Tahera Ahmad refused an unopened can of coke as it may be used as a weapon.

By Hasnae May

A university-based interfaith director was discriminated against onboard a United Airline flight last Friday.

Tahera Ahmad, Director of Interfaith Engagement and Associate Chaplain at Northwestern University in Illinois, was refused an unopened can of coke as it may be used as a weapon, said a flight attendant.



Ahmad was travelling from Chicago to Washington for a conference promoting dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian youth.

Ahmad asked the flight attendant for an unopened can of coke only to be to told it may be used as a weapon. Shortly after, a man beside Ahmad received an unopened can of beer.

Ahmad posted on her Facebook page that she couldn’t help but cry because she thought people would defend her and “say something”.

After the incident many took to social media to show solidarity using the hashtag unitedfortahera.

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Ahmad was appalled by the flight attendants behaviour and asked passengers around her if they had witnessed the ‘discriminatory and disgusting behavior’.

Ahmad in her Facebook post mentioned, ‘the man sitting in an aisle across from me yelled out to me, “you Moslem, you need to shut the f** up.” I said, “what?!” He then leaned over from his seat, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “yes you know you would use it as a WEAPON so shut the f**k up.” I felt the hate in his voice and his raging eyes.’

If you have been discriminated against, contact us at hasnae@manydifferentmuslims.com and share your story.