Delta's 'religious profiling' of Muslim passenger sparks backlash

American Muslims urge investigation after Delta passenger flagged over Muslim name
2 min read
02 March, 2021
CAIR-Missouri has called for an investigation into an incident in which a Muslim passenger was allegedly made to miss his flight because of his middle name.
CAIR has called for an investigation into the incident [Getty]

WASHINGTON D.C. (The New Arab) - A passenger who was set to board a flight from St. Louis was allegedly flagged and held for extra security screening due to his middle name being Mohammad. 

The incident occurred on February 27 at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport, causing the passenger to miss his Delta Air Lines flight.

A six-minute phone video, which the passenger took after he was asked to return to the check-in counter, shows him clearly frustrated with the situation. He repeatedly asks the Delta Air Lines employee to explain why he was singled out. The check-in desk staffer suggests that he might be on a no-fly list due to his middle name, which is Mohammad.

After repeatedly insisting that he has done nothing wrong and that he might miss his flight, he asks to speak with a supervisor for clarification. The staff member then threatens to call the police. 

When the police arrive, the passenger appears to calm down, as the officers express sympathy with his situation, suggesting that he make a complaint to Delta Air Lines’ corporate office and pointing out other airlines he could take instead.  

This is not the first time Delta Air Lines been accused of mistreating a passenger due to their Muslim identity.

Last year, the Department of Transportation ordered Delta Airlines to pay a fine of $50,000 for the “discriminatory removal” of three Muslim passengers in 2016. 

“We’re asking for an investigation of the incident,” Marwan Hameed, associate executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Missouri (CAIR), told The New Arab. “Profiling is something that needs to stop.” He added that CAIR has contacted Delta Airlines and the Department of Transportation and is waiting to hear back.

The New Arab reached out to Delta Air Lines on Tuesday evening for a comment on the incident but has yet to receive a response.

 


Brooke Anderson is The New Arab's correspondent in Washington D.C., covering US and international politics, business and culture.

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