Muslim family kicked off flight demands apology from United Airlines

A Muslim family of five from Libertyville wants an apology from United Airlines after the family was removed last month from a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The removal came after the parents requested an additional strap for their youngest daughter’s booster seat, according to Ahmed Rehab, executive director of Chicago’s Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Rehab said the family was ordered to exit the plane for security reasons. When the mother and father repeatedly asked the flight crew why they were being removed, they were told to exit “peacefully,” return to the gate and await further instructions, Rehab said.

United Airlines said in a statement that the family was asked to leave a SkyWest flight, operating as United Express from Chicago, “because of concerns about their child’s safety seat, which did not comply with federal safety regulations.”

But according to Rehab, when the parents tried to check the seat inside the airport, a United attendant said the computer system was down and instructed them to bring the seat onboard.

As the family settled into seats near the back of the plane, the parents made sure their son and older daughter were buckled in and attempted to secure their younger daughter in her booster seat, Rehab said.

According to Rehab, when the father asked a flight attendant if there was an extra strap for the booster seat, as advertised on the airline’s website, the flight attendant said she didn’t know what he was talking about and walked away.

Moments later another attendant came by and told the parents they couldn’t have the booster seat. They removed the seat and eventually the pilot asked the family to leave the plane. Before disembarking, the mother, who wears an Islamic headscarf, asked the pilot if the family’s removal was a “discriminatory decision.” The parents then left the flight with their children so as to not further frighten their children or inconvenience the other passengers, Rehab said. He said they felt singled out and humiliated.

The mother posted a video of the interaction with the plane’s crew on Facebook, where it has been viewed over 2 million times and shared more than 38,000 times.

“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,” she posted. “My three kids are too young to have experienced this.”

Rehab said other passengers around the family joined the disruption and said, “They did nothing wrong.”

The couple and their children completed their journey on a later flight and booked their return to Chicago on a different airline. Rehab said the family has asked for a formal apology, corrective action for the employees involved and reimbursement for that return flight and accommodations they had to book to adjust their travel plans.

This is not the first time United has been accused of mistreating Muslim customers. Last May, Northwestern University chaplain Tahera Ahmad was flying from Chicago to Washington, D.C., on a United flight operated by Shuttle America when a flight attendant refused to bring her an unopened can of soda. When Ahmad pointed out that another passenger had received one, the flight attendant abruptly opened the soda and told Ahmad it was so she would not use it as a weapon.

Adopting the hashtag #UnitedforTahera, thousands tweeted messages of support and calls for a boycott after Ahmad detailed the confrontation on Facebook. The controversy ended nearly a week later with an apology from United and the company’s promise that the attendant would not work on United express flights until she had undergone more training.

The airline also said employees would continue to receive annual cultural awareness training and that it would reach out to its express partners, including SkyWest, to make sure their staff also receives regular sensitivity training.

LSE apologises to students asked to cover Jesus and Muhammad T-shirts

The London School of Economics (LSE) has apologised to two students who were forced to cover up T-shirts depicting a cartoon of Jesus and the prophet Muhammad.

Christian Moos and Abhishek Phadnis were representing the students’ union Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH) at the university’s fresher’s fair in October, when they were told that displaying a depiction of Muhammad, prohibited under Islamic law, may constitute harassment of a religious group.

After security staff threatened them with expulsion from the fair, the two students agreed to cover up the T-shirts. The students then submitted a formal complaint, which has prompted LSE to issue an apology from its director, Prof Craig Calhoun, acknowledging that, “with hindsight, the wearing of the T-shirts on this occasion did not amount to harassment or contravene the law or LSE policies”.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/students-win-lse-apology-over-ban-on-tshirts-depicting-prophet-mohamed-and-jesus-christ-9018476.html

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/20/lse-university-apology-students-atheism-tshirt-religion-jesus-muhammad

Somali-American man convicted in 2010 Portland, Ore., Christmas bomb plot apologizes

PORTLAND, Ore. — A young Somali-American man convicted of plotting to bomb a 2010 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland’s town square has written an apology letter in advance of his sentencing and says he renounces his former beliefs.

In the letter filed Friday by his lawyers in federal court, Mohamed Mohamud offers to speak to young Muslims “to help keep them away from the path of extremism” and tells U.S. District Judge Garr King he turned to books to help himself “walk a better path.” His reading list ranges from “The Grapes of Wrath” to President Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope” to “A Zombie Apocalypse.”

Mohamud was arrested Nov. 26, 2010, after pressing a button on a cellphone that he believed would detonate a 1,800-pound diesel-and-fertilizer bomb near thousands of people at the annual holiday gathering.

The bomb was a fake supplied by undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaida recruiters.

PSOE breaks relationships with Muslim Party, Caballas

23 July 2013

The Socialist Party of Ceuta has decided this afternoon to “break” their relationships with Caballas, the first group in the opposition of Ceuta’s political Assembly, for their defence of Koranic scholar Malik Ibn Benaissa[1]. Benaissa had been denounced by the Socialists for classifying as a “fornicator” the woman who wears perfume and stilettos.

Caballas issued in a note that Malik Ibn Benaissa is a “person trained not only in Islam, but that he is also a committed citizen”. They expressed their support for Benaissa and demanded an apology from the PSOE to all the Muslim community.

This has led to the PSOE response announcing in a statement that they break all relations with Caballas limiting them exclusively to the “essential” for the government’s control of Ceuta.


[1] Benaissa is an Imam, a Qur’an expert who dedicates his life to give conferences and sermons. He has his own youtube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/willymaliik. The following video called: “The Queens of Islam” is the own referred to in these new: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rnc0vRP4GsY&feature=c4-overview&list=UUqbEEqkYbvkMZcNkVkykqbw

Weather reporter apologizes to Muslims

28.04.2013

Oumma

Popular Belgian weather reporter, Luc Trellemans, of the national broadcaster RTL Belgium publically apologized to the country’s Muslim community after having expressed Islamophobic views on his Facebook page.

The reporter accused Muslims of ‘mocking our (Belgian) customs’ on his Facebook wall and was met, as a result, with a torrent of outrage in social media circles. His public apology was followed by a public message of the broadcaster RTL, distancing itself from the comments and announcing the immediate suspension of the weather reporter.

Anger and an Arrest as a Leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Visits Brooklyn

The tension that has gripped Egypt in recent weeks over a draft constitution written by Islamists briefly erupted on a New York street on Saturday night, with the arrest of a protester who disrupted a discussion of the document byEssam El-Erian, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr. Erian, who is also the vice president of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, told a standing-room-only crowd at the private Noor Islamic School in Brooklyn that the draft constitution would weaken the traditionally autocratic Egyptian presidency and strengthen Parliament.

During the discussion, Mr. Erian reassured Egyptian expatriates, who can vote on the draft in a referendum on Wednesday, that “it is not true when people say it is like the Koran and cannot be changed.”

The event continued after protesters were ejected from the room, but members of the audience seated in the women’s section continued to pepper Mr. Erian with hostile questions about the Brotherhood’s domination of the constitution-drafting process and the protests that have erupted in recent weeks against President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member who granted himself expanded powers to push the draft to completion.

Mr. Erian addressed controversy over his visit on Facebook, writing: “Everything that has been published and broadcast about meetings, consultations, protests and attacks during my short visit to New York have been fabrications and lies. Some people owe me an apology to maintain cordiality.”

CAIR is calling on all people of conscience to contact the SUBWAY restaurant chain to request that a formal apology

CAIR is asking people of conscience to contact the SUBWAY restaurant chain to request that a formal apology be given to a Louisiana Muslim who was allegedly locked out of a sandwich shop in that state because of his faith. [SUBWAY, based in Milford, Conn., has more than 38,000 locations in 100 countries.]

A retired 63-year-old U.S. citizen of South Asian heritage who lives in New Orleans reported to CAIR that on November 21, 2012, he and his wife stopped at the SUBWAY restaurant in Shreveport, La. Before ordering, they went to the restrooms in the facility. The husband exited the restroom first and went outside the restaurant to wait for his wife in anticipation of re-entering to order their food.

While his wife was still inside the restaurant, the victim attempted to re-enter, but was blocked at the door by a female SUBWAY employee who allegedly asked him “Are you Muslim?” When the victim replied that he is indeed Muslim, the SUBWAY employee reportedly responded, “We can’t serve you.” The employee then went inside the restaurant and locked the door behind her. Fearing for his wife’s safety and distraught at the violation of his civil rights, the man called 911.

When the Shreveport Police Department arrived, an officer went inside the SUBWAY restaurant and later came out to tell the victim that the manager was “scared” of him and that he “better leave.”

France sets remembrance date for Algerian war victims

News Agencies – November 8, 2012

France has set March 19 as the annual date of remembrance for victims of the 1954-62 Algerian war, in a diplomatic gesture to Algeria before a visit by President Francois Hollande next month. The Senate upper house of parliament approved the date in a vote that ended years of disagreement over when to mark the conflict that ended more than a century of French colonial rule in Algeria and left deep scars on both sides.

The Senate, controlled by the ruling Socialist Party, voted by 181 votes to 155 in favor of a bill to use the date of the March 19, 1962 ceasefire to remember hundreds of thousands of dead on both sides in Algeria, and also in parallel Moroccan and Tunisian independence struggles.

The fixing of a remembrance day, exactly 50 years after the war ended, is symbolic, but groups representing relatives of victims of the war have said it will not fulfill their desire for a full apology for France’s colonial past.

Leaps of Faith

Claims that Obama concealed nonnative birth or faith in Islam failed to gain mainstream traction, but conservatives like Sean Hannity were more successful in labeling Obama as covertly “anti-American” based on his association with the incendiary pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By this logic, Obama was a paragon of Christian piety. He “savored” every word on Sunday mornings and would surely govern by these traitorous principles: his beliefs were dangerous because, well, he really believed them.

But Obama’s opponents have a new twist on this old allegation. They find evidence for his unbelief not by exposing his biblical illiteracy or shoddy church attendance, but in his failure to support “religious freedom.”

The charge that the president is a faker on religious freedom is the most recent iteration of the ongoing attack on his legitimacy: it is the new “birther” movement. It’s also a decades-old rhetorical tool of the culture wars intended to depict the entire left as frauds who supposedly stand for a tolerant open society, but who are in fact disciples of a secular pseudo-religion intent on quashing Christian influence in America.

The Rev. Franklin Graham, who has always been more provocative than his prudent father Billy, told MSNBC last week that the president lacks sufficient outrage over the plight of persecuted Christians. “Islam has gotten a free pass under Obama,” Graham said, adding that the Muslim world sees Obama as “a son of Islam” who will not challenge religious oppression. “The Muslims of the world — he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim countries – that’s what bothers me.” (Graham offered a half-apology on Tuesday, saying he regretted any comments that “cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president.”)