Muslim men blame racial profiling for flight cancellation

In the US, two Muslim men have demanded an inquiry after they say they were subjected to religious and racial profiling on a flight home to Dallas.

Issam Abdallah and Abderraoof Alkhawaldeh claimed their flight was canceled because the crew members did not feel calm flying with the men. Mr. Abdallah told reporters, ‘It was the most embarrassing day of my life.’

An American Airlines declaration said ‘concerns raised by a crew member as well as a passenger’ forced the annulment. The statement read, ‘American and all of its provincial partners have a responsibility to take security and safety concerns raised by passengers and crew members seriously.’

In a news conference organized by the Council for American-Islamic Relations and air on Facebook Mr. Abdallah and Mr. Alkhawaldeh made the allegations. 

On Sept. 14, both men were booked to travel from Birmingham to Dallas, Texas on an American Airlines flight which is operated by regional carrier Mesa Airlines. They were traveling separately acknowledged each other from the local Muslim community and onboard waved to each other.  

According to Mr. Abdallah, the agent who took him to the private room to search his luggage and inquires about him after sometime apologized to him and said he can go and catch his rescheduled flight. Mr. Abdallah said, ‘I felt that they were discriminating against my ethnicity and my religion.’

What did American Airlines say?

The American Airlines statement read, ‘We’re committed to give a positive experience to everybody who travels with us.’ ‘To review this event our team is working with Mesa, and we have reached out to Mr. Abdallah and Mr. Alkhawaldeh to better understand their experience.’

In the past also the airline has faced accusations of discrimination. Earlier this year the airline also apologized for supposedly telling a female passenger to hide her dress with a blanket. Moreover, in the year 2017, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) a human rights group, warned black flyers that American Airlines ‘might subject travelers to discriminatory, disrespectful, or unsafe conditions’.

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