CHARLOTTE, N.C – For the second time in less than a week, two more Muslim religious leaders say they were not allowed to fly to Charlotte.
“What we have here is a case of blatant discrimination,” said attorney Mo Idlibi, who now represents the Imams.
On Friday, two Imams were told to get off a flight from Memphis to Charlotte after going through TSA security twice. After they boarded the flight, the pilot decided to return to the gate and the Imams were told to get off the plane. Both were allowed to take a later flight but the Imams say they never got a clear understanding of why they were asked to leave the plane in the first place.
Then on Saturday, two more Imams were prevented from boarding a flight to Charlotte for the conference on Islambaphobia. The father and son, both Imams, tried to board a flight from LaGuardia to Charlotte. The younger man, Abu Bakr Adul Latif, was initially allowed to board after passing through a security screening. However, his father, Al Amin Abdul Latif, was never allowed to get on the American Airlines flight. Later Abu Bakr Adul Latif and the other passengers were taken off the plane – apparently because of security reasons. Both Imams had cleared security more than once.
“Body frisks, excessive security checks and they were cleared every time,” said Idlibi. “Discrimination based on race, based upon national origin and religions and those are just unacceptable in our country.”
Idlibi said that he plans to seek damages in court and would like to see pilots undergo sensitivity training. He said he also wants answers.
“My clients want to know why they haven’t received any explanation from American Airlines about why this took place,” he explained.