News East West
NEW YORK: Muslims have decided to boycott United Airlines after a Muslim woman passenger was discriminated against on its flight from Chicago to Washington DC on Friday.
Tahera Ahmad, who is an associate chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University in Chicago, alleged in her facebook posting that she was discriminated against when she asked a flight attendant to give her an unopened Diet Coke for `hygienic reasons.’
The Muslim woman says she was told by the flight attendant, “Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you.”
She says that when the same flight attendant gave an unopened beer can to another passenger, she asked why he got an unopened can and not her, the flight attendant replied, “We are unauthorised to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a weapon on the plane.”
When the hijab-wearing Muslim woman said it was plain discrimination, the female flight attendant took back the man’s beer can, opened it and told her, “It’s so you don’t use it as a weapon.’’
The Muslim woman says when she turned to other passengers, a man across the aisle told her, “You Moslem, you need to shut… up.’’
When she responded with horror, saying, “what?”, the man used even more inflammatory words, “Yes you know you would use it as a weapon, so shut the f— up.”
Ahmad wrote, “I am sitting on a United airlines flight in the air 30,000 ft above and I am in tears of humiliation from discrimination… #IslamophobiaISREAL.’’
The Muslim woman told the Chicago Sun Times that the flight attendant later apologized to her.
“The flight attendant also acknowledged that the man who yelled at me was wrong for doing so and apologized that her behavior led to that. She acknowledged it was unethical and said he never should have said anything,’’ the woman told the newspaper.
The flight was operated by United Airlines’ regional partner Shuttle America.