Two Muslim American YouTube stars were escorted off a US airline in London after several British passengers complained when one of them spoke Arabic to his mother on the phone.
Adam Saleh, 23, an Internet personality, and his friend Slim Albaher, 22, were returning home to New York City on Wednesday when they were asked by the captain of the Delta flight to leave the plane at Heathrow Airport.
He said several passengers voiced their support for Saleh while others approved of his removal from the plane. The passengers who were on the flight when it landed in New York confirmed the men’s story.
Saleh posted a video of the incident on Twitter. The news was met on social media with anger at the airline industry.
“You guys are racist. I cannot believe my eyes,” Saleh shouts in the video as he describes the confrontation. “Six white people against us bearded men.”
“This is 2016. 2016. Look, Delta Air Lines are kicking us out because we spoke a different language," he added in the video.
After an hours-long delay involving more security checks, Saleh said he was finally able to board a flight to New York with a different airline.
However, he said he would seek legal counsel to file charges against the airline.
Incidents of Muslims and Arabs in the West being asked to leave planes have increased in recent months, according to advocacy groups.
“More and more reports have been made of Muslims or Arabs, or people who were perceived to be Muslim or Arabs, who were removed from planes by airline personnel,” said Zainab Chaudry, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the United States’ largest Muslim civil rights group.
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