Tribune Published: July 21, 2016
A Muslim man was asked to board off an American Airlines flight after a stewardess called his name, seat number loudly, saying she would be watching him.
Mohamed Ahmed Radwan was on a plane in Charlotte, North Carolina when a flight attendant went to the mic and announced: “Mohamed Ahmed, Seat 25-A: I will be watching you.”
The Muslim man inquired about the announcement to which the attendant responded he was being “too sensitive”.
As he reported the matter to the American Airlines officers, he was straightforwardly told to leave the plane ‘for making the stewardess uncomfortable’.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed a complaint with Department of Transportation on Wednesday about the incident, which took place in December 2015.
CAIR’s lawyer said the Muslim man was ‘singled out’ and ‘unjustifiably’ removed from the plane.
“Given the continuing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate crimes occurring throughout the United States, this type of reckless and harmful conduct should not be tolerated by our nation’s airlines, which are legally charged with safely carrying all individuals who are rightfully present in an equal and nondiscriminatory manner, without regard to their religious affiliation or ethnicity,” the letter read.
“This incident is particularly troubling given the recent wave of incidents in which airline personnel have arbitrarily removed passengers of Muslim and/or Middle Eastern background without an objectively reasonable cause or explanation,” the lawyer added.
American Airlines confirmed the incident with its spokesperson saying: “American [Airlines] was contacted by CAIR earlier this year. We thoroughly reviewed these allegations and concluded that no discrimination occurred. We serve customers of all backgrounds and faiths and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”