The woman shared: "I was arrested for the first time in my life because I got Ken’d. This is what it looks like to fly as a Muslim woman in America."
Muslim media influencer Amani al-Khatahtbeh took to Twitter over the weekend to share a rather crazy experience she had. She shared that she was kicked off an American Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, simply because another White passenger "felt uncomfortable" due to a tiff that took place between them at the TSA security line, as per NBC News. Amani, who is the founder of the website Muslim Girl, shared how she was waiting in line for a standard security check before boarding her flight. However, while she was in line, a White man became frustrated while waiting behind her as she removed her shoes.
I had the craziest experience in TSA this morning.— AMANI (@AMANI2020) November 14, 2020
An entitled white man behind me insisted on cutting me in line because I was “still taking my shoes off.”
When I said he could wait like everyone else, he started going off about how he’s “pre check” and “first class” 1/3
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, 28, livestreamed for 15 minutes on Facebook as the entire American Airlines flight was ordered off the plane. Then, she was taken into custody. #DailyVoice #NewarkAirport https://t.co/wrUqDLOYTU— DV Bergen County (@DVBergen) November 15, 2020
He told Amani that he had first-class privileges and did not have to wait behind her when she asked him to stay in line for his turn. She tweeted: When I said he could wait like everyone else, he started going off about how he’s “pre check” and “first-class”. She continued: He then proceeded to not only shove his things before mine, but then RUN THROUGH THE MACHINE and TSA did NOTHING! Not only did they not do anything, a TSA officer had the audacity to tell ME to “cut it out.”
He then proceeded to not only shove his things before mine, but then RUN THROUGH THE MACHINE and TSA did NOTHING!— AMANI (@AMANI2020) November 14, 2020
Not only did they not do anything, a TSA officer had the audacity to tell ME to “cut it out.” 2/3
She has a name.— Aylin 🥀 (@AylinDodogan) November 17, 2020
Amani al-Khatahtbeh https://t.co/BQx6rYj26l
Amani then wrote about how she'd have to face severe consequences if she'd been the one to pull this stunt at an American airport. Y’all know if I, a VEILED MUSLIM WOMAN, had the audacity to throw a temper tantrum and run through TSA security, I would have gotten BODIED. I would have been detained, missed my flight, possibly gotten charged, etc. We need to resurrect the @muslimgirl #ShitTSASays column. Another update followed, which stated that the White man had complained to American airlines about how Amani was making him uncomfortable and that he wanted her off the flight.
This is the @AmericanAir manager coming onboard to tell me that they're removing me from my flight because "there is a passenger onboard who doesn't feel comfortable" with me. pic.twitter.com/pwBS5NkvAn— AMANI (@AMANI2020) November 15, 2020
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Muslim media figure, says she was singled out after arrest at Newark Airport https://t.co/21QNajgZ36— USA TODAY Travel (@usatodaytravel) November 16, 2020
Guys he made a complaint about me and @AmericanAir is attempting to remove me from the flight, she wrote. Surprisingly, a manager did approach her, asking to exit the flight, which she captured and shared on her timeline. This is the @AmericanAir manager coming onboard to tell me that they're removing me from my flight because "there is a passenger onboard who doesn't feel comfortable" with me. The manager doesn't give her a solid reason as to why he wants only her to get off the flight and not both of them. When she refused, the flight decided to have everyone deplane, which she shared via Facebook Live.
Utterly disgusted by @AmericanAir for the treatment of a young Muslim woman who was harassed by a white male and had her taken off the plane. What is this world coming to? Do better. @CAIRNewYork Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is requesting your assistance.— Laraib Irshad (@irshad_laraib) November 14, 2020
Could you have just let him go ahead - since you were not ready to go through the line? -maybe have avoided all the aftermath?— Susan C Tilley (@SusanCarol62) November 15, 2020
As soon as she was out of the flight, she was arrested and charged with delay of transportation as well as trespassing. She has since been released. However, she shared a picture and wrote: I was arrested for the first time in my life because I got Ken’d. This is what it looks like to fly as a Muslim woman in America. This may have happened to me, but imagine what countless other Muslim women and minorities must endure while traveling who may not be as well versed in their rights, or might not have the right understanding of how the system works, or may not know the language. I’m lucky that I have a platform and community behind me. I sincerely THANK YOU all for sending the damn cavalry. We won’t let this keep happening. Enough is enough.
So @AmericanAir, I'm going to ask again, did you really just throw Muslim passenger Amani Al-Khatahtbeh (@Amani2020) off of flight 2029 because she made a first class passenger uncomfortable.— Lizzie K. Foley (@LizzieKFoley) November 14, 2020
And then you had her arrested?
Shame on you, @AmericanAir.
When there is only 1 line, and someone is slow, it is common for people to go around the slow person. First class has no priority, but precheck lets you avoid removing your shoes, and iPads and liquids from bag. Let the precheck guy pass you.— Elaine (@eabarlin) November 15, 2020
While some people sympathized with her, others just blamed her, saying all this was done just so she could receive some attention. Nick Nicholas-Bartosik wrote: You acted like a spoiled entitled American princess. You received the same treatment any other individual would receive for being disruptive and disrespectful. But you got the chance to make it a race thing and so, congratulations on that. Now you'll try and make yourself relevant but everyone can see it for what it was. Theresa La Russa added: This has NOTHING to do with being Muslim. You don’t even represent a TRUE Muslima. You were holding up the security line and he went past you, it’s a very common practice. You decided to get upset over something minor. Then you pulled out your phone and harassed the man even on the plane. If someone had done that to me, I’d report it too. Choose your battle. This wasn’t one that shouldn’t have been chosen. This was an attention-seeking incident.
Our comrade Amani Al-Khatahtbeh the founder of Muslim Girl and NJ’s first Muslim woman to run for Congress (2020) has been removed from her flight and detained by TSA/police. She reported a white man in first class for being abusive, he counter-complained and they sided with him. pic.twitter.com/97tVo30FuC— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) November 14, 2020
"Although we do not yet know all of the facts about this incident, we do know that American Airlines has a history of mistreating Muslim travelers," said CAIR National ED @NihadAwad. @USATODAY @LoriComstockNJH @northjersey @HatemBazian @CAIRNJ https://t.co/Xt2vp85BSv— CAIR National (@CAIRNational) November 15, 2020
However, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Rights nonprofit group came to her support with CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad confiding to Business Insider: “Although we do not yet know all of the facts about this incident, we do know that American Airlines has a history of mistreating Muslim travelers. The airline must immediately explain why it singled out Amani by contacting the police and ejecting her from a flight based on the word of a man who had allegedly harassed her.”