Muslim Women: JetBlue Kicks Women Off Flight For 'Staring' At Flight Attendant

Xander Deccio

Two Muslim women in Islamic dress were removed from a JetBlue flight in Los Angeles after they were accused of "staring" at a flight attendant. Police were called to JetBlue flight 487 on Saturday after the plane landed, and the women were escorted off the plane. Fellow passengers recorded the incident, which happened on the JetBlue flight leaving Boston and arriving in Los Angeles.

JetBlue flight attendants accused the women of "staring" at a flight attendant and filming the opening safety briefing that is given before the plane takes off.

Passengers on the JetBlue flight recorded the incident that took place between the Muslim women and JetBlue staff on board. Some footage of the transpired event was posted by former Wired journalist and editor Mark Frauenfelder, whose friend Sharon Kessler was a passenger on the flight. Kessler stated in a Facebook post cited by Frauenfelder that she "overheard a JetBlue flight attendant tell a co-worker casually that she didn't like the way two Muslim women were staring back at her."

Kessler also stated, "It was a terrible moment, honestly. These women sat quietly, watched movies -- it felt like overkill from this flight attendant."

Jetblue has denied that the women were escorted off the plane due to their religious beliefs and stated that they were simply paying "due diligence" to security purposes.

According to MSN JetBlue issued a statement regarding the event.

"This happened on arrival at LAX and did not impact the customers more than they had to wait a couple of seconds before getting off the plane. My understanding is that the two women who were addressed by local law enforcement were also allowed to go on their way."

JetBlue also stated the following.

"More than 35 million customers from many cultures and backgrounds travel on JetBlue without incident each year," according to the statement. "Our crew members' first priority is the safe and secure operation of our flights, and as a security precaution, are asked to be aware of anyone who may be filming or taking photographs of inflight procedures or the flight deck area. If a crew member believes a customer may be filming safety procedures, the crew member may report it for further review."

Saturday's JetBlue flight is not the first involving discrimination of Muslims on airlines. In June of last year, Northwestern University chaplain Tahera Ahmad was discriminated on a United Airlines flight after she requested and was denied an unopened can of Diet Coke as the flight attendant thought she would use it as a weapon.

In an interview with the Intercept, Ahmad told of her experiences of being discriminated by airlines for being Muslim.

"Since 9/11, I've experienced discrimination many times. I've been spat on, had my hijab pulled off, been detained for hours by the TSA and missed speaking engagements in front of hundreds of people.... This is not about a can of soda, it's about an environment which is encouraging people to be demeaning, bigoted and hurtful."

The JetBlue incident also comes after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview that Islam hates the U.S. Trump in recent months has been very discriminative towards Muslims, wherein many of his speeches he has made racist comments. In December of last year, Trump made comments that Muslims should not enter the United States. CNN pointed out that Trump was "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

[Photo by Alison Joyce/Getty Images]