Saturday, February 13, 2010

Five Guys in the sky: Shut Up Airways

It didn't take long for the Five Guys of Toronto, Canada to see the following story in the news:
USAToday: Airport body scanners violate Islamic law, Muslims say -- Saying that body scanners violate Islamic law, Muslim-American groups are supporting a "fatwa" — a religious ruling — that forbids Muslims from going through the scanners at airports.

The Fiqh Council of North America — a body of Islamic scholars — issued a fatwa this week that says going through the airport scanners would violate Islamic rules on modesty.
Well, it's not just Islamic law that prohibits adherents from going through airport body scanners. The Visageban religion also forbids it.

So, Canada's most famous -- in fact, only -- Visageban followers, the Five Guys, wasted no time in securing emergency loans and grants from Cultural Pacification Canada to start their own airline.

Aqua Shirt Guy, leader of the Five Guys, explained, "Our airline is called 'Shut Up Airways.' Only Visageban may fly on it. This way, we don't have to compromise our religious and cultural beliefs by going through secular, unreligious airport body scanners."

Phalguni Fanibhusan of Toronto Now inquired, "Since there are only five Visageban in Canada, are you going to allow a non-Visageban pilot to fly your jet?"

"No!" Aqua Shirt Guy shouted. "Don't be insane! Coffee Drinking Guy has some flight training. He never had any interest in learning to land or take off, but he can fly the plane once it's in the air."

"But how --?" Phalguni Fanibhusan began, but was cut off.

"Silence!" Aqua Shirt Guy demanded. "Now, the regulations of Shut Up Airways are simple: Men sit in first class. Women travel in the baggage hold."

"You said that only Visageban may fly on your airline," said Phalguni Fanibhusan.


"How is that possible? You've started the airline with public funds. You can't take public funds to set up a restrictive, discriminatory business."

"Yes, we can."

Phalguni Fanibhusan investigated this angle of Shut Up Airways. He interviewed Lem Snarkfeneau, spokesman for Cultural Pacification Canada.

"Yes, they can," Snarkfeneau replied in answer to Fanibhusan's question about how the Five Guys could use public funds to create a restrictive, discriminatory business.

"But how?" Fanibhusan pressed. "I couldn't take public funds and, say, open a restaurant that only served people of a particular race or faith."

"No, you could not."

"Then how is that the Five Guys can?"

"Because they are a repressed minority."

"Do you mean oppressed? During all my research and interaction with the Five Guys, I haven't encountered anyone who's oppressing them."

"No, they are repressed. And it's their self-imposed repression that makes them eligible to run their business as they wish."

"But that doesn't make any sense whatsoever."

Snarkfeneau shrugged. "I don't make the rules. I merely abide by them."

So, what is the next step for Shut Up Airways?

"You have your jet," Phalguni Fanibhusan said. "Where will you fly first?"

"At this moment," Aqua Shirt Guy said, "no airport, city or nation state will accept us."

"What about your country of origin, Visagestan?"

Aqua Shirt Guy fixed Fanibhusan with a particularly hostile scowl. "Why would we want to go back to that hellhole?"

"So, as it now stands, you have a plane, but nowhere to fly," said Phalguni Fanibhusan.

"Yes, but we are taking the world to the World Court on charges of discrimination and causing offense and insult to our culture and religion."

"You actually have some money left over from procuring the plane to pursue this?"

"Of coure not!" Aqua Shirt Guy bellowed. "The Canadian government is funding our case!"

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