But the man next to her with an unopened beer can didn’t pose a threat at all…
A passenger on a United Airlines flight has been denied an unopened can of Diet Coke for fear she might use it as a weapon.
On Friday night, Tahera Ahmad boarded her flight from Chicago to Washington D.C., where she was attending a conference.
When she asked for a drink, she was handed a can of Diet Coke that had already been opened by airline staff.
And when she requested an unopened can for hygiene reasons, her request was denied.
The justification? She might use the unopened can of Diet Coke as a weapon.
Now, I don’t mean to downplay the fear that a violently shaken can of soft drink might strike in the hearts of some. But unless you drown your enemy in it, it’s
ridiculously a little hard to imagine someone bringing down a plane with a Diet Coke.
What’s more, Ahmad witnessed a man across the aisle receive an unopened beer only minutes before she made the same request. Apparently, the only person United Airlines deemed a Diet-Coke-can-wielding danger to their fellow passengers was Ahmad – who, coincidentally, is a practising Muslim and wears a hijab.
Ahmad asked other passengers on the flight to stand up for her, only to be met with more abuse.
She reported in a post on her Facebook that a man sitting a few seats away said, ‘You Moslem, you need to shut the f**k up…. yes you know you would use it as a WEAPON so shut the f**k up.’
Towards the end of the flight, the flight attendant had a change of heart, and apologised to Ahmad for her ‘utterly rude’ behaviour.
The pilot also apologised and offered to help her lodge a complaint.
A spokesperson from United Airlines told The Daily Mail that the airline was ‘discussing’ the alleged abuse with the company who ran the service in question, Shuttle America.
It’s hard to imagine a more upsetting or humiliating experience than being deemed a threat simply because of an item of clothing you choose to wear or a religion you choose to practice.
Our sympathies are with Tahera Ahmad, and we can only hope that one day, the stigma and discrimination faced by Muslim women will be a thing of the past.
Faith in humanity need restoring? Check out these pictures from ‘Women in Solidarity with Hijabis’, a group that invites Muslim and non-Muslim women to post a picture of themselves in a headscarf to demonstrate solidarity with those who wear them every day.
Have you ever experienced or witnessed racial discrimination?