Friday, October 07, 2011

Muslim Student Sues Southwest Airlines For Discrimination In Removing Her From Flight

A Muslim-American graduate student at San Jose State University filed a religious discrimination lawsuit yesterday in California federal district court against Southwest Airlines.  The suit grows out of the airline's removal last March of psychology student Irum Abbasi from a flight bound for San Diego because a flight attendant though she heard Abbasi say "it's a go" on her cell phone.  In fact, Abbasi said "I have to go," because the plane was about to depart. AP reports that Abbasi was searched and cleared for reboarding, but was prevented from doing so when the crew was uncomfortable with that decision. Instead she was given a voucher and boarding pass for the next San Jose flight. The delay caused her to miss a critical research experiment that she needed to complete for her graduate studies. The lawsuit contends that Abbasi was removed under these circumstances only because she was wearing an Islamic head covering.