I seem to be caught at a loss for words more often than usual these days. This story leaves me almost speechless. What we have in this story is the coming together of two forms of totalitarianism. #1: The totalitarianism of the airport. Essentially, if you are in an airport attempting to board a plane, you can be detained at will. #2: The British (and increasingly American) totalitarianism of the religion of anti-racism. Now in Britain applied to Islam as if it were a race. This man merely made a quip indicating that a Muslim woman was receiving special security treatment, and he was expressly told by a whole bevy of guards that if he did not apologize to a Muslim security officer--called out of the woodwork so that she could be offended and be the recipient of his symbolic forced apology--he would not be allowed to board his plane. Eventually he agreed to a compromise suggested by the bullies surrounding him: That he admit that his comment "could" have been offensive to a Muslim. He kept reiterating that what he had said wasn't racist, but even that wasn't enough. If he didn't apologize, he was going to be detained by guards. He was told repeatedly that he couldn't say such a thing, that we live in such times now that such things cannot be said, and that he must apologize to a representative Muslim.
This is terrifying.
In America we already have totalitarianism #1 and some measure of totalitarianism #2. Would they come together in this way? What's the betting that something similar would happen to anyone who made a similarly mild and moderate comment in, say, JFK airport? I'd like to think it's no more than 50/50, but even those odds are too high.