Sunday, May 31, 2015

Muslim Interfaith Advocate Charges United Airlines With Discrimination

CNN reports that Tahera Ahmad, the 31-year old Muslim chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University is charging that United Airlines discriminated against her on a flight Friday from Chicago to Washington. Wearing a hijab (headscarf), she was on her way to attend a conference promoting dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian youth. Ahmed asked the flight attendant for an unopened can of Diet Coke, but was told: "We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane." However the flight attendant gave the passenger next to Ahmad an unopened can of beer. As reported by CNN:
When Ahmad told the flight attendant she was being discriminated against, the attendant abruptly opened the beer can.  "It's so you don't use it as a weapon," Ahmad said she was told. Shocked, Ahmad asked other passengers if they had seen what happened. A man sitting across the aisle turned to her and yelled, "You Muslim, you need to shut the f--- up," she said. "What?" The man leaned over, looked her in the eyes and said: "Yes, you know you would use it as a weapon. So shut the f--- up"....
The flight attendant as well as the pilot later apologized.  Ahmed has Premier frequent flier status with United.  United said: "We are ... discussing the matter ... with Shuttle America, our regional partner that operated the flight. We look forward to speaking with Ms. Ahmad and hope to have the opportunity to welcome her back."