Yesterday I reported about harassment of an Arab speaking UC Berkeley student. Today while browsing the net, I found out that he was not the only victim of Southwest Airlines.
A hijab-clad Muslim woman in the US was removed from a Southwest Airlines plane after she asked for switching seats with a flight attendant saying she “did not feel comfortable” with the passenger. Hakima Abdulle, a Muslim woman from Maryland, said she was removed from the flight from Chicago to Seattle “without any credible explanation”.
Abdulle said she wanted to switch seats but instead, she ended up being removed from the flight. This was the second such incident involving the carrier this month after an Iraqi man claimed that he was removed from a Southwest Airlines plane after a fellow passenger heard him speaking in Arabic.
Zainab Chaudry, an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a news conference that Abdulle had boarded the Seattle-bound aircraft on Wednesday when a flight attendant told her she would not be permitted to remain on board. Airport police then escorted Abdulle, who is of Somalian descent and was wearing a hijab, to the ticket counter, where she waited several hours for a later flight, Chaudry was quoted as saying by The Baltimore Sun.
When police asked the flight attendant at the gate if there was any reason why Abdulle had been taken off the plane, the flight attendant reportedly replied, “No” and that she did “not feel comfortable” with the passenger.
Abdulle’s husband Abukar Fidaw said, “She was humiliated because of her religion and the way she dressed.” In a similar incident on April 6, UC Berkeley senior Khairuldeen Makhzoomi was supposed to fly from Los Angeles to Oakland. Instead, Makhzoomi was removed from Southwest Airlines flight after speaking Arabic before his flight took off, the Daily Californian reported.
We need to send a strong message to airlines that have a clear policy of hatred and intolerance. Southwest Airlines is guilty of committing this crime repeatedly. We should boycott Southwest Airlines sending a strong message that its racial profiling and bigotry is simply unacceptable.