Tahera Ahmad, 31, was travelling in United Airlines flight when she asked the flight attendant for a can of Diet Coke. The attendant brought her an opened can of Diet Coke. Due to hygienic reasons, Tahera Ahmad asked for an unopened can of Coke. She was told by the flight attendant that she cannot give her an unopened can of Coke due to the policy of the airline.
But the attendant did handover an unopened can of beer to the man seated nearby and this triggered the question by Tahera on why she was not given unopened can of Coke while the man was given an unopened can of beer?
Tahera recalls the answer of the flight attendant as
We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane
Tahera Ahmad told the flight attendant that she is committing discrimination against her, the flight attendant opened the beer can for the man. Tahera Ahmad was told that she was not given an unopened can because she could use it as a weapon.
It’s so you don’t use it as a weapon
Tahera was shocked and asked other passengers if they were watching all that was happening to her but to her surprise no one bothered to raise voice against this discrimination rather a man who was sitting across the aisle shouted at her
You Muslim, you need to shut the f—- up
She was shocked and asked
The man looked her in the eyes and uttered the following
Yes, you know you would use it as a weapon. So shut the f— up
Tahera Ahmad wrote on her Facebook status that
I felt the hate in his voice and his raging eyes
I can’t help but cry… because I thought people would defend me and say something. Some people just shook their heads in dismay
— Hanif J. Williams (@HanifJWilliams) May 30, 2015
People saw the Facebook post of Tahera Ahmad and started to use hashtag #unitedfortahera and some of them even pledged to boycott United Airlines. Suhaib Webb who is a prominent Muslim American Imam has tweeted
I’m asking all of you to let @united know that you are disgusted with this bigotry
In addition he posted can of Diet Coke along with the hashtag #unitedfortahera
After the hashtag went viral, the United spokesman Charles Hobart said that United Airline strong supports diversity and inclusion.
We and our partners do not discriminate against our employees or customers. We are reaching out directly to Ms. Ahmad to get a better understanding of what occurred during the flight.
We are also discussing the matter that Ms. Ahmad describes with Shuttle America, our regional partner that operated that flight. We look forward to speaking with Ms. Ahmad and hope to have the opportunity to welcome her back
The power of social networks, we’re stronger together pic.twitter.com/o3BQDJHRh6
— McBaŋɠ (@TheMcBang) May 30, 2015
#unitedfortahera whoa man!!! A Muslim woman with an unopened diet coke can?!?!?!?!? Such terrorism! Much danger! Zero calories!!!
— ♛ shahreen ♛ (@shahreeeeen) May 30, 2015
Tahera said that she has not been contacted from the Airline yet and she was of the opinion that
I’m not doing this to go for 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…
They 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
Tahera Ahmad told that the flight attendant and pilot later apologized
She said she’s working on her rude behavior and that the man (who shouted at Tahera) should not have said anything
Tahera Ahmad was born in India and grew up in Morton Grove, Illinois and back in 2013, Tahera sparked outrage in Islamic conservatives after becoming the first woman to recite Holy Quran in Islamic Society of North America convention that took place in Washington. This event is the nation’s largest Muslim gathering according to Northwestern University.
Last year, Tahera Ahmad was recognized by the White House as leading Muslim female in the United States and she has even attended a Ramadan dinner hosted by President of the United States, Barak Obama.