Chicago, IL — As Islamaphobia spreads across the globe thanks to the media and government stoking the flames of ignorance, innocent people are suffering simply for the way they look.
Last week, the Free Thought Project reported the story of a woman who was threatened by a D.C. cop because of her choice of headwear. She was threatened with handcuffs and forced out of a public library for wearing a hijab.
Now, this week, an entire family was forced off of a United Airlines flight because the way they looked and dressed created a “safety” issue.
Eaman-Amy Saad Shebley, her husband, and three young children were about to take off on a flight bound for Washington at Chicago’s O’Hare airport when the pilot asked them to get off the aircraft.
The crew apparently thought that the couple was suspicious after they asked for special seatbelts for their young children. However, there is absolutely nothing suspicious about asking for a seatbelt that is recommended for children by the National Transportation and Safety Board.
But it was too late; the airline staff had already given into the irrational fear shoved down their throats by mainstream media and politicians and demanded the family get off the plane.
The family recorded a portion of their removal on two separate videos they later uploaded to Facebook. In the video, Shebley asked the pilot if their decision to remove her family from the plane was a “discriminatory” one. The pilot replied by telling them that it was a “flight safety issue.” However, they were not given any explanation, before or after being forced off the flight.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter to United Airlines after the incident.
“We are tired of Muslim-looking passengers being removed from flights for the flimsiest reasons, under a cryptic claim of ‘security’,” said CAIR-Chicago executive director Ahmed Rehab said in a statement. “Security means securing passengers, not harassing and humiliating them and booting them off their flight for, of all things, actually asking for security.”
In her post on Facebook, Shebley wrote:
“Shame on you ?#?unitedAirlines? for profiling my family and me for no reason other than how we look and kicking us off the plane for “safety flight issues” on our flight to DC for the kids spring break. My three kids are too young to have experienced this.”
As the Times of India points out, this is not an isolated incident. Another Muslim woman and a Northwestern University chaplain, Tagera Ahmad, was denied a can of diet coke onboard a United Airlines flight in May as the flight attendant said she “may use it as a weapon.”
The United representatives not responsible for kicking the family off the plane eventually issued an apology once they realized what had happened, but it was too little too late.
What does it say about their faith in airport security if the staff kicked a family with three young children off of a flight after they had gone through the rigorous groping process by the blue-gloved bandits in TSA?
As Claire Bernish pointed out last week, Islamophobia is the ultimate win for Daesh (ISIL) and other violent groups. If you don’t buy that, consider the following cycle.
Any group subjected to continuous discrimination and constant denigration will first experience fear, but eventually that fear begins to translate to resentment. When resentment builds to an ultimate level, it tends to translate to action — not in carrying out a terrorist attack, but in a more insidious way. As Alex Mierjeski explained in attn:,
“Groups like the Islamic State, some say, take advantage of disenfranchised immigrants who face discrimination and difficult social conditions.”
When buying into xenophobia as policy, as in the case of Trump’s Wall, people are ultimately fanning the flames of terrorist rhetoric. Beyond that, the same fear allows the West to fund perpetual, imperialist war for the corporations which rely on natural resources overseas.
Instead of realizing that American foreign policy creates terrorism through the killing of innocent people written off as ‘collateral damage,’ brutal occupations masked as ‘humanitarian efforts,’ and general tactics of destabilization in the Middle East referred to as ‘spreading democracy,’ many citizens just resort to bigotry. After all, it is far easier to close one’s mind and hate than to love and understand.
Below is the video that illustrates this ignorance that will likely send crowds of ISIS members into roaring applause. Great work America, you are doing exactly what the terrorists want.