It was an American airline’s flight from San Diego. Officials say a woman passenger complained to the crew that several men were speaking Arabic and she wanted off the plane. It was late at night. The plane returned to the gate and the men were questioned. Everything was okay but it was now past San Diego’s takeoff curfew, so everyone had to wait until yesterday afternoon to fly to Chicago.
Ahmed Rehab, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is upset.
That’s problematic because we are no longer deplaning people on their suspicious behavior but rather on their identity, whether it is language, or expression of religion, and attire, or color…
If speaking a global language is going to instigate emergency protocols, [and] deplane people. Perhaps what we need to institute is a department of homeland hysteria.
It’s a global language spoken by hundreds and millions of people. And at this point it is raising flags. That’s pathetic.
What were the Arabic speaking men doing in San Diego? They had been in Camp Pendleton training US marines headed for Iraq.