The crime of Flying while Muslim
A college student who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in California earlier this month after another passenger became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic.
The student, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, was taken off a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Oakland on April 6 after he called an uncle in Baghdad to tell him about an event he attended that included a speech by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“I was very excited about the event so I called my uncle to tell him about it,” he said.
He told his uncle about the chicken dinner they were served and the moment when he got to stand up and ask the secretary general a question about the Islamic State, he said. But the conversation seemed troubling to a nearby passenger, who told the crew she overheard him making “potentially threatening comments,” the airline said in a statement.
Mr. Makhzoomi, 26, knew something was wrong as soon as he finished his phone call and saw that a woman sitting in front of him had turned around in her seat to stare at him, he said. She headed for the airplane door soon after he told his uncle that he would call again when he landed, and qualified it with a common phrase in Arabic, “inshallah,” meaning “god willing.”
“That is when I thought, ‘Oh, I hope she is not reporting me,’ because it was so weird,” Mr. Makhzoomi said.
An Arabic-speaking Southwest Airlines employee of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent came to his seat and escorted him off the plane a few minutes after his call ended, he said. The man introduced himself in Arabic and then switched to English to ask, “Why were you speaking Arabic in the plane?”
…The employee spoke to him “like I was an animal.”…“I said to him, ‘This is what Islamophobia got this country into,’ and that made him so angry. That is when he told me I could not go back on the plane.”
Law enforcement officials arrived shortly after Mr. Makhzoomi accused the airline employee of anti-Muslim bias, he said. He was brought into the terminal and searched in front of a crowd of onlookers while half a dozen police officers, including one with a dog, stood watch.
Three agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived and brought him into a private room where they questioned him, he said…A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. in Los Angeles, Ari Dekofsky, confirmed that agents responded to the airport that day but had found there to be no threat. “We determined that no further action was necessary,”…
Mr. Makhzoomi was able to book a new flight on Delta Air Lines and arrived in Oakland eight hours after he originally planned. He said he has no plans to pursue legal action against Southwest Airlines but he does want the company to apologize for the way its employees treated him.
Politically correct speech and behavior is a practice that originated with our Right-wingers and is institutionalized throughout our culture. Republican candidates lie about PC and try to lay it off as a Liberal phenomenon – mostly because they don’t wish to deal with the racism and bigotry of American linguistics.
Chickenshit politicians blather with false pride about everything from menstruation to racism, rejecting criticism as political correctness. At the same time, they consider discriminatory behavior like this event justified as better safe than sorry. A funny way to describe ignorance and cowardice.
BTW, I date American PC from the time I witnessed “In God We Trust” put on our currency and “Under God” stuffed into the Pledge of Allegiance. By the craven politicians who knelt before the very politically-correct Joseph McCarthy.