If you plan on taking a plane anytime soon, don’t speak in Arabic
In the wake of the Paris attacks, US flights are having a hard time keeping passengers calm with Arabic on board. (AFP/File)
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This week, Donald Trump is in the hot seat for suggesting Muslims should carry mandatory ID cards around the US, but the Republican candidate isn't the only one singling people out.
Following the Paris attacks, US flights have also been booting passengers from gates for speaking Arabic. A lot.
Here are a few examples.
1. Maher Khalil and Anas Ayyad were barred from boarding a plane to Philidelphia at Chicago Midway International Airport last Thursday, when fellow passengers told airline staff they'd overheard the two men speaking Arabic and were afraid to fly with them, the AFP reports. Khalil told NBC television they were eventually let on the plane after being questioned by police, but once onboard, passengers demanded he open the white box he was carrying, which ended up being filled with sweets.
2. A day before, six men were reportedly removed from a Houston-bound flight from Chicago upon being identified as of Middle Eastern descent by fellow passengers. The men were asked to leave the plane after their request to switch seats caused a commotion onboard, ABC reported.
3. Also on Thursday, a flight en route to Minneapolis turned back to Fort Lauderdale after a young passenger said she overheard a conversation during which she thought she heard a remark about "blowing up the plane,” according to a local police report. This led to an investigation into Israel-raised, US-citizen Yaniv Abotbul, whose five hour interrogation "revealed no actual threat was made to the flight," according to his lawyer.
4. Tuesday in Baltimore yet another incident involved a woman and three men believed to be of Middle Eastern descent on a plane baording for a flight to Chicago. The four were escorted off board after fellow passengers reported "suspicious activity," according to a police report cited by the Baltimore Sun. The individuals were then questioned by police. The suspicious activity? Turns out, one individual was watching a news report on his smartphone.
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