Stop Training Pilots with Anti-Muslim, Sexist Textbook

Target: Kent Parrish, president of the California Flight Academy

Goal: End use of flight textbook that contains anti-Muslim and sexist imagery

It recently came to light that a San Diego, California flight school uses a textbook to train pilots that contains very Islamophobic and misogynistic images. The inclusion of such images in an instruction manual can create a hostile environment for any women and Muslims who choose to take lessons from this school. Demand that the flight academy immediately discontinue use of this offensive textbook.

The California Fight Academy out of San Diego uses an instructional manual called “Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot.” Recently, attention was called to a number of offensive images contained in the manual. One of these images is of a woman flight attendant dressed in a revealing uniform, asking suggestively “Coffee, tea, or…?” in the section devoted to explaining flight attendant requirements. The other image is of a man in a Middle Eastern scarf called a keffiyeh holding a Qur’an and a knife saying “Allah is great… Life sucks!” in the section explaining weapon regulations on airplanes.

These images are entirely unprofessional and serve to perpetuate bigoted stereotypes of women and Muslims. Sign the petition below to demand that the California Flight Academy ends its use of this textbook immediately.


Dear President Parrish,

I am writing you today about a manual your flight school uses to train pilots-to-be. A number of very problematic things about this textbook have recently come to my attention. Because of this, I urge you to discontinue use of the manual at your school immediately.

The textbook in question is the 9th edition of a manual called “Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot” and is written by Richie Lengel. This book contains two offensive images that we know of, both on page 308. First, it contains a sexist image of a flight attendant suggestively asking “Coffee, tea, or…?”, which harkens back to the misogynistic phrase often associated with flight attendants in the past, “Coffee, tea, or me?” Secondly, in the section explaining weapons on planes, there is a racist and anti-Muslim image of a Muslim man wearing a Middle Eastern scarf and holding a Qur’an and a knife, with a speech bubble saying “Allah is great… Life sucks!” Both of these images are offensive and perpetuate harmful stereotypes about women and Muslims. Imagine how uncomfortable women and Muslims attending your school might be when they see these pictures in the books they are supposed to be learning from.

I know organizations, notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations, have already called for inquiries into your flight academy’s use of the manual, and indeed you should heed those calls and review your other textbooks to see if any others contain equally offensive material. But that does not go far enough–I demand that you immediately end the use of this bigoted material at your flight academy.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Russavia via Wikimedia Commons

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