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Southwest: Muslim Woman Dragged From Flight Sues

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A woman who was dragged off a Southwest Airlines flight in September says her removal from the flight had nothing to do with allergies or safety concerns. Instead, she alleges that she was booted from the flight because she was a woman of color and a Muslim.

On September 29, Anila Daulatzai was forcibly removed from a Southwest Airlines aircraft at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The airline claimed that Daulatzai, a college professor, complained of having a life-threatening allergy to dogs and asked for the dogs to be removed from the plane.

Southwest said that as Daulatzai did not have the medical certificate necessary for her to continue with the flight, she was asked by the flight crew to leave the aircraft. Law enforcement became involved after Daulatzai refused to deplane.

However, a statement issued by Daulatzai's lawyers on her behalf says that contrary to the Southwest statement and various media reports, Daulatzai never asked for the dogs to be removed from the plane.

She also did not request an EpiPen, nor did she ever claim that her allergies were life-threatening. The lawyers added that Daulatzai was never asked for medical certification by the airline.

Despite finding a seat comfortably distant from the animals, Daulatzai was later asked to leave the plane and forcibly removed.

"..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," Daulatzai's lawyers stated.

According to the lawyers, Daulatzai's mistreatment was particularly distressing as she is pregnant with her first child.

"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," according to the statement issued by her lawyers.

Since the ordeal, Daulatzai has received hate mail, including racist messages and threats of further violence. Following an attempted break in, she has left her home, fearing for her safety.

In response, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police said in a statement, "Despite her clear attempt to resist a law enforcement officer, Ms. Daulatzai was professionally removed from the aircraft within the guidelines of the MDTA Police."

by RTT Staff Writer

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