Tahera Ahmad, an associate chaplain and director of interfaith engagement, relayed the alleged incident on Facebook while she was on the flight Friday night.

She told her followers she was in tears following the exchange, which she said prompted a passenger to swear at her and also make anti-Muslim remarks.

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Earlier, Ahmad said the flight attendant had given her an opened can of Diet Coke.

When Ahmad requested an unopened can, the flight attendant told her, “Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you.”

The same flight attendant then proceeded to give another passenger an unopened can of beer, Ahmad said.

Ahmad said her fellow passengers were of no help: “you Moslem, you need to shut the F** up,” Ahmad said, in the Facebook post, that she was told by another male passenger across the aisle. “[y]es you know you would use it as a WEAPON, so shut the F** up.”

Ahmad did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but Muslim activists took to social media to call the alleged incident an “inexcusable” act of bigotry as other social media users said they would boycott United Airlines based on what they interpreted as open discrimination.

United Airlines spokesman Charles Hobart told the Guardian that the airline was attempting to contact Ahmad in order to “get a better understanding of what occurred during the flight”.


Hobart also said United was discussing the alleged incident with Shuttle America, United’s regional partner that operated the flight.

Republic Airways, which owns Shuttle America, did not respond to a request for comment on its beverage policy. Federal Aviation Administration policy forbids carrying on unopened alcoholic beverages but does not appear to have a specific “unopened can” regulation.

Ahmad told the Chicago Sun-Times that she received an apology from the flight attendant on behalf of herself and the other passenger, saying that the United employee had “acknowledged it was unethical and said he never should have said anything”.

The story of Islamophobia at 30,000 feet went viral just hours after an anti-Islam protest in Phoenix drew global attention following a lethal incident in Texas earlier this month.

Original: Suntimes