06 May 2011

2 Muslims are taken off plane

Two Muslim religious leaders on their way to a Charlotte conference on "Islamophobia" said they were removed from a commercial flight Friday because the pilot refused to fly with them on board.

Imams Masudur Rahman, an adjunct professor of Arabic at the University of Memphis, and Mohamed Zaghloul said they and their bags were checked twice by security agents at the Memphis airport before boarding the 8:40 a.m. Delta connection Flight 5452 to Charlotte. Rahman said the plane left the gate and was taxiing to the runway when the pilot came over the intercom. "The pilot said: 'There is an issue. We need to return to the gate,'" Rahman said.

"They were screened and cleared to fly," said TSA spokesman Jon Allen in Atlanta. "The decision to deny boarding was made by the airline, not TSA." [The Herald] Read more