Two Muslim religious leaders sue airlines for discrimination – CNN.com
By Jim Barnett, CNN
Washington (CNN) — Two Islamic religious leaders from Tennessee filed a lawsuit against two airlines Monday, claiming they were discriminated against and not allowed to fly on a plane in May because of the way they looked.
Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul, both imams, request a jury trial in the suit, filed in federal court against Delta Air Lines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
In the suit, the two said they arrived at the Memphis, Tennesseee, International Airport on May 6, wearing traditional Muslim attire, including religious garb and headgear. The two were headed from Memphis to Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend a conference on anti-Muslim bigotry.
Rahman is an Arabic-language adjunct professor at the University of Memphis and originally from Pakistan. Zaghloul is a religious leader at the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis and originally from Egypt.
“Atlantic Southeast and Delta oppose discrimination in any form from any source and our employees act at all times in the best interest of passenger safety and security. We cannot comment further on pending litigation,” said Eric Torbenson, Delta Air Lines spokesman.
I had to go thought these “random” checks and rude gestures quite often especially in US airports. Don’t know how much one can accomplish through suing an airline but at least it should get the message across. There should be a polite way to pre-screen individuals who are respectable citizens. Hostility generated during these “random” checks will only alienate good citizens. Someone with serious criminal intent will adopt new ways and I doubt will go through regular security check. What’s funny is that most of these security officers in duty in major US and UK airports also qualify for “random” check because of their Asian background! It is imperative that the citizens form coalition against civil rights and privacy violation during full body x-ray scans!
If European and American tourists go through similar “random” checks in Asian and Arab countries may be there will be more awareness of the racist hassles that are taking place in their own backyard. After all most terrorist acts in the last century were not committed by Arabs or Asians!