Muslim Woman: Flight Attendant Denied Me an Unopened Coke

Tahera Ahmad's Facebook post alleging discrimination goes viral
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2015 2:50 PM CDT
Muslim Woman: Flight Attendant Refused Me an Unopened Coke
   (Northwestern University)

(Newser) – Like your soda served unopened? Well, a Muslim woman says a United Airlines attendant refused her an unopened Diet Coke because it might serve as a weapon—while the guy next to her got an unopened beer, the Guardian reports. Tahera Ahmad, a chaplain at Chicago’s Northwestern University, posted on Facebook that the flight attendant was "clearly discriminating against me" when Ahmad requested the unopened can for hygienic reasons. "Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you," the attendant reportedly said. When Ahmad pressed her, the attendant is said to have responded:

  • "We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a WEAPON on the plane."

When Ahmad called the incident discrimination, she says, the attendant grabbed the guy's beer and opened it. Appalled, Ahmad asked other passengers if this was discriminatory, and says she got a mouthful in return: "You Moslem, you need to shut the F** up," a man across the aisle allegedly told her. "Yes you know you would use it as a WEAPON, so shut the f**k up." Ahmad says she was in tears "because I thought people would defend me." She tells the Chicago Sun-Times that the flight attendant later apologized, and the pilot, also apologetic, walked her to a counter after the flight from Chicago to Washington, DC, so Ahmad could make a complaint. Now United says it's reaching out to Ahmad for clarification, Muslim activists are calling the incident "inexcusable," and Ahmad's Facebook post has gone viral with nearly 9,000 shares as of this writing. (Click for more bad PR for United from last week.)

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