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Southwest Airlines does it again! Muslim woman removed from plane for requesting a different seat

News Agencies | Updated on: 17 April 2016, 17:23 IST
A hijab-clad Muslim woman in the US was reportedly removed from a Southwest Airlines plane after she asked to switch seats. Hakima Abdulle, 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 ended up being removed from the flight instead. 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.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. Meanwhile, Abdulle\'s husband Abukar Fidaw said, "She was humiliated because of her religion and the way she dressed." This is the second such incident involving the carrier two weeks. On 6 April, an Iraqi national, UC Berkeley senior Khairuldeen Makhzoomi - scheduled to fly on a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Oakland - was removed for speaking Arabic before the flight took off, the Daily Californian reported.
First published: 17 April 2016, 17:23 IST