A Muslim girl was asked to remove her hijab at an airport. Now a Muslim advocacy group is taking action.
KPIX

Many Muslim women wear a headscarf known as hijab in public as part of their religion. Unfortunately, they're more likely to face religious discrimination because if it. 69% of women who wore hijab reported at least one incident of discrimination, compared to 29% of women who didn't. Girls who wear hijab in school will be bullied because of it, with 29% reporting they experienced "offensive touching or pulling" of the item.

Women are supposed to be allowed to keep on their hijab while going through airport security, but this doesn't always happen. Fatima Abdelrahman was asked to remove her hijab while traveling to Canada for an international squash tournament in Toronto. This was the first time Fatima, who was 12-years-old at the time, flew without her family.


When Abdelrahman was waiting for her flight, a male Air Canada agent told her to remove the hijab because she wasn't wearing one in her passport photo. Abdelrahman asked why she had to take off her hijab when she had already cleared security. "He was just like, 'You have to take it off.' He didn't really address the question," Abdelrahman's sister told the Huffington Post. "Obviously she wasn't going to take it off in front of him so they … took her to a corner. It wasn't right in public but it also wasn't in a closed room."

RELATED: 8 Iranian women want you to know what it really means to not wear the hijab

Abdelrahman complied. She was scared about missing her flight and didn't want to delay her team. When her hijab was off, the official glanced at Abdelrahman's hair without comparing it to the passport photo. Abdelrahman was not asked to remove her hijab on her return trip to California.

Abdelrahman says she's used to airport screening taking longer than normal because of her hijab, she had never experienced anything like this before. "Taking it off isn't just like taking off a sock or taking off whatever — it's almost like taking off a limb," Abdelrahman told KPIX. "It's a big deal to me. It's part of my Muslim identity and who I am as a person. So when someone tells me to casually take it off and hurry up, it's degrading."

Air Canada corresponded with the family via email, saying they "must comply with Canadian laws and regulations which require us to compare a passenger's entire face with the photograph shown on the travel document used prior to boarding the aircraft."

RELATED: Muslim woman confronted anti-Islamic protesters "with love and a smile"

Now, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) is taking action. The organization filed a complaint, asking for the airline to make policy changes in order to prevent employees from discriminating or harassing people. They also want Air Canada's employees to go through cultural competency training, as well as a formal apology and monetary damages for Abdelrahman.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority told the Huffington Post it doesn't "require airlines to screen passengers." Nor do they require passengers to take off head coverings during screening processes.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Philanthropy Daily

On September 14, Charles "Chuck" Feeney signed the paperwork to shut down Atlantic Philanthropies. The ceremony was attended via Zoom by the philanthropies' board which included former California Governor Jerry Brown, Bill Gates, and Nancy Pelosi.

While most would think the shuttering of a philanthropic endeavor would be a sad event, it was just how Feeney planned. It marked the competition of four-decade mission to give away almost every penny of his $8 billion fortune.

Feeney has saved $2 million to live on for the remainder of his life.

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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