Muslim Woman Sent Out of US Flight because Attendant ‘Felt Uncomfortable’
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A flight attendant who didn’t “feel comfortable” with a Muslim woman on a flight removed her without explanation.
The Muslim woman, Hakima Abdulle, was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight at Chicago Airport shortly after changing seats.
Abdulle of Somali descent and wearing a headscarf, was travelling alone on a connecting flight to visit a pregnant relative in Seattle, said a spokesman from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Friday.
According to Zainab Chaudry, the Maryland Outreach Manager at CAIR, said the flight attendant approached Ms Abdulle to tell her she would not be allowed to swap seats, despite the airline having an unassigned seating policy.
A male passenger seated with Ms Abdulle did not object when she asked if she could move to an aisle seat, but apparently the flight attendant did. When asked why she could not switch seats, the flight attendant did not explain, and asked Ms Abdulle to get off the plane.
When asked by police why she had removed Ms Abdulle from the flight, the attendant said she did ‘’not feel comfortable’’ with the passenger, news.com.au website reported.
Ms Abdulle was rebooked onto a later flight.
Ms Chaudry has called for an inquiry into the matter which she said left Ms Abdulle humiliated in front of a plane full of passengers, and also for the airline to reimburse Ms Abdulle’s airfare.
The incident comes only weeks a family of five claim they were racially profiled by United Airlines after they were removed from a flight, also at Chicago airport.
The family was asked to get off the aircraft “for security reasons” after the parents asked for an extra strap for their youngest child’s safety seat.
When the mother and father repeatedly asked the crew why they were being asked to leave, they were told to exit “peacefully” and return to the gate.In a post on Facebook that has been shared more than 630,000 times, the mother, Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley,uploaded a video showing the family being asked to leave.
In the video, the father is shown asking why they had to leave while a man appearing to be the pilot replies, “Because it’s my decision”.