Professor Maliki Yaum’uddin was kicked off an American Airlines flight 882 from New York to Chicago last week. His crime? Being Muslim while flying.
Apparently several Islamophobic passengers had complained to the flight crew regarding what they saw as “odd” and “threatening” behavior on the part of Dr. Yaum’uddin. They complained that he “looked Muslim,” and had “excessively hairy arms.” In addition, several passengers were concerned that he was reciting Surah At-Tawbah repeatedly while scowling in a meditative state, right before take-off. Whenever he would complete the surah, he would simply start again from the beginning, rather than moving onto another Surah.
Amazingly, the pilot, Captain Josh Cohen, refused to take off until the Muslim man was removed from the plane. Fortunately, Twitter got wind of this and has eviscerated American Airlines, its passengers and its crew for this hateful act. Below is a sampling of the comments:
“Hey @americanairlines this kicking Muslims off flights thing is getting old!”
“Unbelievable! For reciting Surah At-Tawbah? But that surah is so beautiful. I can’t even…”
“Hey @americanairlines, you can’t just kick a person off a flight for reciting Surah At-Tawbah. Islam means peace!”
“OMG @americanairlines, don’t you understand? That surah was revealed in a certain context. Have you even read the Old Testament? SMH.”
“Everyone- stop flying @americanairlines, hit em where it hurts, just like we hit @starbucks and @sabrahummus”
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) spokesman Yahya Idrees, who is representing Dr. Yaum’uddin in his pending lawsuit against American Airlines, released this statement:
“It is a shame that American Airlines cannot even uphold the basic American values of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Muslims continue to be persecuted by rising sentiments of Islamophobia. America is fast becoming inhospitable to minorities of all kinds. It’s practically a crime to be Muslim in this country now. What’s next? Will America introduce punishments for blasphemy against the bible or the constitution? It is fast heading that way it seems. Americans ought to be very concerned.”
American Airlines immediately issued this statement:
“We would like to apologize sincerely to Dr. Yaum’uddin and his family, and to the entire Muslim world. The actions of this particular flight crew do not represent the policy of American Airlines in any way. The captain and crew of the flight in question have been suspended without pay, pending a further inquiry. We are glad to offer Dr. Yaum’uddin a $200 discount on his next domestic flight along with a free upgrade, and 25,000 Sky Miles. Please don’t hate us everyone. Please.”