Calls for United Airlines Boycott Grow after Bizarre Racism Incident

Amna Shoaib
Opposition to United Airlines intensifies after the company fumbles Tahera Ahmad's allegations of in-air religious harassment.

This past week, the internet was enraged (and rightly so) over the alleged racial and Islamophobic treatment of a Muslim woman aboard a United Airlines flight.

Tahera Ahmad

When Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University, asked for an unopened can of Diet Coke, she was refused on the grounds that it could be used as a weapon. The same flight attendant, however, apparently didn't have those reservations about another flyer, who received an unopened can of beer. When Ahmad tried to draw fellow flyers’ attention to this obvious bigotry, she was snubbed with "You Moslem, you need to shut the f up" by another passenger.

And the simple demand of an unopened can of Diet Coke left a woman in tears. Bravo.

When Ahmad vented her feelings on Facebook, the Internet exploded. Details of this horrible incident went viral, with many netizens calling out United Airlines for its disgusting discriminatory policies.

The hashtag #unitedfortahera has since done the rounds on Twitter.

United Airlines, however, has yet to issue an apology to Ahmad, who was recognized as a "leading Muslim female in the USA" at the White House. United merely said it was "reaching out" to Ahmad, and noted that the flight was operated by a regional carrier, Shuttle America.

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The airline's prolonged inaction and investigations has sparked even more outrage, with many calling for an outright boycott of United Airlines.

This is one of the many recent outbursts of discrimination against Muslims in United States of America. Protests against the community and events like "Draw Mohammad" fan anti-Muslim sentiments, and have led to growing insecurity amongst Muslims. A Pew survey documents this hostility against Islam and reports that 46 percent of Americans believe Islam is more likely than any other religion to promote violence.

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