Well-known YouTube vlogger Adam Saleh is known for his comedic personality that loves to provide pranks to the public for their viewing (and laughing) pleasure. But recently, he and a friend found themselves in a very different situation.
According to Saleh, he and a friend were ejected from a Delta airplane this week for speaking Arabic with fellow YouTube sensation Slim Albaher and his mother over the phone. Saleh said he was waiting for the New York City-bound Delta flight to depart, when passengers began complaining of discomfort over Saleh’s language choice. As a result, flight attendants came to escort the two off the plane.
After Delta’s request to remove him, Saleh began filming the situation, uploading it to Twitter. The clip went viral. In the video, one passenger defends the vloggers, while others ignore the situation by looking away from the camera, and others simply shout “Bye.” In the rear of the plane, passengers are seen waving their hand to the camera.
“We spoke a different language on the plane, and now we’re getting kicked out. This is 2016. I cannot believe my eyes,” Saleh said.
Delta Airlines released a statement claiming that Mr Saleh, who is known for his pranks on his YouTube channel, attempted to cause a disruption on the flight.
“Upon landing, the crew was debriefed and multiple passenger statements collected,” Delta said. “Based on the information collected to date, it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behaviour, including shouting. This type of conduct is not welcome on any Delta flight.”
With the camera pointing at himself, Saleh addressed the other Delta passengers. “Are you serious? I’m about to cry right now. You guys are racists. I cannot believe it. Because we said a word in a different language? And it’s six white people against us bearded men?” he said. Multiple security personnel from Delta then surround the men to forcefully remove them from the plane.
One passenger saw the situation as disturbing as Saleh.“That is so upsetting. Why are they being kicked out?” the passenger asked.
After the incident took place, Saleh made a statement about the onboard events.
“I was speaking to my mom on the phone like I always do before getting on a flight. I call her before I take off and when I land so that she knows I am safe and well,” Saleh said.
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“I was speaking in Arabic when a female passenger began shouting that they felt uncomfortable. This encouraged almost 10 other passengers to agree and shout the same thing.
“We were kicked off the flight while those passengers mocked us. We are currently getting ready to get onto another flight with another Airline. I will keep everyone updated with the situation through social media! I appreciate everyone’s support and effort in raising awareness on this,” Saleh explained.
Delta released a statement following the incident.
“Two customers were removed from this flight and later rebooked after a disturbance in the cabin resulted in more than 20 customers expressing their discomfort.
“We’re conducting a full review to understand what transpired. We are taking allegations of discrimination very seriously; our culture requires treating others with respect,” the statement read.
Why This May Have Happened
It’s no secret Islamaphobia has spread across the globe, largely a result of the mainstream media and government fuelling people’s fears and ignorance. Reporting on stories in a light that paints anyone who is Muslim as a potential threat. To know people are simply suffering for the way they look and sound seems so archaic it’s almost hard to comprehend, and yet this is our current state.
So how does this make us feel? This is a question we must ask ourselves when we consider the state of the world we live in and when thinking about the type of world we would like to see. If this did in fact happen as a result of something racial, we must begin to question the impact anti-muslim propaganda and fear based news has on the collective consciousness given these reactions.
— Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016
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