Middle East studies in the News
Muslim Professor Says Southwest Removed Her Because of Prejudice, Not Dog Allergy [on Anila Daulatzai]
by Christopher Brennan
A Muslim professor forcibly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight says that prejudice against her, not a dog allergy, is what prompted her ordeal.
Anila Daulatzai, who teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art, was seen in a viral video last Tuesday being pulled and pushed off of a plane in Baltimore.
She repeatedly asked officers not to touch and said that they had ripped her pants before leaving the aircraft.
Southwest said afterwards that it was "disheartened" by the incident, but claimed that the then-unidentified woman on the plane had said she had a life-threatening dog allergy.
Daulatzai refuted that in a statement from her lawyer Arjun Sethi on Wednesday night, which said that police "humiliated her for the world to see in a now viral video."
The professor, who the statement says is pregnant with her first child, was going to see her sick father on the West Coast, and allegedly told the flight crew about her dog allergy after seeing two canines near her.
Daulatzai says that her condition is not life-threatening, however, and that she and the attendants came to a solution by changing her seat to the back of the plane.
A Southwest employee soon asked her to leave the plane, she said, adding that she was never asked for the medical certificate that the airline claims it asked of her.
Beyond her torn pants and losing time in route to her family, Daulatzai said that officers made racist remarks about immigrants that have continued after news of her story with hate mail to her home.
"Professor Daulatzai was profiled, abused, interrogated, detained, and subjected to false reporting and the trauma of racist, vitriolic public shaming precisely because she is a woman, a person of color, and a Muslim," her lawyer's statement reads.
The expectant mother was also charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, counts that her statement says have "no merit."
It was not immediately clear whether Daulatzai planned on filing suit against Southwest or the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.
When reached on Thursday, Southwest told the Daily News that it had publicly apologized to the passenger and had made multiple attempts to contact her.
It repeated that its reports said Daulatzai told staff about a life-threatening allergy.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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