UPDATE 6:17 EST: The story has been updated with United Airlines’ comments.
A Muslim passenger (Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley) and family were removed from a United Flight from Chicago to Washington D.C. yesterday reminding many of the Tahera Ahmad story from last May.
Facebook brings out the trolls
Following the posting of the video and news sources getting a hold of the videos and making them go viral, there is no shortage of hate in the comments section. While there is clearly some support for the gentleman, and his family as well as condemnation of United Airlines from both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, there is some true ignorant hatred that won’t be shared on this site.
To get an understanding of both the support and vitriol, the video is posted here.
Posted by Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley on Wednesday, March 30, 2016
It’s nothing short of disgraceful the amount of hate that Facebook users are able of showing a family that was clearly discriminated against.
This is surely not the first time that United has faced problems on the same route.
It’s just another example of the hate for Muslims that exists in this country, on Facebook and apparently United Airlines flights.
UPDATE 6:17 EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME
In the interest of not simply reporting from two short videos, ValueWalk reached out to United Airlines today and received a statement in the last few minutes from a United spokesperson who strongly denied that the family was removed for discriminatory reasons.
“We reached out to the family following their flight on March 20 to discuss their concerns. They were originally scheduled to fly on SkyWest 5811, operating as United Express from Chicago O’Hare to Washington, D.C., but we rebooked them on a later flight because of concerns about their child’s safety seat, which did not comply with federal safety regulations,” they told ValueWalk.
“Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination,” the spokesperson added.
Similar incident to last years?
While United denies it in this case, the fact that this occurred on a United flight have many comparing it to the story of Tahera Ahmad.
The incident, involving a flight between the same two cities, last year occurred in May, when Tahera Ahmad, who is a Northwestern University chaplain, believed that she was discriminated again following her questioning a flight attendant over why should would not be given an unopened can of soda after the person next to her was given a closed can of beer. Ahmad described the “horrible experience” in an interview last May on Huff Post live.
Apparently, after explaining that closed sodas were “against company policy” but when asked about the different treatment, Ahmad claims that the flight attendant said, “because you would use it as a weapon.”
As absurd as that is, it got worse.
When she pressed the issue, a passenger across the aisle, according to Ahmad said, “You Muslim, you shut the ‘F’ up. … You know you would use it as a weapon, so you need to shut the ‘F’ up.” According to Ahmad, the flight attendant didn’t intervene following that conversation.
“I am not looking to get this flight attendant fired. … She made a terrible mistake, and people make mistakes,” Ahmad said. “I have asked for United [Airlines] to really recognize this. If they choose to just gloss over it, as they had in their last statement, that’s really unfortunate. So, at this point I am going to consider all options in which to ensure this kind of utter humiliation does not happen to anyone.”
“It was just a really horrible experience because this man is basically shouting over and trying to silence me, and the flight attendant didn’t do anything,” she said. “There was no bystander intervention.”
Support and hate
As Ahmad stated in the interview, flying already makes people stressed out a bit but that both the actions of the flight attendant and the passenger that cursed her out were out of order.
She went on to explain that if she responded to him, she believes it only would have gotten worse for her and her family and would have been deemed the “angry Muslim.”
While that passenger wasn’t Donald Trump and while he can’t be blamed, I’ll do it anyways even before entering the presidential race the next month. His blatant disregard to Islam as a faith empowers muppets like the one that verbally abused Mrs. Ahmad even before the incident. Let’s just pretend this Huck Finn con-man announced his presidency and started his hate earlier.
Sheeraz Raza also contributed to this story.