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Opinion: Prayers and panic in the air

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Even given post-9/11 edginess, the crew of an Alaska Airlines flight from Mexico City to L.A. shouldn’t have been spooked by the sight of three Orthodox Jews praying wearing tefillin, or phylacteries. Concerned by an unfamiliar sight, the crew notified the tower at LAX and the three passengers were greeted when they landed by police and agents of the FBI and Customs and Border Protection.

Irish Catholic that I am, I still would have recognized what the Jewish passengers were doing. I’m surprised that flight attendants would be so clueless.

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I have some problems with diversity training, but the airlines clearly need to acquaint their staff with the customs of various faiths. Next time, it could be an elderly woman praying the rosary who causes a panic.

--Michael McGough


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