Muslim-American shown being dragged off US flight in viral video claims racial profiling

'Police dragged her through aisle with torn pants, humiliated her for world to see in viral video," says lawyer

News Desk October 05, 2017

A professor, who was dragged off a Southwest Airline flight by US law enforcement on September 26, is claiming to be a victim of sexism, racial profiling and police brutality, Business Insider said.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Anila Daulatzai’s attorney said the incident was “especially distressing” since the woman is pregnant with her first child.

The said incident, captured and shared on social media, occurred during a flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles where Daulatzai asked airline staff to remove dogs from the plane citing “life-threatening pet allergies” – which the attorney now claims were ‘not’ deadly.

2017 could be the worst year for American-Muslims: report

The airline, however, required her to show a medical certificate. "Our policy states that a customer (without a medical certificate) may be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction and cannot travel safely with an animal onboard," a Southwest representative told Business Insider. "Our flight crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.”

Unable to provide a medical certificate, Daulatzai was forcibly removed from the plane by Maryland Transportation Authority and taken into custody. The Los Angeles Times reported that she was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer and resisting arrest, said Lt Kevin Ayd of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

The civil rights lawyer Arjun S Sethi, representing Daulatzai, however, disputes the account narrative by Southwest. The official statement reads that the 46-year-old had informed airline employees of the allergy and together they had decided to seat her away from the animals.

"Contrary to the Southwest statement and various media reports, Professor Daulatzai never asked for the dogs to be removed from the plane, did not request an EpiPen, nor did she ever claim that her allergies were life-threatening," the statement said.

Video of man harassing Muslim family in the US goes viral

Sethi added that once Daulatzai took her seat at the back, she was approached by Southwest staff with more questions. He insists that his client was not asked for a medical certificate.

"Despite trying to convince the crew that she would be completely fine on the plane, she was asked by another Southwest representative to leave the plane. Shortly thereafter the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled her from her seat by her belt loop, dragged her through the aisle exposed with torn pants, and humiliated her for the world to see in a now viral video," said Sethi. "The Maryland Transportation Authority Police later disparaged her, accused her of lying about her pregnancy, and made racist remarks about immigrants. They also handed her a list of criminal charges, which have no merit.”

According to LA Times, Daulatzai, a social-cultural anthropologist, currently teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art and previously was a visiting assistant professor at Harvard Divinity School.

In the viral video, she repeatedly tells the police that she is a professor travelling for her father's surgery while she is being forcefully removed.

Watch the video here:


Shakeel A. | 6 years ago | Reply No its not discrimination in the least sense. She has to prove her claim on being sick. No proof = did not happen.
Mohammed mirza | 6 years ago | Reply This is discrimination towards Muslims.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ