“Walking while black” came from the racial profiling of “driving while black” because police picked up black people at a far higher rate than whites. Now there is a new term for rampant prejudice: flying while Muslim. Starting in 2001 after the attacks on the World Trade Centers, more and more Muslims were removed from airplanes for doing nothing wrong. The only excuse given them is that “people feel uncomfortable.”
The issue didn’t attract much media attention until 2006 when six Muslims imams were removed from a US Airways after accused of “suspicious behavior.” Conservatives such as Ann Coulter find this discrimination perfectly acceptable because conservatives accuse every Muslim of “radical Islamist terrorist.” Nine Muslim passengers, including three children were taken off an AirTran Airways flight in 2009 because one of them wondered where the safest place on the plane is. The FBI called the situation a “misunderstanding,” but AirTran refused to put them on another flight and reimburse them for the tickets. Negative public attention forced AirTran to publicly apologize and reimburse the Muslims.
Twice in 2015, Southwest Airlines wouldn’t let booked passengers fly because others accused them of speaking Arabic and said they looked like Muslims. Again in 2016, Southwest removed a passenger for speaking Arabic and declined to apologize even after the person was exonerated by the FBI. The passenger, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, an Iraqi refugee tried to explain later that the dogs and officers and watching people reminded him of why he escaped Iraq—because of what Saddam Hussein did to his father. Southwest removed another passenger last spring because she traded seats with other passengers.
Last year, 40 U.S. Muslim passengers were barred from boarding a Northwest flight from Germany to their hometown in Detroit after returning from an annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Threatened with a boycott, Northwest, dubbed by Muslim travelers as “Northworst,” apologized.
Working on math equations got an Ivy League professor temporarily kicked off an American Airlines flight. Non-white, curly haired, foreign accent—those characteristics make any person suspect as a terrorist, even an Italian professor. Guido Menzio was luckier than some others—he was taken back to his plane after two hours and then treated respectfully.
The United States is not alone in its Islamphobia: a British Muslim was detained for reading a Syrian art book on a plane when she flew home from a honeymoon in Turkey. A cabin crew member on Thomson Airways accused Faizah Shaheen of “suspicious behavior” because she was reading award-winning Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline by Malu Halasa that features essays, short stories, poems, songs, cartoons and photographs from Syrian authors and artists.
The most recent people perceived as Muslim prevented from boarding are Faisal Ali and Nazia Ali, a Muslim-American couple flying from Paris to Cincinnati after celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. They were told to leave the Delta aircraft and take all their possessions. Again one of the crew members had felt “uncomfortable,” and she accused Faisal Ali of sweating. The same week, two Muslim-American women were taken off an American Airlines flight because one of them agreed with a white man who was complaining about the poor service while the plane was kept on the tarmac for five hours. The male attendant “felt threatened,” but the white male passenger who instigated the conversation was left on the plane.
The excuse from all the airlines is that they are “following protocol.”
Randa Jarrar has advice on how to fly while Arab:
- Do not have brown skin: If you do, wear a baseball cap and an American flag t-shirt. If this is not possible, a pair of shoes that are completely see-through (jellies, if you will) with American flag socks will help.
- Do not speak Arabic: Or anything that remotely sounds like Arabic such as Urdu, Farsi, Russian, Klingon, Tuscan Raider, or one of over three dozen Arabic dialects.
- Do not be a refugee: Makhzoomi was a refugee from Iraq where the U.S. gets a lot of oil.
- Do not be excited: Arabs sound as if they’re fighting when they are happy or asking for something.
- Do not think that accomplishments or intelligence will save you: Arabs who are alive are a threat to conservatives.
And I have a few more: do not speak, read, text, and even move–like sweating. Such is the state of racial and religious prejudice in today United States that is supposed to protect all religions.
Trump Watch: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, once a strong supporter of Donald Trump and considered his potential vice-presidential candidate, has admitted that Trump’s economic plan is ridiculous. Gingrich tried to cover up his statement by saying, “Historically, no candidates have numbers that add up.” Clinton has said that her economic plan could increase the national debt by two percent, but Trump’s plan would add $11.2 trillion—most coming from tax cuts for the wealthy like Trump. Tomorrow Trump is giving another speech on his economic plan–after his wealthy friends have been appointed to his economic council.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), one of the most reasonable and moderate GOP members of Congress, said on Face the Nation that Trump could lose the state of Arizona in the presidential election. Mitt Romney won Arizona in 2012 by nine points, but Bill Clinton won in 1996. Flake attributed the potential loss to Trump’s egregious statements about immigrants, Mexicans, and military members, including Arizona’s other GOP senator, John McCain, and the family of a fallen soldier in Iraq. Polls show that Hillary Clinton is ahead not only in Arizona but also in the traditionally red state of Georgia.
Another white supremacist is following former KKK leader David Duke in running for Congress. Like Duke, Rick Tyler Rick Tyler said that he “derived some inspiration from Donald Trump” because of Trump “created a climate conducive to conversation about … namely, the urgent and vital subject of race.” Duke’s aim is senator of Louisiana, and Tyler is running for a Florida representative. His motto is “Make America White Again” because the U.S. “has been stolen from” white Christians.
Rocky Suhayda, head of the American Nazi Party, said that Donald Trump is the biggest hope for U.S. fascist and white supremacist movements. Only six months ago, Suhayda doubted Trump’s sincerity or ability to carry out his racist plans, but Trump has proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the country and tweeted anti-Semitic images and messages. The icing on Suhayda’s belief was Trump’s ethnic attack on the Khan family after the Democratic convention. Suhayda has company from the American Freedom Party, the National Policy Institute, and neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer.
Donald Trump is the man who GOP leaders support for president and think that they can control.