An American Muslim woman says she is the victim of religious discrimination after a United Airline flight attendant denied her an unopened can of Diet Coke because it could be used as a “weapon.”
In a post on her Facebook account on Saturday, Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Chicago’s Northwestern University, described how she was denied an unopened can for security reasons, while another passenger sitting next to her was freely handed one.
“She then brought the man sitting next to me a can of unopened beer,” wrote Ahmad, adding “so I asked her again why she refused to give me an unopened can of Diet Coke?”
"We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane," Ahmad recalled the flight attendant answering her.
“So I told her that she was clearly discriminating against me because she gave the man next to me an unopened can of beer.”
According to the 31-year-old woman, asking passengers to come into her defense bear no fruit and she was even told to “shut the f*** up” by a passenger.
Meanwhile, the US firm has stated that the matter was a “misunderstanding.”
"The in-flight crew met with Ms. Ahmad after the flight arrived in Washington to provide assistance and further discuss the matter,” a United Airline spokesman said on Sunday.
"Additionally, we spoke with Ms. Ahmad this afternoon to get a better understanding of what occurred and to apologize for not delivering the service our customers expect when traveling with us. We look forward to having the opportunity to welcome Ms. Ahmad back."
According to a Northwestern University news release, Ahmad has been invited to a Ramadan meal by US President Barack Obama.
The White House had invited her during last March's Women's History Month and recognized her achievements.