That was the lachrymose lament in large bold fonts across this morning’s CNN.com. There are, of course, many times I share the sentiment in matters pertinent to this blog. Though in this instance I presumed a more personal tragedy. Perhaps a follow-up story on the husband who lost his wife and two young children in the recent Texas flooding. As a father myself, it is easy to empathize with what must be his tortured suffering. To imagine that terrified little boy and girl attempting to cling to their mother amidst the callous surge is truly excruciating. So with a heart heavy in anticipation I began to read…an article about a muslim denied a can of diet coke. Though even that overstates the tragedy. It is an article about a muslim who could have an opened can of diet coke, but was denied an unopened can. This is the story blared across the bow of a major media organ.
I can’t help but cry
(CNN)A simple request for an unopened can of Diet Coke on a United Airlines flight left Tahera Ahmad in tears.
A Muslim chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University, Ahmad, 31, was traveling Friday from Chicago to Washington for a conference promoting dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian youth. She was wearing a headscarf, or hijab.
For hygienic reasons, she asked for an unopened can of soda, she said. The flight attendant told her that she could not give her one…Ahmad questioned the flight attendant.
“We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane,” she recalled the flight attendant telling her.
Shocked, Ahmad asked other passengers if they had seen what happened.
A man sitting across the aisle turned to her and yelled, “You Muslim, you need to shut the f— up,” she said.
“I felt the hate in his voice and his raging eyes,” Ahmad wrote on Facebook while the plane was still in flight. “I can’t help but cry … because I thought people would defend me and say something. Some people just shook their heads in dismay.”
Good thing those girls in Rotherham were spared hateful voices and raging eyes. Though translated from Arabic, she is saying: I was certain this brief manifestation of white spine would cue the programming in some SJW drone, prompting them to internecine warfare on my sneering behalf.
After her Facebook post, people took to social media in support of Ahmad using the #unitedfortahera hashtag. Some pledged to boycott United.
Finally. Though the fact that this effusion of obedience occurred an entire 420 seconds after the event speaks to the inadequacy of America’s anti-racist response rate.
Suhaib Webb, a prominent Muslim American imam, tweeted, “I’m asking all of you to let @united know that you are disgusted with this bigotry.” He also tweeted a photo of a can of Diet Coke over #unitedfortahera.
In a statement, United spokesman Charles Hobart said the airline “strongly supports diversity and inclusion.”
“We and our partners do not discriminate against our employees or customers,” the statement said. “We are reaching out directly to Ms. Ahmad to get a better understanding of what occurred during the flight.”
“I’m not doing this to go after United Airlines. This is about bigotry and racism and our country is going through a very difficult time right now. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others worked so hard …” Ahmad said, breaking into tears.
You know there’s few things I enjoy more than being lectured to about our country by a Tahera Ahmad. It makes me think about my own beloved Saudi Arabian homeland and the many challenges we must overcome there also. It’s difficult emotionally. I just think about how much Dr. King wanted Mecca open to non-muslims…(Porter said, breaking into tears.)
“They (MLK et al) strove so hard so that Americans would not mistreat each other on the basis of the color of their skin or religious or ethnic background but I guess we’re still on that journey.”
The flight attendant as well as the pilot later apologized, she said.
“She said she’s working on her rude behavior and that the man (sitting across the aisle) should not have said anything,” Ahmad recalled.
That rude behavior should probably cost the stewardess a lapidation. Or at the least a hand. And white men should definitely never say anything. Their purpose is to be objects of derision, not sources. Kind of like immigration.
Though all’s well that end’s well. The recalcitrant stewardess has been enlightened as to muslim soda decrees and will never again open one unbidden. Her only excuse is that it’s not easy maintaining proper adherence to the cultures of manifold colonists. All we legacy Americans can do is take it one can at a time. Inshallah.