The most talked about incidents of discrimination in 2016

Since the start of 2016, there were times when religious and racial discrimination came to the fore. Here are 6 incidents which sparked debate on social media.

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Updated May 12, 2016

1. Bayan Zehlif

The 17-year-old hijab-wearing student's name was recorded in her US high school's yearbook as 'ISIS Phillips',  an alternative acronym for the DAESH terrorist organisation.

The school shurugged the matter off as a "typo", but Zehlif refuses to accept the excuse.

"To have my classmates, the people that I’m going to be graduating with, hate on me and attack me like that, it hurts a lot," she said in a press conference after receiving huge support on social media.


2. Guido Menzio

The Italian Ivy League economist didn’t know the combination of being ‘Middle Eastern looking’ and working on challenging mathematical  equations on a plane could cause him to be suspected of being a terrorist.

On board the American Airlines plane, a passenger who seen the mathematical notes had alerted authorities that Menzio was writing something ‘cryptic’ and in Arabic.

The flight was postponed for over two hours and Menzio was eventually escorted off the plane.

The curly-haired professor laughed it off and explained to authorities that he was busy with a mathematical equation.

An example of a mathematics equation.


3 - Julia Ioffe

Jewish journalist Julia Ioffe said she received violent anti-semitic threats from supporters of right-wing politician Donald Trump after profiling his wife, Melanie.

"Now I'm getting phone calls from a blocked number that play Hitler's speeches when I pick up. Sad!" she tweeted.


4. Khairuldeen Makhzoomi

A senior student at Berkeley, Makhzoomi was removed from his Southwest Airlines flight after speaking Arabic over the phone while waiting for the plane to depart.

Makhzoomi was on his way back from attending a dinner with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

He said the officer who pulled him from the plane warned him not to speak Arabic.

The officer allegedly told him, "Why are you talking in Arabic? You know the environment is very dangerous."


5. Waris Ahluwalia

The famed Sikh actor and designer who was travelling to New York for the Fashion Week was asked to remove his turban and told that he could not board his Aeromexico flight because of it.

Keeping a positive attitude, Ahluwalia shared a message of peace with the hashtags: #FearisanOpportunitytoEducate #humanrights #dignity #lovenotfear

He captioned an image on Instagram as: "Dear NYC fashion week. I may be a little late as @aeromexico won't let me fly with a turban. Don't start the show without me."

Waris Ahluwalia shared this message on Instagram despite being discriminated against.


6 - Hasan Dewachi

The Iraqi scientist was planning to fly from Vienna to London where he's pursuing a PhD in biochemistry at Sheffield Hallam University.

Instead, he found himself at Vienna airport abandoned by EasyJet without his mobile phone after a women claimed that the arabic text messages he was sending to his wife were 'ISIS messages'.

Dewachi was sending a text message to his wife saying that he was on his way.

The 32-year-old father of two said the air company put him through 'terrible suffering' and he felt 'racially discriminated'.

Hasan Dewachi, 32, was kicked off the London-bound flight from Vienna because a passenger thought he was writing a 'terrorist text message'. (Featureworld / HDewachi)

TRTWorld and agencies