A Muslim man was asked to deboard a US airliner after a passenger heard him speaking in Arabic on his mobile phone.
According to The Independent, the incident took place in April this year when 26-year-old Berkeley graduate Khairuldeen Makhzoomi suffered the ordeal at Los Angeles Airport.
After finding his seat on the plane, Makhzoomi called up his uncle in Baghdad, and told him how excited he was to ask a question to UN secretary general Ban ki Moon during a dinner.
Before hanging up the phone, he bid him goodbye while uttering the Arabic equivalent of ‘Inshallah’, which means ‘God willing’.
Meanwhile, he noticed a woman staring at him.
A guy came to him with two police officers within two minutes, and asked him to get off the plane, Makhzoomi told CNN.
An agent from the airline escorted him outside and enquired why he spoke in Arabic at a time of ‘political climate’ prevailing today.
“The US is the land of freedom. People respect the rule of law. How could people be humiliated like this? That was the real shock,” he told The Independent.
Makhzoomi came to the US in 2010 as a legal refugee with his older sister.
He was not allowed to reboard the Oakland-bound plane, and was granted full refund of his fare. He later booked another flight with Delta.