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Islamophobia at 30,000 feet leads to viral United Airlines boycott

1 June 2015 18:00


What happens when you ask for an unopened can of Diet Coke on an airplane? If you’re a Muslim woman, according to one report, you don’t get served.

Muslim chaplain Tahera Ahmad’s Facebook post alleges discrimination, saying man next to her was served beer as airline says it will ‘get a better understanding.’

‘We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a WEAPON on the plane,’ Tahera Ahmad alleges she was told by a United Airlines flight attendant.

And the man sitting next to you gets an unopened can of beer just fine.

Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim chaplain at Chicago’s Northwestern University, documented these allegations from onboard a United Airlines flight this weekend in an episode that almost immediately went viral – and led to pledges to boycott the airline.

On her Facebook page, Ahmad claimed a flight attendant was “clearly discriminating against me” after she asked for an unopened of soda for hygienic reasons and says was told, “Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you.”

When the man next to her allegedly got an unopened beer can from the in-flight service, Ahmad said she was told something even more inflammatory: “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a WEAPON on the plane.”

Ahmad said her fellow passengers were of no help: “you Moslem, you need to shut the F** up,” Ahmad said, in the Facebook post, that she was told by another male passenger across the aisle. “[y]es you know you would use it as a WEAPON, so shut the F** up.”

Ahmad did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but Muslim activists took to social media to call the alleged incident an “inexcusable” act of bigotry as other social media users said they would boycott United Airlines based on what they interpreted as open discrimination.

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