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Muslim claims islamophobia is reason he was kicked off American flight for speaking Aribic on the phone. Turns out passenger who reported him speaks Aribic and knew exactly what he was saying

Muslim claims islamophobia is reason he was kicked off American flight for speaking Aribic on the phone. Turns out passenger who reported him speaks Aribic and knew exactly what he was saying

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Conor Shine | Dallas Morning News

A Southwest Airlines passenger who overheard a college student’s conversation also spoke Arabic and perceived the comments to be threatening, according to a new Southwest Airlines statement released Monday afternoon.

The new detail sheds light on the removal of 26-year-old Khairuldeen Makhzoomi from an Oakland-bound flight earlier this month. His removal from Flight 4620 gained national attention over the weekend following a story published in The Daily Californiannewspaper.

Makhzoomi, an Iraqi refugee and senior at the University of California Berkeley, was removed from an April 6 flight from Los Angeles to Oakland after another passenger told crew she overheard “potentially threatening comments.” Makhzoomi’s comments came during a conversation with his uncle.

Southwest said its crew’s response followed company protocol and federal law, which requires “potential threats to civil aviation” be investigated and reported to law enforcement.

One new detail revealed in the statement is that the woman who overheard Makhzoomi’s comments, which came during a phone conversation with his uncle, also spoke Arabic.

 “It was the content of the passenger’s conversation, not the language used, that prompted the report leading to our investigation,” Southwest said in its statement. “Once the report was made, an Arabic-speaking Southwest Manager at LAX participated in the decision to request the passenger leave the aircraft and continue the conversation in the gate area.”

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