Berkeley Student Kicked Off Southwest Flight For Speaking Arabic (VIDEO)

A 26-year-old University of California, Berkeley student is accusing Southwest Airlines of discrimination after he was kicked off a flight because an ignorant passenger claimed he was making terroristic threats in Arabic.

Khairuldeen Makhzoomi and his family came to the USA after his father, an Iraqi diplomat, was killed under Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2002. He and his family fled to Jordan and lived there until the United States granted them asylum. Unfortunately, he has now experienced what it is like to live in a country that is filled with Islamaphobia thanks to the constant fear mongering from the right.

Makhzoomi said that he was speaking to his uncle on the phone before his flight took off and telling him about an even he attended the night before with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

“At the end of my call I said, ‘Inshallah, I will call you,’ and he was like, ‘Call me when you get home.’ I was like ‘Inshallah, Inshallah,’ which means God willing.”

He said that after he hung up with his uncle another passenger was staring at him suspiciously. “She kept staring at me and I didn’t know what was wrong,” he explained. “Then I realized what was happening and I just was thinking ‘I hope she’s not reporting me.’” A few minutes later he was escorted from the plane after the woman claimed she’d heard him say “martyr” in Arabic.

The student says that after he was humiliated and kicked off the flight, security searched him and the FBI spoke to him. He also says that Southwest denied him service. All because some imbecile misunderstood his language.

The airline defended their actions in a statement, saying:

“Prior to gate departure of Flight 4260, our Flight Crew decided to investigate potentially threatening comments made onboard our aircraft. Based upon the reported comments and further discussion, our Flight Crew made the decision to deny boarding to this Customer…We wouldn’t remove passengers from flights without a collaborative decision rooted in established procedures.”

Makhzoomi is rightfully angry and expressed his frustration about the fear that has gripped this country.

“This is what Islamaphobia has gotten this country into,” Makhzoomi said. “Anyone can report anyone.”


Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, fear of Muslims has spread through our country like a plague. And if it were even possible, it seems to have gotten worse in the last year with Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican nomination fanning the flames. The GOP frontrunner is whipping his supporters into a frenzy with ideas of banning all Muslims, opening internment camps and forcing them to carry IDs. This constant flow of hate is causing a rise in hate crimes and incidents like this. This bigotry goes against everything this country was built upon, but don’t expect Trump’s “poorly educated” voters to admit that.

As for this latest example of Islamaphobia, Makhzoomi says he just wants an apology:

“All I need is an apology to say, ‘We are sorry we singled you out because [of] one person who felt threatened.’”

Watch a report about the incident below:

Featured image via Facebook