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Hijacking Planes and Religions

The man who hijacked a flight from Albania yesterday was a Christian.

Apparently, Muslims aren't the only ones who hijack aircraft.

I bet when you heard about this story, before learning about the guy's religion, you probably thought he was Muslim, given the fact he was from Turkey and he forcefully commandeered an aircraft. After all, initial reports were that a group of Turks hijacked the plane in protest of the Pope's upcoming visit to Turkey. I bought into this, and I'm sick at myself for doing it.

Hakan Ekinci slipped inside the cockpit door before it was closed and sealed, and handed a note to the pilots stating there were accomplices with a bomb on board. He wanted to fly the plane to Italy and deliver a message to the Pope. No bomb or message were ever found.

The hijacker no longer wanted to serve in the Turkish army given the fact that he was now a Christian. So, he thought he could appeal to the Pope for asylum, and there was no better way to get there than with 107 others cruising at 35,000 feet.

I'm sure this story will get spun in a variety of ways so that his Christianity is made less visible than his nationality or his insanity.

But, when Muslims hijack planes, all of their peaceful, normal counterparts get branded and ostracized and stereotyped. Because of our ignorance and others' hatred, an entire religion gets hijacked on account of a minority.

That probably won't happen in this case, even though a plane full of innocent lives were also in grave danger because of a man's religion. Christianity will not be labeled as a violent religion, even though it is just as historically capable of violence as most other religions.

Just remember: people hijack planes, not religions.