Muslim woman accuses United Airlines of discrimination

Muslim woman alleges United Airlines of discrimination, not giving her unopened can of coke to prevent her using it as “weapon”

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

An American Muslim student Tahera Ahmad said on his facebook page she was exposed to discrimination on Saturday after a United Airlines flight attendant refused to give her an unopened can of Diet Coke because she could use it as a “weapon.’’

Ahmad said the attendant gave an unopened can of beer to a man sitting next to her, just minutes after the attendant told her: "We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane."

The incident sparked outrage in social media calling for a boycott of United Airlines.

After the man next to her on the flight from Chicago to Washington was served an unopened can of beer, Ms Ahmad inquired again.

Ahmad, who also works as a Muslim chaplin at Chicago’s Northwestern University, wrote on her facebook post ‘’I can’t help but cry on this plane because I thought people would defend me and say something.’’

She said that when she asked for an unopened can of Diet Coke for hygienic reasons, she was told ‘’Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you.’’

Ahmad asked for an explanation and the attendant told the reason is for ‘’security.’’

She later wrote her facebook that the attendant and the plane’s pilot later apologized for the incident.

"This time I was being treated as a threat to everyone around me 30,000 feet above the ground and being told that I could use a can of Diet Coke as a weapon," said Ahmad who was recognized at the White House last year "as a leading Muslim female in the United States" during Women's History Month.

"And no one said anything."

One man among the passengers said something in fact, but it was not a back up for her, rather more humiliating.

“You Muslim, you need to shut the f--- up," the man said to her, according to Ahmad.

"Yes, you know you would use it as a weapon. So shut the f--- up," said the man.

United Airlines' media page released a statement on Saturday writing "The flight attendant onboard Shuttle America flight 3504 attempted several times to accommodate Ms Ahmad's beverage request after a misunderstanding regarding a can of diet soda."

TRTWorld and agencies