Hijab-clad Muslim woman removed from US plane

Hakima Abdulle, a Muslim woman from Maryland, said she was removed from the flight from Chicago to Seattle "without any credible explanation".

By: PTI | Chicago | Updated: April 17, 2016 4:55 pm
Muslim, Hijab, Muslim woman, Hijab Muslim, Muslim woman, Southwest Airlines plane, Southwest Airlines, US plane, world news Abdulle said she wanted to switch seats but instead, she ended up being removed from the flight. (Source: Reuters photo)

A hijab-clad Muslim woman in the US was reportedly removed from a Southwest Airlines plane after she asked for switching seats with a flight attendant saying she “did not feel comfortable” with the passenger. Hakima Abdulle, a Muslim woman from Maryland, said she was removed from the flight from Chicago to Seattle “without any credible explanation”.

Abdulle said she wanted to switch seats but instead, she ended up being removed from the flight. This was the second such incident involving the carrier this month after an Iraqi man claimed that he was removed from a Southwest Airlines plane after a fellow passenger heard him speaking in Arabic.

Zainab Chaudry, an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a news conference that Abdulle had boarded the Seattle-bound aircraft on Wednesday when a flight attendant told her she would not be permitted to remain on board. Airport police then escorted Abdulle, who is of Somalian descent and was wearing a hijab, to the ticket counter, where she waited several hours for a later flight, Chaudry was quoted as saying by The Baltimore Sun.

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The flight attendant and Southwest employees inside the terminal were unable to provide “any reasonable explanation” for their action, Chaudry said, adding that Abdulle, who speaks little English, was reduced to tears and “suffered extreme distress and anxiety as a result of this experience.”

When police asked the flight attendant at the gate if there was any reason why Abdulle had been taken off the plane, the flight attendant reportedly replied, “No” and that she did “not feel comfortable” with the passenger. Brandy King, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines, was
quoted as saying that the “information available, collected at the time of the event, indicates that our employees followed proper procedures in response to this customer’s actions while on board the aircraft”.

“We are not in the business of removing passengers from flights without reason,” King said. Abdulle’s husband Abukar Fidaw said, “She was humiliated because of her religion and the way she dressed.”

In a similar incident on April 6, UC Berkeley senior Khairuldeen Makhzoomi was supposed to fly from Los Angeles to Oakland. Instead, Makhzoomi was removed from Southwest Airlines flight after speaking Arabic before his flight took off, the Daily Californian reported.

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  1. B
    Apr 17, 2016 at 4:36 pm
    Full face bor1is or hizab must be banned in all public places in any civilized society, mainly in secular democracies. face is the most important biomarker that human beings use while interacting with each other. It must remain open in public places. Religion is irrelevant here.
    1. S
      Apr 17, 2016 at 12:37 pm
      She wanted her seat to be changed because she was not comfortable with her neighbor-penger. What does that tell you ? In India that would be called racist 'brahminism' , but in USA she becomes a poor 'victim' of Islamo-phobia ?
    2. S
      Apr 17, 2016 at 12:50 pm
      Yes it can happen of you cannot converse in English, or show arrogance, or demand special privileges . examples are SRK, Azam Khan ...
      1. M
        Apr 18, 2016 at 7:23 am
        These incidents could be controlled but authorities seems that let it go and get more free publicity for the ai-lines.
        1. R
          R Allen
          May 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm
          Should we remove a person wearing a cross or a star of david, no so this should not have happened to this person either
          1. A
            Apr 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm
            Kijriwa and Rahul will claim intolerance and will sit on Darna.
            1. A
              Apr 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm
              But Mohammed Bin Abdullah al-Kafir was totally insincere with the religion he was born into.
              1. V
                Apr 17, 2016 at 5:45 pm
                And They call India intolerance and refuse to say Bharat mata ki jailt;br/gt;Anyone who call India intolerant should see and visit other countries
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