SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A Muslim man was removed from an American Airlines flight after a flight attendant publicly announced his name, seat number and that she would be “watching him.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a complaint Thursday about the incident, which took place in December, with the Department of Transportation after failing to resolve the matter directly with the airline.
Mohamed Ahmed Radwan had boarded a plane in Charlotte, North Carolina and the flight attendant went to the tannoy and said: “Mohamed Ahmed, Seat 25-A: I will be watching you.”
The employee made no other announcements of any other passenger on the flight. Radwan soon asked the attendant why she had made such an announcement, she reportedly responding by telling him that he was being “too sensitive.”
Radwan reported the incident to two other employees of American Airlines, he was soon told he needed to leave the plane, as his behavior had made the first air stewardess “uncomfortable.”
Maha Sayed, staff lawyer for the aforementioned Council on American-Islamic Relations, wrote in the complaint that Mr Radwan was “singled out” and “unjustifiably” removed from the plane due to racial discrimination.
“Given the continuing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate crimes occurring throughout the United States, this type of reckless and harmful conduct should not be tolerated by our nation’s airlines, which are legally charged with safely carrying all individuals who are rightfully present in an equal and nondiscriminatory manner, without regard to their religious affiliation or ethnicity,” the letter read.
“This incident is particularly troubling given the recent wave of incidents in which airline personnel have arbitrarily removed passengers of Muslim and/or Middle Eastern background without an objectively reasonable cause or explanation,” Sayed added.
An American Airlines spokeswoman said in a statement: “American [Airlines] was contacted by CAIR earlier this year. We thoroughly reviewed these allegations and concluded that no discrimination occurred. We serve customers of all backgrounds and faiths and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
Just months back in April, a woman was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in Chicago after she had asked to switch seats as she was told she had made the flight attendant “uncomfortable.”
A Muslim family of five were also escorted off a United Airlines flight in March for “how they looked”. They said they had asked staff if there were any safety harnesses for their three children. The pilot told them they had to leave as it was “a safety issue.”