Arab student ousted from US plane for speaking Arabic

Berkeley (Cal)—The removal of a University of California Berkeley student from a Southwest Airlines flight after his speaking Arabic is the latest in a string of similar cases. Muslims and Arabic speakers in the US are seeing a rise in anti-Muslim fear and rhetoric in America’s presidential campaign, concurrent with terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic extremists.
Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a college senior and who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee, said he was unfairly removed from an April 9 flight from Los Angeles to Oakland after a woman sitting nearby reported him to flight attendants. An Arabic-speaking member of the staff then escorted him from the plane.
Mr. Makhzoomi, whose flight took off while he was being questioned, told the New York Times he had been talking excitedly to his uncle by phone after attending a speech by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He said that his use of the term “inshallah” (God willing) and his mention of a question he asked Mr. Ban about the Islamic State could have raised suspicion.
Makhzoomi said he told the Southwest employee, “This is what Islamophobia got this country into.” Makhzoomi said that angered the employee, and that he was then told he could not get back on the plane.—Agencies

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