The Pause That Refreshes

(Graphic courtesy FrontPage Mag)

By now you’ve all heard about a young Muslim woman named Tahera Ahmad, who started a guanostorm on Twitter this morning about her brutal treatment at the hands of United Airlines. It seems that a stewardess discriminated against her by refusing to let her have an unopened can of Diet Coke.

At this point, it looks like we’re in for Flying Imams Lite — there’s a boycott campaign against United being ginned up online by Muslims and their leftist allies. The airline is already groveling and salaaming and issuing profuse apologies to the world’s 7.8 octillion Muslims.

For the moment, let’s put aside the fact that (as Daniel Greenfield points out) Ms. Ahmad, in her capacity as a Muslim chaplain at Northwestern University, joined the protest in social media against honoring Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis. We’ll let The Guardian have first say:

‘No Diet Coke for You’: Islamophobia at 30,000 Feet Leads to Viral United Airlines Boycott

Muslim chaplain Tahera Ahmad’s Facebook post alleges discrimination, saying man next to her was served beer as airline says it will ‘get a better understanding’

What happens when you ask for an unopened can of Diet Coke on an airplane? If you’re a Muslim woman, according to one report, you don’t get served.

And the man sitting next to you gets an unopened can of beer just fine.

Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim chaplain at Chicago’s Northwestern University, documented these allegations from onboard a United Airlines flight this weekend in an episode that almost immediately went viral – and led to pledges to boycott the airline.

On her Facebook page, Ahmad claimed a flight attendant was “clearly discriminating against me” after she asked for an unopened of soda for hygienic reasons and says was told, “Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you.”

When the man next to her allegedly got an unopened beer can from the in-flight service, Ahmad said she was told something even more inflammatory: “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a WEAPON on the plane.”

Ahmad said her fellow passengers were of no help: “you Moslem, you need to shut the F up,” Ahmad said, in the Facebook post, that she was told by another male passenger across the aisle. “[y]es you know you would use it as a WEAPON, so shut the F up.”

There’s something fishy about this story. First of all, there’s only one account of the incident, and that’s Ms. Ahmad’s. And it’s everywhere. All the media stories are based on it.

Now, strictly speaking, it wouldn’t be discrimination to deny a Muslima an unopened can whilst allowing, say, a Hasidic rabbi to take one. It would be simple prudence, a sound counter-terrorist policy.

But airlines can’t do that, for the same reason the TSA pats down nuns and sends Granny through the naked scanner: to prove that no one is being discriminated against. That’s far, far more important than any prudent counter-terrorism policy.

So I simply don’t believe United has such a policy.

That’s one thing. Now take a look at a second account of what happened, also based on Tahera Ahmad’s social media posts but with slightly different details, from the The New York Daily News [emphasis added]:

Muslim Woman Claims United Airlines Attendant Refused Her an Unopened Can of Diet Coke Saying it Could be Used as Weapon

United Airlines has been accused of discrimination after refusing to give an unopened can of Diet Coke to a female Muslim passenger.

Tahera Ahmad said in a post on her Facebook page that the flight attendant was “clearly discriminating against me” after giving the male passenger seated next to her an unopened can of beer.

She did not respond to the Daily News’ request for comment.

Ahmad, who is the Muslim chaplain at Northwestern University, said that in the ensuing argument, one of her fellow passengers told her: “You (are) Moslem, you need to shut the f–k up.”

The alleged incident happened as she asked for the can of pop on a flight from Chicago to Washington on Friday. Ahmad was traveling to attend an interfaith event for KIDS4PEACE to promote peaceful conversations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Ahmad was given one can that had already been opened, but said she wanted an unopened can for hygienic reasons.

But she said she was told by the flight attendant: “Well, I’m sorry. I just can’t give you an unopened can, so no Diet Coke for you.”

Ahmad said she then pointed out that the man next to her had just been handed an unopened beer and told the attendant she was being discriminated against. The employee then quickly opened her neighbor’s beer can.

The flight attendant then told the passenger: “We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people, because they may use it as a weapon on the plane.”

Asking other passengers for help, she was then told to “shut the f–k up,” Ahmad claimed.

“I can’t help but cry on this plane because I thought people would defend me and say something,” she wrote in the post. “Some people just shook their heads in dismay. “#IslamophobiaISREAL”

But people on the Internet have supported her and the post had received nearly 7,000 shares as of Sunday morning. Some Twitter users pledged to boycott the airline and are sharing a picture of a can of Diet Coke with the hashtag #unitedfortahera.

United said in a statement issued Saturday night that the flight attendant on Shuttle America flight 3504 attempted “several times” to accommodate Ahmad’s request and there was an initial misunderstanding.

They also said the flight’s crew talked to her when they arrived and the company further reached out Saturday afternoon to apologize to her.

“We look forward to having the opportunity to welcome Ms. Ahmad back,” United said.

A United spokesman declined additional comment to the Daily News.

But Ahmad said in another post early Sunday morning that she was “truly disappointed” by the company’s response, which she said labeled the incident as a can of soda-specific issue and did not addressed [sic] the bias she said she encountered.

This is the important paragraph:

Ahmad said she then pointed out that the man next to her had just been handed an unopened beer and told the attendant she was being discriminated against. The employee then quickly opened her neighbor’s beer can.

I’ll go out on a limb here: I’ll bet that opening the can after the passenger takes it is standard operating procedure for the stewardesses, and probably also airline policy. You hand it to the passenger and then pop it for her once she has it firmly in hand, so that it doesn’t spill in her lap if there’s sudden turbulence.

Most likely the stewardess handed out two cans, one to the Muslima and one to the man next to her. Then she reached over and opened the Coke for Ms. Ahmad, who said, “No, I don’t want it opened.” Maybe she wanted to wipe the top with Zam-Zam water to make sure it was free of najis before she opened it. But when the stewardess refused, that’s when the trouble started.

And maybe the stewardess paused long enough before opening the man’s beer (Eww! All that horrible haram liquid! Right next to me!) for Ms. Ahmad to notice a wonderful lawfare opportunity. In any case, she immediately grabbed the Flying Imams’ playbook and started the pre-litigation process on Facebook and Twitter. And here we are.

It seems highly unlikely that United Airlines treats Muslims any differently from anyone else. Neither the suits in the head office nor the stewardesses in the plane could be that stupid. But that won’t do them any good now — they’ll probably have the tar litigated out of them for months or years to come, and have to donate who knows how many millions to “interfaith outreach programs” or “Islamic cultural centers” in the time-honored tradition of the shakedown, à la Al Sharpton.

And who knows? Maybe Muslims will get a special dispensation from now on, and be allowed to have unopened Cokes on airplanes while the rest of us have to have ours popped for us.

It would be typical of the way our oh-so-PC society avoids “discriminating” against Muslims, which is to treat them differently from everyone else, and give them privileges that no one else has.

31 thoughts on “The Pause That Refreshes

    • I think she made that up. More likely ppl around her were pretending she wasn’t there – which may have set her off. People generally do NOT act the way she described them in her “poor lil victim me” fairy tale…

      • She made it up. Just another one of every Muslim ideologue’s five a day. (Or is it seven? It’s Muslim lie speak. ) If you can’t crash the planes then try to overload and crash the system. I thought we would have had this down by now. It’s been 1400 years or so.

  1. It’s the same everywhere, that’s how it started in Europe. Always complaining, always in the victim end, always being discriminated against by the evil white man, but when they have sufficient numbers together, then it’s land under in Poland, you can be sure of that.

    We see what moslems do in Europe, how clever they organize, how patiently they wait.

    In the early 20th century, many people believed that there was a jewish cabale based on the protocols of the elders of Zion. I say, we should consider the fact that the whole mess in Europe, and their invasion of America is led by some central moslem masterminds as well. This is just not another Voelkerwanderung. This is a deliberate attempt to destroy all Germanic people

    • “…that’s how it started in Europe. Always complaining, always in the victim end.”

      In healthy societies a complaining foreigner demanding special treatment would be shown the door. You shouldn’t fault the Moslems for taking advantage of white guilt and all the free goodies that come with that. If we’re going to give the store away they’d be fools not to take us up on the offer.

      “…the whole mess in Europe, and their invasion of America is led by some central moslem masterminds as well”

      The messy invasion is not being led by Moslem masterminds, if there even is such a thing, but rather by Western elites. And it’s hard to call it an invasion when one’s own country is opening the gates and issuing mass invitations to the third world. Instead of an invasion, think of it as inviting guests to your own funeral.

      • Yes. Its another brilliant shock and awe to behold. First a right from George and then a left sucker punch from Hussein. The band plays on.

  2. I think she has a bad case of the jinns and should have brought her own camel urine to drink. And to the passenger who told it to shut the f–* up, I would very much like to buy him many beers. I will be more than happy to open each and every one of them for him.

    Jihad comes in many forms and and at the end of the day, jihad is jihad and islam truly is nasty.

  3. As Thomas Sowell says, “When you get used to preferential treatment, getting treated equally seems like discrimination.”

  4. Even if there is truth in it, so what? After all the nastiness and deaths what do they expect people who are non-Moslem to do? All this BS about “Islamophobia” is totally absurd.

    Everyone I know now in my congregation and further afield say they feel concern when one of the followers of the Religion of Fake Offence is seen on the street. They feel “Unsafe” to quote one woman and “On edge” to quote another. Given the daily doings of the last decade or so and now ISIL in Syria, a perfectly normal human and humane reaction.

    A Phobia would indeed be unnatural in such circumstances of normative fear. It never fails to surprise this Bishop that all these people seem to think “Business as usual” even as their fellows threaten, burn, rape and kill across the globe- “Hello I just killed your brother and raped your daughter but I would like a coke and a full meal right now!”

    The victim of this disgusting ideology must feel no anger, no regret, no concern, no pain, no sadness but must indeed accept quietly and submissively, even with joy their end and submission to Allah.

    These people are unnatural sociopaths like their fellows on the Left. In good oldl English argot they are nuts,- Certifiable nutcases who belong in padded cell. Even more insane is that people are wiling in their millions to go along with this narrative. Even for making such observations in UK now like this one gets one’s collar felt (nicked). As for me? Mind over matter- I don”t care and they don’t matter.

    Where before I would extend good manners and grace I now feel they have long exhausted the aforesaid to the point of insufferable rudeness and arrogance. You are no longer welcome….in my home or in my Church. Nor do I wish to see you in my field of vision as you offend me by your presence. The world is a beautiful place and England in particular and I do not want my God gifted sight polluted by the profane.

    This has nothing to do with race at all, nor even with culture. It is simply a total dislike and hatred of ideology and people who seem to have forgotten basic grace and good manners. I would have the same attitude towards the KKK and indeed any ideology that saw other humans as less than they. I do not want my mixed race children left to suffer more bad manners and be forced into clothing not of their culture.

    If these people protest on the streets in their thousands, against the killers and rapists who claim to do it in the name of Allah, my attitude would be quite the opposite. As they have not shown any desire to do so and are most unlikely to do so at any time, then you are no longer welcome in my Father’s house and Christian land. You might like to consider going on your knees and praying for forgiveness too and accepting the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  5. Well, by all means, let’s fly United!!

    If the Muzz are all boycotting it, it will be the safest airline in the sky from the threat of high-jackers and suicide bombers, er, to say nothing of its being the most hygienic.

    • Yes, bring on a total and permanent boycott of United Airlines by Muslims and watch that airline become the pre-eminent one in the USA. My first thought upon reading this was: I’ll try to favour United from now on.

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if United responded to this whinging child: “Your complaint, even if true, is trivial and laughable. We don’t care what you do in protest. We don’t care if we never have another Muslim passenger on our planes. We’ll do just fine thank you very much.”

  6. The whole story was probably fabricated.
    That would be standard operating procedure.

  7. The more of them there are, the pushier they get. And lest we forget, by the doctrine of Taqqiyeh they have not only the right but the duty to lie in any way they see to help the Ummah.
    I’m with the “STFU” gentleman.

  8. Muslim hygiene….what an utterly laughable concept!

    Daily, I drive by a river with an odor that would make most people’s stomachs turn over. But the river is flowing, and in Islam that makes it clean regardless of what you put in it!

    The personal hygiene of the soldiers is horrible. Of course they all insist on shaking hands in the morning as is their custom. Between that, and the average condition of the toilet facilities no wonder most of them and my team are sick.

    Oh yes, the average condition of the toilet facilities is perfectly described by this:

    • Hello, Rapsailwasright (related to RaSPail?).
      So flowing water is not najis. Got an aya or hadith to justify that claim? You refer to “the soldiers” and “my team”. What soldiers? What team? And what odiferous river? Your story sounds interesting but is tantalizingly incomplete.

      Ms. Tahera Ahmad is “the” Muslim chaplain at Northwestern University according to the New York Daily News, but according to the Guardian is “a” Muslim chaplain there? So Norwestern U. has multiple Muslim chaplains? How many? And how does a female become a chaplain? What seminary did she go to? When she ministers in public, is she accompanied by one of her bearded mahrams?

  9. Can’t we just adjudicate the same policy we had for Typhoid Mary (and for comparable reason: preponderant public good) and expel them till they have no demographic presence. The fact that they won’t like it any more than Mary did, is something with which we’ll just have to live.

  10. I also love the hashtag, and how the final six letters are capitalized because they *almost* spell out the name of the Ummah’s most-hated nation.

  11. Well, well, well…flying imams indeed…

    This is from some investigative reporting from Jordan Schachtel at

    They seem to be the only ones that have the guts to do the down-and-dirty *real* reporting at the outset of this sort of thing. (Remember, they were all over the Rolling Stone “rape” hoax. They also were the only ones who dug deep and called out that pig Lena Dunham for her molestation of her younger sister and the false rape accusation against that male student that were in her book. They also shamed Random House [I think it was] into scrubbing further editions of the reference to the poor guy and entering into a cash settlement that included his legal fees.)

  12. “Now, strictly speaking, it wouldn’t be discrimination to deny a Muslima an unopened can whilst allowing, say, a Hasidic rabbi to take one. It would be simple prudence, a sound counter-terrorist policy.”

    That depends on whether one’s definition of discrimination defaults to the politically correct definition: “Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice” — so deeply woven into our culture as to have become officially #3 in the American Heritage English dictionary (though, of course, refreshingly absent from the halcyon 1913 Webster’s definition). If one refuses to presume the politically correct definition and instead presumes the saner definitions — “1. The act of discriminating (further clarified by looking up discriminating to find “Able to recognize or draw fine distinctions; perceptive”)” and “2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment” — one sees that to profile Muslims qua Muslims is, in fact, to be discriminating in the finest, aptest, most exquisitely incorrect sense.

    Granted all of the above, however, one could go further and say that even the politically correct definition — “Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice” — comports just fine with our security concerns; for indeed we should be treating and considering Muslims as a class or category rather than as individuals. We should be prejudiced against them — in the sense of pre-judging them to be a security risk on a macro scale simply because their culture of taqiyya and terrorism in the service of a supremacist expansionism energizing an actual violent war they are waging against us now, coupled with their numbers, and with the complexity of our societies given our bustling freedoms and cultivation of diversity, all render our security needs incapable of the fine-tuned casuistry that would try anxiously to treat each Muslim as an individual.

    Incapable, that is, if we focus on our #1 priority: protecting our societies from horrific terror attacks in the coming years and decades.

  13. The most disturbing thing here is that, just like CNN putting a (criminal) suspect unreliable witness (Dorian Johnskn) on TV, these “news” articles do doing that even high school kids can learn in a high school journalism class.

    We’ve heard nothing from any other witness to the situation and nothing to suggest any investigation into the background of the witness.

    The Internet has enabled a new kind of large scale mob lynching, and the people who are supposed to have learned about journalism in journalism school seem to be totally unable to apply what they should have learned.

    Baron, normally I’d say all the speculation seems out of line but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be any worse than typical modern standards for “professional” journalism. Then only difference between your open speculation and what professional journalists write is that the professionals come up with speculation, assume that their assumptions are true, then proceed to write something based on those assumptions without ever explicitly stating them.

    Journalism is now about doing your best to appear professional without actually being professional.

    To anyone who doesn’t believe me: Go into the office of a college newspaper, tell them you want to volunteer, then when they ask you about journalism mention that you’ve learned about cognitive bias (without using the term “political”) and issues of reporters making assumptions and writing around those assumptions without explicitly stating them, etc. See what happens after that.

  14. I got interrupted in the middle of typing that first paragraph. It should read:

    The most disturbing thing here is that, just like CNN putting a (criminal) suspect unreliable witness (Dorian Johnson) on TV, these “news” articles seem to be written by people who are doing none of the things that even high school kids learn to do in a high school journalism class.

  15. I wish all Muslims would boycott Western Civilization entirely.

    Enjoy the imitation Islamic diet sodas in the lands of the Ummah.

  16. Opened cans are the norm, and I have yet to be able to get one unopened. They will give you a complimentary wipe with a prophylactic if the can is dirty before opening, however.

    The beer thing is a bit fishy and also a grey area since alcohol costs money on a plane and has to be purchased, so its typically handled differently, at least for the 40 or so times I’ve flown on business.

  17. Upon boarding a plane, we should all be issued water pistols, that appear 2nd Amendment-genuine.

    • Interesting idea, but it’s a bit unclear what that’s supposed to accomplish except maybe confusing the Air Marshal.

  18. “I’ll go out on a limb here: I’ll bet that opening the can after the passenger takes it is standard operating procedure for the stewardesses, and probably also airline policy.”

    — FWIW, I was on a United flight several days ago, and when I asked for tomato juice, no ice, I got the whole unopened can, which I opened myself. I can’t say any more about United policy since I don’t fly a lot (and it’s usually a different airline when I do). But my experience is that I’ll either get a glass poured for me, or a can that I open myself. It seems unlikely that someone would hand you the can and than grab it again to open it (especially if it requires reaching across another passenger or two).

    That said, I don’t believe the Muslima’s story about discrimination in beverage treatment — much less her tale about being cursed by other passengers. If perhaps one person said something vaguely along those lines, it was because she was being obnoxious.

    • Maybe she was ticked off when she saw me in my
      “We Are All Betty Ong” t-shirt.

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