Since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, the unlawful profiling of airline passengers on the basis of race or religion has become disturbingly common in the US, according to an American Muslim advocacy group.
Within the past six months alone, eleven racial and religious profiling incidents against Muslim passengers have been reported, including five since April 1, said Muslim Advocates, a legal advocacy and educational organization based in Oakland, California.
Passengers have recently been removed from flights for, among other reasons, speaking Arabic, completing a math equation that was mistaken for a terror plot, or “staring at” a flight attendant, the group said.
In each case, police and airline officials eventually concluded that the individuals posed no threat to the airline or its passengers.
“These incidents and countless others not only violate federal law, but also send a message to victims that they are second-class passengers,” it said.
“Muslims and people of color – like all other law-abiding travelers – should be able to travel for any purpose without being discriminated against because of their appearance or personal religious beliefs,” the group noted.
Muslim Advocates and the NAACP civil rights group have formally requested that the US Department of Transportation take action to address the profiling of Muslims, people of color, and persons perceived to be either by US airlines.
Islamophobia has recently spiked in the US following the recent mass shootings in California and Paris.
Anti-Islam rhetoric has also hit the US presidential election of 2016, with GOP candidate Donald Trump creating a furor in the country and around the world by proposing a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims" entering the US.
“These events are designed to insert hatred of Muslims into the unconscious minds…of the public and unfortunately they're working,” Dr. Kevin Barrett, a founding member of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance, told Press TV.