You Can Now Get Kicked Off An Airplane Just For Speaking Arabic

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  • If you’re a dude named Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, just going through airport security must be troublesome enough. This is America in 2016, though, and you won’t be safe from racism once you’re on the plane minding your own business.

    From The New York Times:

    A college student who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in California earlier this month after another passenger became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic.

    Makhzoomi, a student at UC Berkeley, was calling his uncle in Baghdad to talk about a recent speech he’d seen from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

    Another passenger (who gets to keep her name out of the newspapers, dontcha know), believed Makhzoomi to be making “potentially threatening comments,” and alerted Southwest Airlines staff.

    Southwest spokesperson Brandy King told the Times that they can’t comment on the conduct of an individual employee, but they have not released an official statement to the press, and their media website makes no mention of the incident.

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