The Corner

Stop the Presses: A Muslim Woman Was Allegedly Denied a Can of Coke on an Airline Flight

The media is losing its mind. Ramadi has fallen, ISIS is on the march in Syria, Libya is a jihadist playpen, and the grim toll of jihadist violence is well into the hundreds of thousands in the Middle East and beyond. Since 9/11, thousands of Americans have fallen to jihadist war criminals, tens of thousands more have been maimed, and the conflict rages on. So what does CNN lead its website with this morning? This story:

A simple request for an unopened can of Diet Coke on a United Airlines flight left Tahera Ahmad in tears.

A Muslim chaplain and director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University, Ahmad, 31, was traveling Friday from Chicago to Washington for a conference promoting dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian youth. She was wearing a headscarf, or hijab.

For hygienic reasons, she asked for an unopened can of soda, she said. The flight attendant told her that she could not give her one but then handed an unopened can of beer to a man seated nearby. Ahmad questioned the flight attendant.

“We are unauthorized to give unopened cans to people because they may use it as a weapon on the plane,” she recalled the flight attendant telling her.

So allegedly anti-Muslim microaggressions are national news now? If this event happened as she described (why do I suspect there might be more to this story?) Ms. Ahmad was subjected to mere momentary rudeness. So what? Americans of all races and classes experience rudeness throughout their lives. 

In an era where America and its allies have been under sustained attack from jihadists, CNN and other major news organizations seem dedicated to advancing a narrative that the United States is a bigoted society because — during a time of war — we also haven’t created a Muslim utopia here at home. So we’re treated to stories like this — stories of hurt feelings over cans of coke.

While CNN wrings its hands over Ms. Ahmad’s tears, I noticed no comparable coverage of the breaking news of Americans held in Yemen by shia jihadists. But Americans facing a potential grisly death at the hands of Islamic terrorists is dog-bites-man stuff. After all, if we focus too much on jihadists, Americans might get the idea that the Muslim world is beset with deep and dangerous problems.

I’m typing this post after walking through airport security, where everyone is subjected to a “microaggression” before every single flight — where we’re forced to partially disrobe and to be X-rayed – just so our nation can avoid any hint of religious profiling. But we get over it. And so should Ms. Ahmad get over her own little incident. After all, life could be much worse. She could be living in an actual Muslim nation, where an open can of Coke would be the least of her problems.


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