It's no longer shocking to see Muslims being escorted off airplanes because of how frequent it's become. Unfortunately, Islamophobia doesn't seem to be going anywhere, despite the "globalization" trend we all claim to be experiencing. You've probably heard about some of the recent incidents, some for as ridiculous of a reason as speaking Arabic. Since when is speaking Arabic a threat?
It seems that no matter what you do, just being Muslim or Arab, puts you at risk of humiliation and discrimination. They do say all publicity is good publicity, but it's a shame publicity has to come this way.
This year alone, noting that we still haven't hit the six-month mark, these incidents were all the more frequent. Here are 5 times Muslims were escorted off an airplane just for being Muslim.
1. In January, American Airlines kicked three Muslim passengers off flight for making pilot "uneasy"
The men sought $1 million in compensatory damages each and $5 million in punitive damages from American Airlines for discrimination.
2. In March, these two Muslim women were removed from a JetBlue plane after a cabin crew member claimed she "didn't like the way they were staring back at her"
The two women were approached by two police officers prior to departure and were asked to get off the plane before departing from Boston to Los Angeles. But, if not liking the way someone stares at you can give you rights to kick people off planes and sue them and god knows what else, then maybe we can all just sue each other in that case.
3. Another incident in March, when United Airlines asked an Arab-American Muslim family to leave the plane because of "safety concerns"
The incident happened after Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley, who wears a hijab, asked for an additional strap for the booster seat for one of her children. This led to a discussion with a flight attendant who asked them to remove the booster seat, which they said they did. They were then asked to leave the plane. The family was rebooked “on a later flight because of concerns about their child’s safety seat, which did not comply with federal safety regulations." The airline also said in a statement that it has “zero tolerance for discrimination," according to The Independent .
4. In April, Hakima Abdulle, a Muslim woman from Maryland, was removed from a Southwest plane “without any credible explanation”
Abdulle was asked to get off the plane going from Chicago to Seattle, after asking her neighbor to switch seats. Abdulle was approached by a flight attendant who had told her they were not allowed to swap seats, despite the airline's policy of unassigned seating. The police later asked the flight attendant at the gate if there was any reason Abdulle had been taken off the flight, and she claimed she did "not feel comfortable" with the passenger.
5. This Iraqi Muslim student was removed from Southwest plane for saying "Inshallah" before departure
Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, was taken off a flight from Los Angeles to Oakland after a phone conversation he was having with his uncle in Baghdad prior to departure. He said the most commonly used Arabic word "Inshallah" and was kicked off the flight because some woman reportedly thought he had said the word “shahid,” meaning martyr, which is associated with jihad. An Arabic-speaking Southwest Airlines employee actually asked Makhzoomi, “Why were you speaking Arabic in the plane?” as if there is a law that requires us all to speak only English when in a plane.