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Southwest sees speaking Arabic as a threat - kicks man off flight

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Sweet Lou 4 2, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    Apparently speaking Arabic in public is a threat.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/17/us/southwest-muslim-passenger-removed/


    Arabic-speaking student kicked off Southwest flight
    By Carma Hassan and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
    Updated 9:12 PM ET, Mon April 18, 2016



    For the 26-year-old student at University of California, Berkeley, it was a shocking turn.

    It all started, according to Makhzoomi, after he decided to call his uncle in Baghdad after getting on the plane. While he waited for takeoff on his flight from Los Angeles to Oakland, California, they chatted in Arabic about an event he'd been excited to attend the day before: a dinner with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    "I just called him and talked to him about it and everything, and he told me (to) call him when I get to Oakland, and I said, 'insha'Allah insha'Allah (God willing), I will call you when I arrive.' And during the conversation a lady was staring at me," Makhzoomi said.

    The political science student thought the woman might have been concerned with how loudly he spoke on the phone. He saw her abruptly leave the plane. And suddenly, the situation turned.

    "One guy came with police officers within two minutes -- I can't believe how fast they were -- and told me to get off the plane," he said.

    Southwest declined to provide details about the incident but said in a written statement that the airline doesn't tolerate discrimination.
    "Prior to the departure of Flight 4620, our crew made the decision to investigate a report of potentially threatening comments overheard onboard our aircraft. A group of our employees including the flight crew made the decision to review the situation. We understand local law enforcement also spoke with that passenger as the aircraft departed the gate," Southwest said.
    Prior to the departure of Flight 4620, our crew made the decision to investigate a report of potentially threatening comments

    "To respect the privacy of those involved, we will not publicly share any further specifics of the event. We prefer to communicate directly with our customers to address concerns and feedback regarding their travel experience." "No further action" was taken after questioning Makhzoomi, an FBI spokeswoman said.

    Makhzoomi says he hasn't received an apology from Southwest since he got kicked off the April 6 flight.

    "All I want is an apology today," Makhzoomi said. "We as a people, Iraqi, American, Iranian, we share one thing in common, and that is our dignity. If someone tries to take that away from us, we should fight but not with aggression, with knowledge and education. One must stand for his principle."

    'I felt oppressed'

    Getting escorted off the plane was only the beginning, Makhzoomi said.
    From, there, he said, the situation only got worse.
    "The guy who came and pulled me from the plane, he took me to the jet bridge, I believe he worked with Southwest and I must say he was aggressive in the way he treated me. He was not very nice. He tried to speak to me in Arabic, but I couldn't understand his Arabic, so I asked him to speak to me in English," Makhzoomi said. "I felt oppressed. I was afraid. He said, 'You seem that you were having a serious conversation on the phone. Who were you talking to?' "

    Makhzoomi told him he had been speaking with his uncle and showed him the video of the dinner with Ban Ki-moon.
    According to Makhzoomi, the man responded, "Why are you talking in Arabic? You know the environment is very dangerous."

    Growing Islamophobia in the United States

    Then, Makhzoomi said, dogs came and sniffed his bag, someone searched him at the gate and took his wallet, and FBI agents escorted him away.
    He says one of the agents asked a question that surprised him: "You need to be very honest with us with what you said about the martyrs. Tell us everything you know about the martyrs.'
    "The moment that she said that, I told her I never said that word, I only said insha'Allah."

    The questioning soon ended.

    "Southwest will not fly you back," the agent said, according to Makhzoomi. "You may go."

    'New normal' for Muslims?

    Makhzoomi said Southwest gave him a refund, and he booked a flight home on Delta. By the time he returned to Oakland, he was so shaken he took to his bed and slept for days.
    Then, he contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The organization says it's the latest sign of an alarming trend.
    "It's frightening on an individual level. This story is frightening when it's a singular incident," CAIR representative Zahra Billoo said, "and it's problematic that there's numerous complaints against Southwest and others this year. This is just the new normal for Muslims while flying."

    Southwest says its primary focus is safety.

    "We wouldn't remove a passenger from a flight without a collaborative decision rooted in established procedures," the airline said. "Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind. Our company could not survive if we believed otherwise. In fact, a cursory view of our workforce, as well as our expansive, multicultural customer base, is a reliable indicator that we exalt and appreciate diversity."
     
  2. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member

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    Pretty shabby, but maybe it would be solved by not letting phones be used EVER on the planes.

    DD
     
  3. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    Response was prompt, and I agree that cellphone calls should be prohibited.
     
  4. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    That's your takeaway - response was prompt? He did nothing illegal or suspicious other than be a Muslim talking to his uncle. Should he use English to prevent getting thrown off the plane. What if he was talking to a passenger next to him?
     
  5. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    He wasn't kicked off for being Muslim - he was kicked off for speaking Arabic. Your spin is no match for the power of reason.
     
  6. RocketsLegend

    RocketsLegend Member

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    Better safe then sorry. We can't be politically correct now a days, political correctness has cost lives and it will continue to if keep it up.
     
  7. Hydhypedplaya

    Hydhypedplaya Member

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    Speaking Arabic is a valid cause for being kicked off plane? You do realize that Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world, directly after English (which is 4th).
     
  8. RocketsLegend

    RocketsLegend Member

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    Do we really know why he was kicked off? The airlines haven't commented yet
     
  9. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    So we should ban speaking Arabic on airlines?

    Sounds like you are the one who has a problem with free speech.
     
  10. Hydhypedplaya

    Hydhypedplaya Member

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    Nor will they. The facts of the story are that a guy was speaking to his uncle in Arabic on the phone prior to departure. Shortly after he was kicked off the airplane.
     
  11. RocketsLegend

    RocketsLegend Member

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    Was the conversation similar to this

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MFCEBWkLwqc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  12. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld ಠ_ರೃ
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    I detect bias. Need more facts.

    The fact that CAIR got involved very quickly, that the guy is a political science student, that he gives an interview where he keeps talking about feeling oppressed, etc. etc., sounds like this might have been provoked intentionally, for political gain through portraying themselves as victims. Wouldn't be the first time.
     
  13. RocketsLegend

    RocketsLegend Member

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    For sure. I like the part where he said he was so shaken up he slept for days.
     
  14. Codman

    Codman Contributing Member

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    Trump Airlines?
     
  15. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    This is modern day McCarthyism. Attack the victim by making specious innuendos. This quote really shows the above man-child's true bias against Muslims.
     
  16. Exiled

    Exiled Member

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    [​IMG]


    it seems to be the norm. now days. the family above had been kicked out withen the past a few weeks, surprisingly, members here are more considerate than Arabic leading network alarabiya.net
    in the sense , most comments defended the Airline!!!
     
  17. RocketsLegend

    RocketsLegend Member

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    This all could mean airlines have no faith in the TSA
     
  18. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    bags fly free
     
  19. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    insha'Allah

    Ban me
     
  20. SeabrookMiglla

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    well, the guy was obviously being discriminated against; south west didnt even really dispute that.

    the question is whether or not you fundamentally agree with: profiling in the name of security or not?

    i dont think talking to someone in another language warrants you to be apprehended and kicked off your flight.

    whats the point of paying for all of this TSA (or theatre security) if we cant even trust it?

    doesnt make sense... extreme paranoia.

    i imagine these people would sh1t a brick if they've ever flown an international flight near the middle east where everyone is speaking arabic and wearing traditional clothing.
     
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