US: Family seeks apology from airline over 'Islamophobia' row

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has sent a letter to United Airlines on the family’s behalf demanding disciplinary action

Chicago: A Muslim family of five, which was ordered to de-board from a United Airlines flight, is seeking a formal apology from the American airliner for what they call was Islamophobia.

The pilot asked Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley, her husband and their three children to get off the plane at Chicago before taking off. Pic/Facebook
The pilot asked Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley, her husband and their three children to get off the plane at Chicago before taking off. Pic/Facebook

The pilot of the Washington-bound flight asked Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley, her husband and their three young children to get off the plane at Chicago O’Hare International Airport last month before taking off, citing “safety issues”. The family had enquired earlier whether the air stewardess could provide five-point harness safety seats for their children.

Two videos filmed by Shebley, that have gone viral with over 46,000 views already, show the air stewardess and then the pilot asking the family to leave following which she asked the pilot whether it was a “discriminatory” decision.

The pilot replied it was a “flight safety issue” but did not give any details. “We are tired of Muslim-looking passengers being removed from flights for the flimsiest reasons, under a cryptic claim of ‘security’,” said Ahmed Rehab of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is representing the family. “Security means securing passengers, not harassing and humiliating them and booting them off their flight for, of all things, actually asking for security,” Rehab said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has sent a letter to United Airlines on the family’s behalf demanding disciplinary action against the staff involved.

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