Americans booted off Alaska Airways flight 10 months ago for texting in Arabic still awaiting promised reparations

Two Muslim adult males who were booted off an Alaska Airlines flight nearly a yr back for texting in Arabic are still awaiting reparations, they said Monday.

The Us residents of Sudanese descent, who are maintaining their surnames personal, were being touring from Seattle to San Francisco on company previous Feb. 17 when they grew to become victims of “flying while Muslim,” as the practical experience has arrive to be called.

a large passenger jet flying through a cloudy blue sky: An Alaska Airlines jetliner

© David Zalubowski
An Alaska Airways jetliner

An Alaska Airlines jetliner (David Zalubowski/)


A fellow 1st-course passenger observed Arabic text messages on a single of their phones. The passenger didn’t talk Arabic, and identified only a handful of symbols, emojis and numbers. Nevertheless, airline personnel had been summoned, and the men had been taken off the plane – marched earlier the other passengers, with their baggage – and questioned.

Not only that, claimed Abobakkr and Mohamed and their attorneys, but at the time the texts ended up translated and showed zero protection threat, they however had been not authorized back again on the plane.

In section, one particular of the texts read, “Peace be on you, Captain,” in accordance to KIRO-Tv. And the Port of Seattle Law enforcement Section quoted its responding officer as stating, “An Alaska Airlines supervisor informed me there was a misunderstanding … there was no danger of any kind.”

The airline deplaned and rescreened every person and brought in a K-9 unit. Alaska Airways even went so much as to empty the toilet tank mainly because 1 of the gentlemen had relieved himself in it, the Washington State chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (WA-CAIR) reported.

The two are looking not just for reparations but also for systemic alter, they reported at a push meeting Monday.

“When we traveled that working day, we were not addressed like the rest of the folks,” Abobakkr mentioned, in accordance to Huffington Write-up. “It produced me come to feel minor and unequal.”

After all the drama was above, Alaska Airlines rebooked them on to afterwards, individual flights, CAIR-WA explained, bringing them to San Francisco too late to finish their itinerary, “and way too traumatized to profit from any part of their trip.”

“This disturbing incident is just the most up-to-date in a pattern of Muslims staying unfairly singled out by airline providers,” stated Imraan Siddiqi, Government Director of CAIR-WA, in a statement. ” ‘Flying when Muslim’ has now turn into a globally acknowledged phenomenon of suspicion and humiliation, and this phenomenon have to appear to a stop. We get in touch with on Alaska Airways to tackle the mistreatment of these gentlemen when and for all.”

Alaska Airways has considering that promised an investigation and said it would make it up to the men.

“We’re sorry that two of our friends experienced these kinds of a distressing expertise past February, when they ended up eradicated from their flight just after a fellow passenger became anxious about the text messages his seatmate was sharing,” the airline stated in a assertion acquired by KIRO. “Alaska Airlines strictly prohibits illegal discrimination, and we take these kinds of problems very very seriously.”

It took the two this long to appear forward, CAIR-WA team attorney Brianna Auffray reported in a assertion, for the reason that they had at 1st held back again to give Alaska Airlines a likelihood to react.

“When the incident very first happened, we expected that Alaska would occur via with the refunds they promised and apologize,” Auffray claimed. “We did not go public at that time for the reason that the clients preferred to give Alaska some time to make amends. All they seriously desired was a sincere apology and assurances that this would not take place to anybody else. Experienced they received that, we would not be coming ahead now.”

The adult men ongoing holding off after the pandemic intruded in March, curtailing journey, for the reason that they did not want to harm an business now hammered by the conditions, Auffray explained.

“But now that the vaccine has been accepted and people will inevitably get back to touring, it has turn into extra essential than ever that we get assurances that Alaska will not treat any other Muslim tourists the way they treated our purchasers,” she said. “That’s why we’re coming ahead with their tale now.”

“I will go to the stop of this procedure because I want the airlines to prevent accomplishing this to any man or woman,” Abobakkr claimed in the CAIR-WA statement. “We are speaking up not just for Muslim persons but for any human being, whoever it is.”

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