America Airlines – Ugh: Alaska Airlines’ “Flying Whereas Muslim” Incident
Alaska Airlines is being known as out for kicking two Muslim males off a aircraft for… texting in Arabic?
Alaska Airlines kicked off two Muslim males
This incident goes again to February 17, 2020, when two males had been flying Alaska Airlines firstclass from Seattle to San Francisco on a enterprise journey. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is now calling on Alaska Airlines to deal with this “flying while Muslim” incident. The lads have been in search of an apology from Alaska Airlines for 10 months, however haven’t gotten anyplace.
Right here’s what the 2 males are claiming:
- One of many two males exchanged just a few textual content messages with a buddy in Arabic
- A fellow passenger reported these texts to a flight attendant as suspicious, even if the passenger didn’t converse Arabic, and will solely determine just a few emojis and numerals
- As a result of passenger’s grievance, the aircraft was delayed, and the 2 males had been taken off and questioned
- The texts had been translated, and a Port of Seattle Police Officer famous in a police report that “there was no threat of any kind”
- After it was decided there was no safety risk, the airline took a number of “humiliating and distressing steps”
- All passengers had been deplaned previous the 2 males, who had been being questioned by the TSA and FBI, and all passengers needed to endure one other safety screening
- The airline screened all cargo with a Okay-9 unit and even emptied the primary class toilet tank, just because one of many males had used the bathroom whereas ready for the delayed flight
- Even after it was decided that the 2 males weren’t a risk, they didn’t enable the boys to take their authentic flight, as a substitute rebooking them on a later, separate flight
Right here’s how an lawyer for CAIR describes the choice to return ahead now:
“When the incident first occurred, we anticipated that Alaska would come by way of with the refunds they promised and apologize. We didn’t go public at the moment as a result of the purchasers needed to offer Alaska a while to make amends. All they actually needed was a honest apology and assurances that this may not occur to anybody else. Had they acquired that, we wouldn’t be coming ahead now. However they didn’t, after which COVID-19 hit. With airways being an trade so hard-hit by the pandemic, our purchasers didn’t need to trigger Alaska Airlines further hurt by going public at the moment. However now that the vaccine has been authorised and folks will inevitably get again to touring, it has change into extra necessary than ever that we get assurances that Alaska won’t deal with every other Muslim vacationers the way in which they handled our purchasers. That’s why we’re coming ahead with their story now.”
This sounds completely disgraceful
Initially, we must always acknowledge that this is only one aspect of the story, and you realize, “innocent until proven guilty.” Nonetheless, the police report does recommend “there was no threat of any kind,” which makes me assume that this was extra of a misunderstanding than the rest, at greatest.
My preliminary assumption is that there should be extra to the story. Absolutely no person is kicked off a aircraft only for texting in a international language? However then I’m reminded of the truth that that is the umpteenth story of “flying while Muslim.”
I’ve written so many occasions about different incidents, the place Muslim passengers had been considered as “suspicious,” when one thing related from a non-Muslim wouldn’t arouse any concern. Heck, simply over a yr in the past two Muslim males had been kicked off an American Eagle flight as a result of they waved to 1 one other, and since one used the lavatory earlier than departure and flushed twice.
So we’ll see how this case evolves. If it’s precisely as introduced then I’ll be actually unhappy for the way Alaska Airlines dealt with this case. It’s unhealthy sufficient to collapse to somebody calling a textual content in a international language “suspicious.” It’s even worse to deplane and query them with no proof. After which the worst is that they didn’t allow them to proceed on the flight even when it was decided that they didn’t pose a risk.
So whereas I hope there’s extra to the story, primarily based on historical past I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s not.
I totally acknowledge that as a white dude I’ve a whole lot of privilege relating to flying. After I overview flights I’m usually strolling quick down the jet bridge, snapping dozens of images of the cabin, and so on., and nobody bats an eyelid (nicely, besides on Lufthansa and TAAG Angola). 😉 Sadly if I had been Muslim, it will most likely be a distinct story.
Two Muslim males declare to have been kicked off an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco in February 2020, just because certainly one of them was texting in Arabic, and one other passenger discovered that to be suspicious.
The 2 males ended up being deplaned and questioned, all passengers ended up being safety screened once more, the bathroom tanks had been emptied, the Okay-9 unit searched cargo, and the 2 males weren’t even allowed again on board after having been cleared of all wrongdoing.
I’ll be curious to see how this unfolds…