What a Berkeley student may look like (if you're a bigot).

Southwest Airlines made a strong bid for an Equine Posterior Award recently by kicking a UC Berkeley student off the plane for having the temerity to speak Arabic in the Post 9/11 World (aka Pantsloadland).

The Washington Post reports Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a double-major senior in poli sci and Near Eastern studies, was heading home from hearing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon speak when jackassery ensued. While his Southwest flight was boarding, Makhzoomi decided to call his uncle in Baghdad, a political analyst, to talk about the lecture. The conversation was in Arabic, of all things, as if that's even legal.

Makhzoomi told the Post his immediate family fled Iraq in 2002, a year after Saddam Hussein's regime murdered his father, which we can't even.

An alert passenger overheard Makhzoomi using the Devil's Tongue and told the crew, who reacted by throwing him off the plane and calling the FBI, because of course they did.

The Feds eventually accepted Makhzoomi's explanation that that he'd said "Insha'allah" on the phone (if God wills it, a commonplace that Iraqis sprinkle in about as often as Americans say y'know), and not "Dirka dirka jihad Muhammad jihad" as the eavesdropper reported. He was forced to catch a Delta flight later, because Southwest is just that vigilant and Delta figures that a terrorist attack can't be worse than trying to connect through Atlanta (badump-tish).

Southwest isn't the only airline booting passengers for flying while Muslim, but they are among the most adamant in insisting that cultural profiling equals Safety First. Given the deep-seated belief among the Great American Scaredy Cat that Muslim terrorists are constantly pulling "dry run" training on flights (for 15 years now, so they will be super dangerous when they finally strike), these "safety" incidents have become routine enough that a British imam created a website to document them.

Hey, we know a lot of people are scared to fly, but we think accountability is a good thing, too. You want to accuse someone of acting like a terrorist, fine, but if you're wrong how about YOU get booted off the flight?



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