“An Iraqi student at UC Berkeley was removed from his Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Oakland earlier this month when a woman overheard him speaking in Arabic and reported him to a Southwest employee…..
UPDATED: Adds new @SouthwestAir claim eavesdropping passenger said she spoke Arabic – not yet clear that’s true.
The Intercept @theintercept
Iraqi refugee kicked off plane for speaking Arabic says Islamophobia boosts ISIS http://interc.pt/1SgOIQB by @RobertMackey
Wajahat Ali Verified account @WajahatAli Apr 17
I explain “inshallah”after this #SouthwestAirlines fiasco where a Muslim kid was kicked off for speaking Arabic……….”
And so it went. But the fact can’t be denied: a young man, apparently an Arab, was kicked off a flight because a fellow passenger heard him speak what she thought was Arabic and “reported him” to the crew. The kind of stuff you’d read in old thrillers of Nazi Germany (no exaggeration here).
Inshallah: God Willing……… Every Muslim and Arab says this when asked to do something or when asked if he/she will pass her exam or succeed or….. I suspect even some Arab Christians say it, since it means God Willing.
All this precedes the current poisonous Republican election campaign of 2016. Many times people, families, Arab and/or Muslim, some of them possibly Christian, have been reported removed from flights across the USA for suspicion of speaking Arabic (it could be Hindu for all the other passengers know). Since when is the suspicion of a language grounds for serious discrimination?
And does that make everyone who speaks Spanish an illegal? Or anyone who speaks Chinese (Mandarin…..) a spy? Or any unarmed black teenager who speaks and dresses a certain style a life-threatening thug that should be shot immediately?
This is not about one airline. I must add that I and my family here in the USA have had dealings with Southwest Airlines in the past three years with no problem. No signs of prejudice whatsoever. Nor have I experienced any form of prejudice in other venues or with other institutions and businesses. Even with my first name which is the most Muslim of names.
No, I am not blaming the social media for rapidly spreading, embellishing, or magnifying the news. Not yet.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum