It's been more than a decade since 9/11 but Muslims—even when they fly first class and have already been approved for expedited border processing—are still getting booted off planes for being Muslim, according to a complaint filed in Sea-Tac against Delta yesterday. Seattlepi.com reports:
Activists are decrying the reported actions of Delta Air Lines employees after a Lynnwood-based imam claimed he was escorted off an airplane last month on the basis of his religious affiliation
Muhammad Abbace Ayleya was escorted off a connecting Delta flight in Atlanta, bound for Toronto, and told little other than that his use of the airplane bathroom was "doubtful," according to CAIR [Council for Islamic-American Relations]...
The ordeal caused him to miss a fundraiser for a Toronto elementary school at which he was scheduled to speak. The fundraiser ultimately did not happen after the organizers learned Ayleya would not be able to make it...
Ayleya, the resident imam at Zainab Center in Lynnwood, frequently travels by air and reportedly has never before had a problem with airline employees. He is a Delta Platinum Elite member and is approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry program, which expedites low-risk air passengers through security procedures.
Ayleya boarded the airplane in the first class section and used the on-board restroom while waiting for the flight to depart, according to reports.
The airplane left the gate, but then returned to the gate about five minutes later, according to Ayleya's narration.
A Delta employee boarded the plane and escorted Ayleya back to the terminal, where he was met by two law enforcement officers. He was only told that "the crew was doubtful about the way you were using the restroom," according to the CAIR complaint.
Thankfully, Ayleya was not strip-searched and interrogated.