Fire Airline Official for Refusing to Give Soda Can to Muslim Passenger

Target: Jeff Smisek, President of United Airlines

Goal: Fire flight attendant who reportedly refused to give a drink to a Muslim woman because she could use it as a weapon.

A Muslim woman reports that she was denied an unopened can of soda by a United Airlines flight attendant because she could use it as a weapon, even though other people on the plane who were not Muslim were given unopened cans. Such willful discrimination cannot be tolerated. Demand that, if an internal investigation reveals that the allegations are true, the flight attendant be fired without delay.

Tahera Ahmad reports that during beverage service on a recent flight, she was offered an opened can of soda but turned it down and requested an unopened one instead for sanitary reasons. She says that the flight attendant refused to do that, telling Ahmad “No Diet Coke for you.” After Ahmad saw her give an unopened can of beer to the man sitting next to her, she asked why he was allowed an unopened can and she was not.

According to Ahmad, the flight attendant answered her with “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane.” When Ahmad asked others around her on the plane if they noticed this blatant discrimination, she says that a man across the aisle from her told her “You Muslim, you need to shut the f— up. Yes you know you would use it as a weapon so shut the f— up.”

A formal complaint has been registered with the airline and the case will be looked into, but United needs to know that this kind of behavior on the part of its employees cannot be allowed. Sign the petition below to demand that the flight attendant in question be fired if the complaint is found to be real.


Dear President Smisek,

I am writing you today regarding an alleged incident that recently took place on one of your flights where a Muslim woman was discriminated against by a flight attendant for no reason but her religion. This news is extremely disappointing.

With Islamophobia and anti-Muslim suspicion already such fixtures in airports around the country, I am dismayed to learn that your airline apparently does nothing to counter these prejudices. Officials’ responsibility should be to break down the stereotypes that lead to this culture of anti-Muslim suspicion, not reinforce them.

Muslims are no more and no less likely than those of any other group to be terrorists. There is no justifiable reason to discriminate against them and prevent them from having a drink during a flight just because they are Muslim.

I am pleased to learn that a formal complaint process has been initiated with your airline regarding this incident. I demand that the flight attendant, if the complaints leveled against her are found to be true, be fired from your airline without delay.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Zharif the Future Surgeon’s

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