Hijab-clad Woman Forcibly Removed from US Aircraft, Arrested as White Passenger felt 'Uncomfortable'
A hijab-wearing woman was asked to disembark an aeroplane after complaints from a white passenger | Image credit: Facebook
In a horrifying instance of alleged racial and religious discrimination, a woman is claiming she was made to disembark a flight because a white passenger was uncomfortable with her presence.
Muslim Girl blog founder Amani Al-Khatahtbeh alleged in a Twitter thread an “entitled white man” raised a complaint about her on to the staff of their American Airlines flight, following an argument at the security search at the airport.
She alleges the man jumped in front of her in the queue. Additionally, he shoved his belongings to run ahead of her. She said that if she, a veiled Muslim woman, had has behaved the way the man did she would have faced different consequences.
Our founder, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, was arrested yesterday after being harassed by an American Airlines passenger and staff. This blatant Islaophobia should not be tolerated by anyone. @AmericanAir do better.https://t.co/hCIgz591e5— Muslim Girl (@muslimgirl) November 15, 2020
According to American Airlines’s statement, PreCheck and non-PreCheck screenings are performed in one open lane. They say the other person did not get any preferential treatment but was pushed ahead of the queue because he is enrolled in the PreCheck. The PreCheck is a membership-based program that allows expedited screening at airports for the members.
Once on-board, a manager of the flight told Al-Khatahtbeh that a man had complained against her and was “uncomfortable.”
She posted videos of the altercation where the manager says “discuss that outside” when she claimed the man was making her uncomfortable. She posted another video where she is arrested by the police once she leaves the plane. She was charged with delay of transportation and trespass and has been released now.
Council on American-Muslim Relations National Executive Director Nihad Awad said American Airlines has a history of mistreating Muslim travellers. He sought an explanation from the airlines why they acted against Amani and called the police.
The airlines maintain there are witnesses to prove that the altercation started at the security queue.
Al-Khatahtbeh has faced discrimination due to her religion many times before which she posted on social media. One particular clip she shared was a recording of a man abusing her and threatening to kill her family. She wrote, “Necessary to see the common experience of Muslims and minorities when hate is normalised by political leaders.”
As for this instance, the airline spokesperson said that they are carrying an active investigation to the whole issue. They will look into the altercation at the airport as well as the on-board scuffle.