With summer holidays around the corner and families making travel plans, it is important for American Muslims to exercise caution while also enjoying a relaxing vacation. In the current environment of Islamophobia, remember to know your rights when traveling, while also displaying the best moral character as required by our Islamic values. Being respectful and following the law is essential at all times, and so is recognizing bigotry and discrimination, and promptly reporting any incidents to the proper authorities. Hateful and inappropriate actions are un-American and should not be tolerated in our great nation. Below is the press release issued by CAIR Chicago regarding the Muslim family that was harassed by United Airlines on Sunday, March 20, 2016:
On Sunday, March 20, a Muslim family with three young children was removed from a United Airlines flight before it took off from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Washington D.C.
The removal of the Muslim family reportedly came after they requested an additional strap for the youngest child’s booster seat. Following a discussion with the flight attendant about the strap and a request to remove the booster seat (which they did), the family was asked to show their tickets and told to leave the flight.
When the father asked for the reason for their family’s removal, he was told “because it is my decision.” The mother, wears an Islamic head scarf (hijab), asked if it was a “discriminatory decision.” The family then left the flight so as to not further frighten their children or inconvenience the other passengers. They completed their journey on a later flight.
“I felt singled-out, humiliated, and helpless,” the mother reported.
“We are tired of Muslim-looking passengers being removed from flights for the flimsiest reasons, under a cryptic claim of ‘security’,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab.
Rehab added: “Security means securing passengers, not harassing and humiliating them and booting them off their flight for, of all things, actually asking for security. This family did nothing to earn the flight crew’s scorn, other than trying to understand how they can best secure their baby. Several witnesses corroborate that. We expect United, which has a recent history of similar complaints, to take this incident and this general trend with all seriousness.”
See video of the incident here.
See coverage of the incident in the media here.
See video from CAIR Chicago’s Press Conference here.
Source: CAIR Chicago Press Release