NEW YORK (Web Desk) – Two American Muslim women were asked to leave an American Airlines plane after one of them talked to another passenger about the lack of water and food and a flight attendant said they had made him feel “unsafe”.
Niala Mohammad, a journalist for the government-funded news outlet Voice of America, and her friend, who works for the federal government and did not want to be named, were travelling on an American Airlines flight from Miami to Washington when they were asked to disembark the plane.
Ms Mohammad, a journalist who has had dinner with Malala Yousufzai, the woman who spoke out against Taliban oppression, wrote in a Facebook post that their plane had been grounded for about five hours in Miami and they were not allowed to buy food or drink.
Her friend and a white male passenger seated behind her started talking about the delay.
A male flight attendant allegedly approached her friend and said: “If you have a problem, you can get off the plane.”
'Islamophobia doesn't exist'
btw the woman wasn't even wearing the hijab!! https://t.co/fBTesc7e7H
— ♛ToTo♛ (@ZquadZiGiForce) August 3, 2016
He also accused her of “instigating” objections from other passengers and allegedly threatened to remove her from the plane.
Ms Mohammad was watching a Pakistani drama and took off her headphones to learn what had happened. The friends took a picture of the male flight attendant to try and identify him as he was not wearing a badge and did not give them his name.
They were then told that taking a picture was a federal offence and were asked by a female attendant to delete the picture.
An American Airlines customer relations representative came on board and asked the two women to follow her off the plane, where they were greeted by armed air marshals and police officers. They told the women that the male flight attendant had felt threatened by them.
The male passenger they had talked to on board the plane was not asked to leave.
The two women were assigned seats on the next available flight, and offered a $200 credit voucher and $24 food voucher, The Independent reported.
“Although we were encouraged to document the incident to AA customer relations, we still experienced insult and embarrassment as two minority Muslim-American women,” she wrote.
“For being such a ”threat“ to an AA attendant, it’s telling that the Miami-Dade police officers joked with us and posed for this picture with the ”pretty harmless“ airplane menaces.”