Biddende piloot krijgt tien jaar



Zestien passagiers kwamen om, toen in 2005 een Tunesisch vliegtuig voor de Siciliaanse kust neerstortte. Inplaats van de noodprocedure uit te voeren, begon piloot Chafik Gharbi te bidden. Hij riep om “Allah en Muhammad the prophet!”. Er waren 23 overlevenden, van wie negen zwaar gewond. Ook Gharbi zelf, zie foto, overleefde.


Een Italiaanse rechter veroordeelde hem tot tien jaar. Ook de co-piloot kreeg tien jaar. Is dat terecht?

Maar eerst het bericht uit The Guardian:

A pilot accused of praying when he should have been taking emergency measures to avoid a crash in which 16 people died has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court.

Captain Chafik Gharby was at the controls of a plane belonging to the Tunisian charter airline Tuninter that crashed in the sea off the coast of Sicily four years ago. The 23 survivors were left swimming for their lives, some clinging to a piece of the fuselage that stayed afloat after the turbo-prop aircraft broke up on impact.

Gharby was at first hailed as a hero for having saved the lives of most of the passengers. But after an investigation, he, his co-pilot, and several Tuninter executives and technicians were charged with a range of offences including manslaughter.


The court in Palermo agreed with prosecutors that the chain of events that led to the crash began when a wrong part was installed in the ill-fated plane, a Franco-Italian ATR 72. A mechanic accidentally fitted an outwardly identical fuel gauge intended for the smaller ATR 42.

The plane took off from Bari, bound for the Tunisian island of Djerba, on 6 August 2005. As it flew over Sicily, its engines slowed to a halt, even though the instrument panel showed the aircraft had enough fuel left for the flight.

The judges accepted the prosecution case that the pilots, instead of making a crash landing on the sea, should have been able to glide the plane to Palermo airport. Instead, Gharby was said to have panicked. In cockpit recordings entered as evidence he was heard calling for the help of “Allah and Muhammad his prophet”.

His lawyer, Francesca Coppi, said: “Faced with danger, he invoked his god as would any one of us.”

She described her client as “a broken man” who was “convinced he did everything possible to save as many lives as possible”.

The co-pilot, Ali Kebaier, also received a 10-year sentence. Tuninter’s director-general, Moncef Zouari, and the company’s technical director were both given nine years.

A mechanic and two executives in the airline’s maintenance department each received eight-year sentences. Two of the accused were acquitted. The remaining seven defendants, who were not in court to hear the verdict, will not have to go to prison until the appeals process has been exhausted.

Of the passengers who died, two were Tunisians. The other 14 were Italians and many of their relatives travelled to Palermo on chartered buses to hear the verdict.

Angela Trentadue, whose 27-year-old daughter died in the crash, welcomed the sentences. Another relative, who did not wish to be identified, said: “I wanted to hug the judge.”

Een belangrijke opmerking kan hier worden gemaakt, namelijk dat het bidden heeft geholpen voor de piloot zelf. Hij heeft het overleefd. Als alle passagiers dat nou ook hadden gedaan, was er niets gebeurd. Met ander woorden: de piloot had moeten worden vrijgesproken! Of niet soms?


Ook in Nederland is weer veel te doen over Tariq Ramadan. Hij kreeg een dikke miljoen euro om in Rotterdam een dialoog tussen moslims en niet-moslims op te starten. Uit tapes die door de Gay Krant werden beluisterd en vertaald, bleek dat  Ramadan tegenover moslims homoseksualiteit als een gevaarlijk afwijking placht af te schilderen. Zou president Obama de Gay Krant lezen? In elk geval nam de huidige president de beslissing van zijn voorganger om Tariq Ramadan te weren. De moslimwereld reageerde geschokt, aldus IslamOnline:

By Muhammed Qasim

WASHINGTON — Although it has made a break with many of George Bush’s controversial, self-declared war on terror policies and has promised to reach out to Muslims, the Obama administration has decided to back a Bush decision to deny one of Europe’s leading Muslim intellectuals entry.


“Consular decisions are not subject to litigation,” Assistant US Attorney David Jones told the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

He asked the court to uphold a decision to bar Tariq Ramadan, an Oxford University professor, from entering the country.

Jones argued that if the court questioned a consular officer’s decision to bar Ramadan, this would leave the administration in a “quagmire” with others seeking such reversals.

When one of the judges asked how high the review of Ramadan’s case has gone within the Obama administration, Jones said it was “upwards in the State Department.”

Ramadan was invited to teach at the University of Notre Dame in 2004 but the Bush government revoked his visa, citing a statute that applies to those who have “endorsed or espoused” terrorism.

In 2006, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of the American Academy of Religion, the American Association of University Professors and PEN American Center challenging the decision.

The administration then abandoned its claim Ramadan had endorsed terrorism, linking the ban to $1,336 he donated between 1998 and 2002 to a Swiss charity the US blacklisted in 2003.

A Swiss citizen of Egyptian origin, Ramadan is one of Europe’s leading Muslim thinkers and has often condemned terrorism and extremism.

The author of 20 books and 700 articles on Islam, he was named by Time magazine as one of 100 innovators of the 21st century for his work on creating an independent European Islam.

His reputation in British and American academic circles is one of a moderate expert on Muslim affairs.

The Obama administration’s position came as a shock to many.

“It’s disappointing to come here and hear Obama administration lawyers argue the same sweeping executive power arguments,” Jameel Jaffer, lawyer and ACLU National Security Project director, said after the hearing.

He told the court that the government had failed to identify “legitimate and bona fide reasons for the exclusion.”

Civil rights groups had hoped for a reversal of Bush policy of excluding foreign scholars from on the basis of their political beliefs.

Many scholars and intellectuals, including Ramadan, believe that they are being targeted for their vocal criticism of the Bush administration’s Iraq war and bias towards Israel.

Ramadan was a vocal critic of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

“While the government has an interest in excluding people who present a threat to the country, it doesn’t have any legitimate interest in excluding foreign nationals simply because of their political views. The Bush administration was wrong to revive this Cold War practice, and the Obama administration should not defend it,” Jaffer insisted.

“There should be a clean break of the Bush administration national security policies.”

If the appeal is thrown out, the ACLU could take its case before a bigger panel of appeals judges, or possibly the US Supreme Court.

“By denying visas to prominent foreign scholars and writers simply because they were critical of US foreign policy, the Bush administration used immigration laws to skew and stifle political debate inside the US,” said Jaffar.

“US citizens and US resident are harmed by…the exclusion of people based on the content of their speech.”

Ze zullen in Amerika toch niet denken dat Tariq Ramadan een homo is?

Humanistische omroep, 27 maart 2009