Photo via Wikimedia Creative Commons by Rhododendrites
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, a Muslim activist and blogger, alleges that she was wrongfully arrested and taken off her flight following a dispute with another passenger, reports Daily News.
The founder of Muslimgirl.com was asked to leave the plane by American Airlines employees after a passenger in first class complained. When she refused, flight personnel contacted the Port Authority police to remove her from the plane.
“They would rather do this than remove one person from first class because he complained about a Muslim woman on the plane,” she said as she livestreamed the police ordering the other passengers off the flight in order to take her into custody.
The incident occurred after Al-Khatahtbeh tweeted about an argument with the same passenger at the TSA checkpoint.
Officials say the argument continued on the flight, where the man accused Al-Khatahtbeh of harrassing him.
In a video taken by another passenger, Al-Khatahtbeh can be heard refusing to leave unless the man who complained was also removed.
“I’m not moving unless he is also moving,” she said. “Otherwise why are you taking his word over mine? Because he’s in first class?”
Al-Khatahtbeh was taken into police custody following the incident.
American Airlines has confirmed that an incident took place on the plane and that Al-Khatahtbeh was not on the plane at the time of its departure, according to The Guardian.
“We are aware of an incident that took place during boarding of flight 2029 at Newark Liberty international airport. We are concerned by these allegations and our team is working to understand what occurred,” American Airlines said in a statement.
It is unclear whether the man involved was also taken off the flight.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has since demanded Al-Khatahtbeh’s immediate release as well as an explanation for her removal from the flight.
“Although we do not yet know all of the facts about this incident, we do know that American Airlines has a history of mistreating Muslim travelers,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The airline must immediately explain why it singled out Amani by contacting the police and ejecting her from a flight based on the word of a man who had allegedly harassed her.”
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