CAIR: San Diego Muslim Removed from Southwest Airlines Flight

Mar 15, 2011, 19:32 ET from Council on American-Islamic Relations

SAN DIEGO, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, March 16, the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) will hold a news conference with a Muslim passenger removed without explanation from a Southwest Airlines flight on Sunday.

At the news conference, CAIR-San Diego will call for an investigation of the incident and an apology to the Muslim traveler.

WHAT: CAIR-San Diego News Conference with Muslim Removed from Southwest Flight

WHEN: Wednesday, March 16, 11 a.m. (Pacific)

WHERE: Curbside on east end of Terminal 1 (by running man statue), San Diego International Airport, 325 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. [NOTE: Media vans are permitted to park curbside by the Running Man statue. As a reminder, media are not allowed to leave their vehicles unattended at any time.]

CONTACT: CAIR San Diego Public Relations Director Edgar Hopida, 619-913-0719 or 858-278-4547, E-Mail:

The Muslim graduate student was reportedly removed from the flight from San Diego to San Jose, Calif., because a member of the crew said the woman, who wears an Islamic head scarf, was "suspicious." No explanation for the removal was given except for a reference to a flight attendant claiming she overheard the phrase "it's a go" in the passenger's cell phone conversation while waiting to take off. (The Muslim passenger reports that what she really said was, "I've got to go.") The woman believes she was viewed as suspicious because of her perceived religion and ethnicity.

"We believe the main factors that led to this traveler being humiliated in front of other passengers were her religious attire and her South Asian heritage," said CAIR San Diego Public Relations Director Edgar Hopida.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT: CAIR San Diego Public Relations Director Edgar Hopida, 619-913-0719 or 858-278-4547, E-Mail:; CAIR San Diego Executive Director Hanif Mohebi, 858-774-9991, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, or 202-488-8787, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail:

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations