Student Thrown Off Flight After Passenger Heard Him Say ‘God Willing’ in Arabic

So once again people from The World’s Most Frightened Country (C) fully overreacted to nothing. One of the 230 million people worldwide who speak Arabic happened to be on an airplane and happened to use one of the most common expressions in his language.

Hilarity ensued. Bigoted, frightened, discriminatory hilarity, in keeping with the American Way.

UC Berkeley student Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, 26, above, whose family fled Iraq in 2002 after his diplomat father was killed under Saddam Hussein’s regime, was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight and questioned by the FBI after another passenger heard him speaking Arabic. Makhzoomi was flying home from attending a dinner at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon when he stopped to make a call to an uncle.

Makhzoomi explained he was talking on the phone with his uncle and, as he said goodbye, he used the phrase “inshallah,” which translates as “if God is willing.” The student said that after hung up, he noticed a female passenger looking at him who then got up and left her seat.

Moments later an airport employee made Makhzoomi step off the plane into the arms of security officers. Makhzoomi was told the woman thought he said “Shahid,” meaning martyr. Because in-shal-lah and sha-hid sound the same, at least to a dumb ass who speaks no apparent Arabic and likely learned the term shahid when it was last mispronounced on AM talk radio.

The student was told he would not be allowed to get back on the plane. Security officers searched his bag again, asked him if he had any other luggage he was keeping “secret,” and publicly felt around his genital area and asked him if he was hiding a knife.

“The way they searched me and the dogs, the officers, people were watching me and the humiliation made me so afraid because it brought all of these memories back to me,” Makhzoomi said. “I escaped Iraq because of the war, because of Saddam and what he did to my father.”

Makhzoomi said the FBI questioned him about his family, and about his phone call and what he knew about martyrism. The FBI informed Makhzoomi that Southwest would not fly him home. He later booked a flight on another airline, arriving home nine hours later than expected.

According to Southwest Airlines, the student was removed because crew members decided to “investigate potentially threatening comments made onboard our aircraft.”

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. Reprinted from the his blog with permission.

10 thoughts on “Student Thrown Off Flight After Passenger Heard Him Say ‘God Willing’ in Arabic”

  1. Better not talk about Belgium or Molenbeek on the phone. Every subject more complex than football or the Kardashian woman’s ass can be interpreted as saying “Jehova” next to a stoning mob.

  2. People don’t like Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric but his Islamophobia is just a symptom of the disease. He is just a reflection, mirroring America back at them. Khairuldeen sure looks scary. I could see why the lady was so scared. She and his persecutors need a dog treat and then maybe they will grow a spine like Shaggy and Scooby!

  3. Most comments on yahoo news are supportive of the airline actions and blaming the student.This reminds me of during Iraq invasion of Kuwait some “Iraqi looking student” were assaulted by patriotic Americans on some university campus ,but the students happened to be actually Kuwaitis?

  4. It is quite likely that the women was not ignorant but a sadist bigot. Why is no one investigating her, and whether she received any money from the Islomphobia Inc.

  5. Obviously “multiculturalism” has consequences no one allowed for. The idea of killing folks in the middle east and them flooding the invading countries with the defeated refugees lacks foresight. Maybe if we weren’t supporting military actions against 7 sovereign nations terrorism wouldn’t be such a problem and media wouldn’t be making the average person paranoid to the point of silliness about foreigners.

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