On Friday March 10th, CAIR-Chicago announced its filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit against United Airlines after illegitimately removing a Muslim family from their flight.
Nearly one year ago, on March 20, 2016, the Shebley family was wrongly removed from their United Airlines Flight 5811 after asking for an extra strap to safely fasten their youngest child in the child booster seat. Following being asked to remove the child booster seat, the Shebleys complied, were asked to show their tickets and then subsequently removed from the flight.
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“That lasts a lifetime, to be honest with you,” said Maaria Mozaffar, another attorney working on the case. “When you remove the problem from the plane without just cause, that results in a demoralizing situation for a human being. And that should matter.”
“The most important thing that we hope to get out of this is some guidance from the court with respect to how to deal with these types of situations. I think airlines have, for awhile, been operating in the realm of unfettered discretion…” says Phil Robertson, CAIR-Chicago Litigation Director.
“This was caught on video, it was very clear in the video, as well as in the witness of our clients, that they were very clear and conscience in communicating that they were following orders. There was nothing to suggest that they weren’t.” says Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director.
ABC 7 at 4pm:
“This was a very simple situation that could have been handled diplomatically and responsibly by airline personnel but was not…” says Phil Robertson, CAIR-Chicago Litigation Director
“Their world was shook and they started to feel that they’re like second rate citizens; that anything could happen to them at anytime, that the arbitrary nature of what happened can be repeated and that feeling keeps you on edge and changes your daily life…” says Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director
“The Shebley family was made to feel targeted” says CAIR-Chicago Legislative Attorney Maaria Mozaffar