Thursday, December 22, 2016

Two Muslim Americans Were Removed From Delta Flight for Speaking Arabic

Two Muslim American YouTube stars who were returning home to New York after a world tour said they were removed from a Delta Air Lines flight in London on Wednesday after other passengers expressed discomfort with their presence on the plane.

Adam Saleh, 23, a filmmaker from Manhattan, and his friend Slim Albaher, 22, from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said they had been asked by the captain to leave their flight at Heathrow Airport after Mr. Saleh spoke in Arabic to his mother by phone, and he and Mr. Albaher followed up by speaking to each other in Arabic, causing alarm among British passengers on the flight.

The news was met on social media with anger at the airline industry, but also skepticism, though passengers who were on the plane when it landed in New York corroborated the men’s story. Mr. Saleh, who has more than two million subscribers on YouTube, has a history of perpetuating video hoaxes and pranks, some of them aimed at exposing stereotypes about Muslims. In his latest YouTube video, posted this month, he pretended to smuggle himself onto a plane in a suitcase. [...]

Delta said in a statement on Wednesday evening that, based on information collected so far, the two customers removed from the flight “sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting.”

“What is paramount to Delta is the safety and comfort of our passengers and employees,” the airline said. “It is clear these individuals sought to violate that priority.”

Earlier in the day, Delta said that it was taking allegations of discrimination “very seriously.”

Camilla Goodman, a spokeswoman for London’s Metropolitan Police, confirmed that two passengers had been removed from the flight and that they “didn’t do anything lawfully wrong.” They were not arrested, she said. Mr. Saleh and Mr. Albaher later boarded a Virgin flight to New York.[...]

Mr. Saleh said he had just spoken to his mother on the phone, in Arabic, to tell her when his flight would land. After the call, he and Mr. Albaher continued to speak briefly in Arabic until they were interrupted by a woman in front of them, who asked them to speak English because they were making her uncomfortable.

They did not respond aggressively, Mr. Saleh said, but told her that they were speaking Arabic and asked whether she had ever heard another language. Then, Mr. Saleh said, a man with a British accent who appeared to be traveling with the woman swore at them and said they should be “chucked” off the plane.

“At this point, me and Slim looked at each other,” Mr. Saleh said in the interview. “We didn’t know what to do. We felt like we were terrorists.”

The situation escalated, Mr. Saleh said, and other passengers joined in asking that Mr. Saleh and Mr. Albaher be kicked off the plane. Some of them mentioned Monday’s terrorist attack in Berlin, he said.

After the disturbance continued for what Mr. Saleh said was about seven minutes, the captain was summoned, and he asked that the two men leave the plane with their baggage.

At that point, Mr. Saleh started filming with his phone. He later shared the video, and others from the airport, on Twitter, where he has more than 250,000 followers.

Chris Ashford, 47, who was aboard the plane after a layover in London, said he believed that the woman had “overreacted.”

“She heard somebody speaking in Arabic and assumed the worst,” he said.

He added that while he thought Delta had acted in the interest of some of its passengers, “I do think it was heavy-handed, kicking the guy off the plane and then removing his bags.”[...]

In April, a college student was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in California when he was heard speaking Arabic, a week after a Muslim woman was asked to leave another Southwest flight when she sought to switch seats. In May, an Italian professor was removed from an American Airlines flight because another passenger was alarmed by his handwritten notes, which were in fact math equations.


  1. I'm sorry totally innocent people are being discomfited. But stories like this are good. It makes it harder for those who seek to sow terror to go about their business as usual. We are at war with a murky element and the general populace is reacting in kind, acting on murky intuitions. Touché.

  2. Adam Saleh is a well known phony and hoakster.

  3. that is true - but his version was confirmed by others on the flight. Even a phony sometimes tells the truth

  4. If the government will continue to treat this problem unrealistically, as prescribed by the liberal left, this type of situation will increase in frequency, because the people rightfully can't trust that they're being taken of in this area by the authorities. People have good reason to fear tht these muslinms might be blowing up the plane. The government must openly recognise that we have a so far uncontrolled and unvetted problem with Muslims. Until then the people will take matters into their own hands, out of fear for their lives.

  5. I have a friend who is not a terrorist. But he knows how to get under people's skins. And it gets him in trouble sometimes. He was on the subway here in the DC region several years ago. His bag was on a seat nearby, but it was not as close to him as might be expected. That is, it may have been on the seat in front of him, instead of next to him.

    A woman sitting nearby asked my friend if the bag was his. He said that it was his.

    She said something like, "Oh, good. Then it's not a possible bomb threat." Meaning, that my friend came across as non-threatening, and so did his bag, once she verified it was his bag.

    My friend, never one to to miss a logistic opportunity and a chance to rib someone he finds annoying or cloying along the way, pointed out, "And how does the bag being mine prove that it's not a bomb?"

    The woman exited the train. She reported the discussion to a subway employee. Long story short, security confiscated the bag, found one-use cameras in the bag, concluded these might be bombs, and out of an abundance of caution, or just because they could, they blew up the bag.

    Naturally, this led to a great disruption of train service and made the news.

    My point: my gut feeling is that the men removed from the train were acting a little "over the top". They didn't care about people's reactions, and probably are enjoying the attention. Even if they didn't exquisitely plan the prank.

  6. Let's drop the PC garbage and acknowledge that none of us wants to be on a plane with someone likely to believe that it is his religious duty to crash the plane, killing all infidels on board.

  7. Speaking Arabic is not a crime, and people who speak Arabic have every right to fly on planes as well. If someone is engaging in suspicious behavior, by all means subject them to more careful security. But throwing people off planes because they speak Arabic is not only wrong, but likely to engender even greater hatred of the West.

  8. Which radical Muslim lovers confirmed his story?

  9. please take the trouble to read the article

  10. the article I posted clearly states that. But it also says the facts were confirmed by other people on the flight.

  11. Delta says he lied

  12. What is your intent with posting this article?

  13. I'm not saying they should be kicked off the plane, but this "oh poor me" thing many of them do when they arouse suspicion is so disgusting. Many of them lack even the slightest bit of self-awareness.

    If Jews people were blowing themselves up in the middle of restaurants, crashing airliners, driving trucks into crowds, and basically terrorizing and murdering non-Jews in every way imaginable in every corner of the earth and on an almost daily basis, I would ASSUME strangers who found out I'm Jewish would be wary of me, and I would do everything I could to make them feel like I was not a threat. I would also keep a low profile rather than trying to upset everyone (That last part is something I already do)

    People aren't trying to harm Muslims. This isn't about Muslims, it's about safety. And it's a FACT that Muslims are often safety hazards.

  14. The benefit of the doubt here goes to the airline 100 percent. His prior behaviour undermines his credibility. He is looking for attention.

  15. Obama backstabs Israel

  16. plenty of later articles claiming otherwise.

    Delta said that 20 passengers complained about Adam before he was kicked off the 9am flight
    Delta confirmed that Saleh had been removed from the flight after 20 passengers complained.

    He was questioned by police and later caught a flight with a different airline after creating a social media meltdown in which he urged followed to “#BoycottDelta”.

    There have been conflicting eye-witness accounts, with one passenger telling the New York Times that a woman “overreacted” after Saleh spoke Arabic.

    But two others have come forward to allege Saleh was removed from the flight because he was creating a disturbance.

    Roderick J. Edens, who claimed his boyfriend was sitting in the seat directly in front of Saleh and his friend Slim Albaher wrote on Facebook: “The entire thing was planned.

    “He wasn’t on the phone with his mom speaking Arabic,’ he added, posting a picture of his boyfriend’s boarding pass.

    “He and his friends were shouting in Arabic with their fists balled up in the air.

    “They were removed from the plane for being loud and disruptive…. then started filming claiming they were victims.

  17. more people seem to have confirmed that they were removed because they were disruptive.


  19. Most violent crime against women is committed by men. Are ALL men "safety hazards"? Should women view ALL men with suspicion?

  20. Didn't see that most people have confirmed that. It is clear that the original issue is that they were speaking Arabic and that got people upset. Whether they responded in a docile fashion when this happened is another story.

  21. again the complaint of the passengers were based on the fact that he was speaking Arabic. Their objection to that produced a response.
    It sounds like "you hit me back first". If there were no complaints about them speaking Arabic there would have been no disturbance

  22. Yes - women should be cautious around strange men who have the ability to harm them.

  23. Yes certainly, unless they have adequate reason for thinking otherwise.

  24. The title of the article says they were kicked off the plane for speaking Arabic. They were kicked off for being disruptive. Maybe things started when they were speaking Arabic, or maybe there is more to the whole story. The article you posted is irresponsible journalism.

  25. Disagree with your claim that it is irresponsible. No evidence has been presented that the issue wasn't because they were speaking Arabic and they weren't willing to accept the objections of some passengers to the Arabic

  26. A related story of unprovoked assault on a muslim woman in America for "not speaking English".

  27. and the story of the Italian math professor being expelled because passengers objected to his writing equations?

  28. I don't want to be on a plane where someone harasses a fellow passenger and her three children and husband, either.


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