security threat and an item which might cause offence to other passengers.


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Filed in: Civil liberties






57 Comments below   |  

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  1. Leon — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

    Well if they allow religious expression on airplanes why not political expression? It’s not like this is incitement to riot or anything…

  2. ZinZin — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:15 pm  

    Boycott Qantas?
    Thats easy i don’t want to go to Australia?

    Wearing a t-shirt with the word terrorist written upon it and then expecting to board a plane is ridiculous. Mr Jasson is not a free speech martyr he is someone who should know better.

  3. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:23 pm  

    ‘After clearing the international security checks at Melbourne Airport, he reportedly approached the gate manager to congratulate him on the company’s new-found open-mindedness. ‘

    Uh-huh. Or maybe he was disappointed not to have been stopped and wanted to make sure someone saw it.

  4. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

    “The 55-year-old computer specialist, who lives in London, had encountered difficulties with the same T-shirt on an earlier Qantas flight in December.”

    Well played Quantas. This guy needs to learn that tying to board an airliner wearing something saying “terrorist” is not on. He also needs to learn that an airliner is not the place for political statements or exercising one’s right to free speech. He also needs to learn that it’s good to change one’s t-shirt rather more than monthly. That was probably the most offensive bit.

  5. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    Would have fared better if it had said ‘Mass Murderer’.

    T-word is just too political.

  6. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 5:55 pm  

    Our man seems to have a long-standing fetish about airport security. Here he is, take it away Allen Jasson:

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2004/12/how_not_to_test.html

  7. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 5:59 pm  

    After a little more research, he’s a raving peace activist looking to self-publicise.

    If I as a builder can find that in ten minutes, why can’t journalists do the same?

  8. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:05 pm  
  9. Katy — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:09 pm  

    Ordered to remove the T-shirt, eh?

    I am liking this new power of airport officials.

    In future I shall work at the Airport, and order fit men to remove any items of clothing that I find offensive.

  10. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:10 pm  

    Damn, the last thing I was expecting was a sense of humour:

    https://www1.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/03/336290.html?c=on#comments

  11. Katy — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:14 pm  

    And also unfit men, who might be fit if they wore different clothing. In fact, I could also substitute items of clothing that would look better on them, and have it televised.

    “What Not To Wear (At The Airport) (If You Don’t Want To Be Sent To Prison Without Charge)”

  12. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:04 pm  

    Bert,

    My computer advises me to avoid that link. It doesn’t trust it.

    Katy,

    Along these lines?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=Bl-2Pi4nMcY

  13. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:11 pm  

    Don – Yeah, my computer warned me, too but I’m not dead yet. Grow a pair, man.

    *Bert Ltd. is not liable for any damages

  14. Chairwoman — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:15 pm  

    Bert and Don, I took a chance and am still here.

  15. Tammy — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:19 pm  

    Since when is freedom of speech curtailed by the fact that it might offend someone? I don’t think it means freedom to say what everyone wants to hear. And since when is a t-shirt a lethal weapon that would preclude someone boarding a plane? something is happening in this country that is very disturbing when people cannot voice (or wear) their beliefs for fear of reprisal. This country was founded on these “inalienable” rights. All you politically correct jerks can go to another country and see what happens to you there.

  16. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:22 pm  

    As a special service to wussies, and as I’m doomed already I have revisted the site to reproduce the photo and caption thusly:

    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y259/Bert_Preast/336789.jpg

    “At the March 18th Demonstration I asked members of the London Met to line up and give support to bringing these war criminals to justice. They said, “Allen, we’re right behind you all the way!”

    So click this rather than the link in my #10.

    Can Sunny or someone please remove the link and accept my apologies if it is dodgy?

  17. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:34 pm  

    Tammy, I could never be desribed as politically correct yet even I can spot an attention seeking chodwit when I see one, and even I know not to wear things with terrorist written on them to an airport.

    The truly un-PC thing would’ve been to shoot him. Laudable, doubtless, but still probably touching on the extreme. Even though the man’s on a mission to get himself arrested for being as overtly anti-American as he can possibly be. Is American the only nationality where this is tolerable? If not, which others?

  18. Tammy — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:44 pm  

    of course he’s an attention seeking chodwit. no argument there. but once you start down this road where does it stop? if I wear earrings with swastikas on them (just an example) does that mean I’m an anti-Jew terrorist and must remove them? The guy is an idiot, but that’s the thing with America, you have a right to be an idiot. I would agree his behavior would be less than tolerable in another country, because they do not give people the rights our country claims to give us. Perhaps the best way to handle him would have been a deep cavity search just to prove he’s not a bomb-toting terrorst. That would serve as a better reminder to idiots not to push the boundaries of decency by their actions.

  19. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:45 pm  

    Despite being described as a wussy who has yet to grow a pair, I agree with Bert. This was a tosser on a mission to get turfed off a flight. If anyone else has a yen to try that out I have two words of warning; rubber gloves.

  20. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:46 pm  

    Tammy.,

    Snap.

  21. ZinZin — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:48 pm  

    Arseholes sums up this entire thread don’t yer think.

  22. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:49 pm  

    He’s not American, and it didn’t happen in America. Though I admit, someone trying to board a plane in America with the word “terrorist” emblazoned on one’s shirt would be in for a cavity inspection and no mistake.

    I draw the line at the word terrorist rather than something insulting to Bush or the US. Where do you draw the line? A Saudi with a headband reading “jihadi”? Or are you pushing anti-PC far enough to make you as bad as those pushing PC?

  23. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:49 pm  

    Argh, F5 F5 F5

  24. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:52 pm  

    When I was a hippy I got Dr. Bigfingers and his marigolds every bloody time I got off a plane. I really can’t see what this nob’s got to complain about.

  25. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 10:18 pm  

    Back to the topic, next time I get on a plane I’ll be wearing T-shirt emblazoned ‘Enlightenment Values’. Just to see who’s offended.

  26. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2007 at 10:34 pm  

    why not go all the way and wear a white curly wig ;)

  27. Sunny — on 22nd January, 2007 at 10:35 pm  

    I thought there were no limits to freedom of speech Bert? There are of course boundaries of decency but that doesn’t mean a person should be denied of their right to wear an offensive t-shirt.

    This reminds me of the other controversy where this American-Lebanese passeger, coming back to the States, was taken off the airline just for having a t-shirt that had arabic writing (that said something about peace). Despicable.

  28. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 10:42 pm  

    Has anybody considered that this was an abuse of an individual official’s power – because he personally is a right wing war-monger? In other words it may have had nothing to do with policy – but a decision by an individual.

    So abusing an individual physically is acceptable as long as you are on the side of those in power?

    Would he have been turfed off the plane if he was in a country who did not support the war? And even where there was direct support which country would allow that to happen? Be interested to hear.

  29. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 11:06 pm  

    No, he sought out the individual functionary, who we have no reason to suppose was a right-wing war-monger, and pointed out that he was wearing the same T-shirt that has caused a previous fuss.

    The shirt said ‘Number One Terorist’. He was messing around with other people’s flight times to make a point. That’s not free speech, that’s being a jerk.

  30. ZinZin — on 22nd January, 2007 at 11:13 pm  

    “I thought there were no limits to freedom of speech.”

    Do I have to give the example of shouting fire in a theatre?

  31. Leon — on 22nd January, 2007 at 11:51 pm  

    In future I shall work at the Airport, and order fit men to remove any items of clothing that I find offensive.

    *nods approval thinking of the reverse*

    :D

  32. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 11:59 pm  

    “I thought there were no limits to freedom of speech Bert?”

    Sunny, can you point me to when I’ve said that*? As an ex military type I understand the reasons for limiting free speech very well, thankyou.

    *If I said it while drunk, it doesn’t count.

  33. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:03 am  

    “There are of course boundaries of decency but that doesn’t mean a person should be denied of their right to wear an offensive t-shirt.”

    Yep. And an airliner, just like a school, is one of the places he has to cover up (or not, as the case may be). If this fucker was really committed, why doesn’t he tattoo Bush=terrorist on his forehead?

    And no, I’d still kick him off the plane.

  34. Helen — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:34 am  

    This person was a JERK!!. This was not his PRIVATE AIRPLANE!. It would have been offensive to other passengers. Not only that, it could have caused unnecessary trouble on the plane while in flight. He had no RIGHT to wear such an offensive shirt. It would have upset a number of other passengers.
    What this JERK does and says in his own home, is his business, but when it comes to AIRLINES, OR ANY BUSINESS, they should have the full right to lay down the rules.
    That is what is wrong, everyone thinks they can say and do as they please. Respect others, he acted like a spoilt brat that wanted to have his way. It had nothing to do with FREE SPEECH!
    That is why we have LAW AND ORDER, to avoid having JERKS like this. He was just an instigator looking for trouble and attention.
    I hope and trust other Airlines will follow suit. It is proper and brings back civility and decency, so all can enjoy their flights. Enough is enough!!!
    My experience with Quantas was very pleasant, courteous, and polite, the way all Airlines should be. This individual did not show any respect what-so-ever. He deserves what he got.
    GO QUANTAS GO!!!! Thank you for protecting all passengers, which could have caused an ugly scene once the plane was in flight!!

  35. Sunny — on 23rd January, 2007 at 1:22 am  

    Bert, a school is nothing like as school. Do you wear a uniform while on a flight?

  36. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 7:50 am  

    CAn I wear a t-shirt calling to impeach Blair on a BA flight? Or is that a ‘security threat’.

  37. Arif — on 23rd January, 2007 at 8:17 am  

    My Pickled Grammar Lesson

    I speak freely
    You incite irresponsibly
    He/she is a jerk looking for attention and instigating trouble
    We protect absolute values of free speech
    You (plural) abuse free speech threatening law and order
    They don’t understand enlightenment values

  38. El Cid — on 23rd January, 2007 at 8:51 am  

    Maybe the answer is in the context — freedom of speech on a plane vs freedom of speech on the streets. It’s a bit like freedom of speech on tv before the watershed and after (or freedom of speech inside a mosque vs outside!). Does that help with your “grammar” lesson Arif?

  39. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:06 am  

    “Bert, a school is nothing like as school. Do you wear a uniform while on a flight?”

    I think I know what you mean here. No, I don’t wear a uniform unless you count union jack boxers, and I agree an airliner has little in common with a school. I have no problem with this bloke mincing up and down the high street in his cool tshirt, nor even him boarding buses and trains. This is because other people boarding buses and trains are not usually nervous over terrorism. However, these days quite a number of people boarding aeroplanes are nervous about terrorism and can do without this bloke bringing up the subject at any opportunity.

    Also as I proved above, he’s just a fanatical Yank-basher trying to get noticed. And quite possibly insane.

  40. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:41 am  

    Bert agreed that he is a attention seeker, but how can his t-shirt that insults Bush be a security threat? I agree that it’ll be offensive to some, but I’d say it’d be trendy to many young people. Just explain to me how this is a security threat, compared to an insult to an individual.

  41. Arif — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:43 am  

    Intermediate grammar

    I express myself appropriately in the given context
    You misunderstand the context and are thin-skinned
    He/She is saying something that cannot be justified in any circumstances and will obviously cause people to get violent
    We define the context as it makes sense to us
    You (plural) are insensitive to the context and have misunderstood it so should expect a backlash.
    They are constructing a convenient fictitious story about the context in order to justify the unjustifiable.

  42. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:48 am  

    Sahil – I didn’t say it was a threat and I don’t care if it offends people. I said many people boarding planes are nervous and can do without seeing the word terrorist on their fellow travellers’ clothing. It wouldn’t be okay for a Saudi to wear a jihadi headband, so why is it okay for this bloke?

  43. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 9:49 am  

    Okay can I wear a t-shirt stating ‘terrorists are wankers’ on a plane?

  44. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:12 am  

    Nope. How is it so hard to avoid the word terrorist completely?

  45. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:19 am  

    But why? I just don’t get this? The word terrorist automatically makes people paranoid on a airplane? Can I wear a t-shirt saying ‘Allah praise the freedom fighters’ but not ‘terrorist are wankers’. You don’t sound like a shurlish person to me Bert, so why the sematic issue?

  46. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:22 am  

    sorry churlish

  47. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:23 am  

    It’s the word terrorist, nothing to do with Bush, USA, OBL, or anything else. It’s not a word anyone in their right mind would wear on an airliner. It’s only likely to scare people – there are children on planes, remember. “Daddy, is that man a terrorist? Will he blow us all up?”

    If I’m having trouble explaining this to you lot, put yourself in the position of that daddy trying to explain it to his kid.

  48. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:26 am  

    Okay, I do get that. What I am saying is that there are words that are scary without any context. Frankly Bert I am also thinking about the two boys who got kicked off their plane because they were speaking in urdu, and someone got scared and demanded that they get off the plane.

  49. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:32 am  

    Er, they were also attention seekers. And con men.

  50. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:35 am  

    Since when, can you link me up?

    Assuming the above is true what does that have to do with them being kicked off their aeroplane. Did anyone on the plane know that they were attention seekers, or conmen. Did anyone on the aeroplane understand urdu, and what conversation they were having? I’m saying this paranoia thing is absurd.

  51. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:41 am  
  52. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:44 am  
  53. Sahil — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:50 am  

    Thanks for the links, but nothing there indicates that the passengers knew anything about the two, or that the idiots said ‘bombs’, ‘die’ or ‘terrorist’ whilst in the plane. Why assume they were a security threat? Plus again how is wearing a t-shirt saying terrorist in any context a security threat. Damn stupid, insulting, YES, security threat, how?

  54. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:53 am  

    I don’t see it as a security threat, but others might. There is no good reason I can see to frighten them so this bloke can make his political statements.

    For the Massive Malaga Mutiny, the two are convicted fraudsters so I’ll take the word of the 180 people on the plane over theirs, thanks.

  55. El Cid — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:40 pm  

    what’s it all about eh Arif?

  56. douglas clark — on 25th January, 2007 at 9:58 am  

    Mr Squares,

    Re your link. The point is?

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