• Andreas Guenter Lubitz, the 28-year old co-pilot of the Germanwings plane deliberately crashed aircraft into the Alps.Facebook
  • Those who knew Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane claim that he was friendly guy.Facebook

Since it emerged that Germanwings airlines' co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately 'accelerated' the plane after locking out the captain to crash the jetliner into the French Alps, there have been many who have raised questions on his religious background.

Close friends of the 28-year old Germanwings pilot remember him as a "rather quiet, but a friendly young man."

Many on social media, however, refuse to believe the explanation that the German pilot, whose full name is Andreas Guenter Lubitz, had no terror links and in fact "had no reason to do it."

During the news conference, French prosecutor Brice Robin refused to give information on Andreas Lubitz's religion, saying: "I don't think it's necessarily what we should be looking for."

But that has not stopped many from counter-arguing that the religion of the pilot, who deliberately crashed the Germanwings Flight 9525 killing all 150 people onboard, is an important cue to investigate the motive of the "mass murderer."

There also others who point at another incident where the pilot of a Boeing 767 flying from New York City to Cairo in 1999 intentionally plunged the fully loaded plane into the Atlantic Ocean 30 minutes after takeoff.

The investigation found that the pilot of the EgyptAir Flight 990, Gamal al-Batouti, had said several times in Arabic said: "I rely on God," before switching off the engines and crashing the plane into the Ocean.

Andreas Lubitz, a Muslim?

According to a German news website, that Andreas Lubitz was a Muslim convert and thanks to him Germany now has its own 9/11.

The report published in Speisa.com states that the co-pilot of the doomed plane had taken a six-month break during his training at the aviation academy. It stated that it was during this period that Lubitz converted to Islam and was radicalised at a mosque in Bremen.

The report even claimed that the police have evidence to prove this theory.

Lubitz's religion is irrelevant

Amid loud voices calling out to authorities to reveal the co-pilot's religion, there are also those who strongly oppose the view that the religion of the pilot had anything to do with the investigation.

Juan Cole, an American academic and Middle-East commentator, in a blog post titled - "What's Religion Got to do with it? German Co-Pilot as Terrorist" highlighted the irrelevance of asking the question "What was his religion?"

"Why in the world would his religion be relevant? If he did crash the plane on purpose then presumably he was depressed and wanted not only to commit suicide but also to be a mass murderer. It isn't political terrorism, likely, but certainly it was a terroristic act of killing," Cole wrote.

But the reason why people want to know his religion, he continues. "was out of bigotry against Muslims, probing whether another one had gone postal."

"The subtext is that white Christians don't go off the deep end, even though obviously they do, in large numbers. It isn't a logical question about Andreas Lubitz from Rhineland-Palatinate."

Lubitz is a Terrorist?

There is also a growing number of online users, who since have taken to Twitter to point out that authorities have deliberately refrained from calling Lubitz a terrorist.

Mike Spudgun, an award-nominated investigative journalist who has worked for ITV, Channel 4, BBC and SKY News, in a Twitter post said that Lubitz should be described as a terrorist, as acts of terrorism are independent of religion.

Spudgun tweeted: "I don't care what religion Andreas Lubitz was. Anyone who slaughters 150 people is a f***ing terrorist, period".

Another journalist, Glenn Greenwald, a former columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian, noted on Twitter that the coverage on the crash would already be so different if the co-pilot's name was Mohammed Al-Masaood, son of Egyptian immigrants.

Twitter Reactions:

zar @zaradicalised

If #GermanWings pilot Andreas #Lubitz was Muslim, would there be hesitation in calling deliberate crash & murder of 149 people "terrorism"?

Piers Morgan @piersmorgan

How can they 100% rule out terrorism? If this co-pilot was a Muslim, they wouldn't be so quick to say that. #GermanWingsCrash

Aya @SaedaAya

news coverage of this #Germanwings crash is starting to resemble a witch hunt. we're no longer in salem folks. stop asking for his religion.

RD and 3 others @_RandomDent_

A very sad world we live in when one of the first questions is the pilot's ethnicity/religion. #Germanwings

Mauricio D Mendez @mauriciod44

@BlackIrishI @Dab7One When will  they release the name of the Pilot? Muslim, I bet!

Bill Powers @BillPowers9

Would anyone be surprised if the co-pilot turns out to be a Muslim.

Roaring Meg @RoaringMeg1872

Alright I'll throw it out thereWas this co-pilot who locked himself in the cabin a Muslim

Ali Abunimah @AliAbunimah

BBC just said Germanwings pilots "was German. Not a known terrorist."
They really do go by ethnicity it seems.

Omar Suleiman @omarsuleiman504

The message from the media: Kill as many people as you want. As long as you're not Muslim, you won't be called a terrorist. #AndreasLubitz

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