Thousands have urged a boycott of United Airlines after Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim woman, claims she was denied an unopened can of Diet Coke by a flight attendant because she “might use it as a weapon.” Ahmad, who is the director of Interfaith Engagement and an associate chaplain at Northwestern University, shared her experience on her Facebook page, accusing the airline of Islamophobia. She writes that she had requested an unopened can for sanitary reasons, but was denied, even though a man sitting next to her was given an unopened beer can. When Ahmad asked for an explanation, the flight attendant responded, “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a WEAPON on the plane,'” according to Ahmad. Asking some of the other passengers if they had witnessed this discriminatory behavior, she says no one responded aside from one man who said, “You Moslem, you need to shut the f** up … yes you know you would use it as a WEAPON so shut the f**k up.” In an official statement, United described the incident as a misunderstanding, saying they the flight crew had already spoken to Mrs. Ahmad “to get a better understanding of what occurred and to apologize for not delivering the service our customers expect when traveling with us.” Ahmad says she has “yet to receive a sincere apology” from the airline. As her story quickly spread on social media, people have started using the hashtag #UnitedForTahera, saying they would no longer be flying with United.
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