Airline sued by Arabic speaker removed from plane

(REUTERS) — Southwest Airlines Co was sued on Tuesday by an American citizen who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee, and said he was removed from a California flight after another passenger became unnerved upon hearing him speak in Arabic.

Khairuldeen Makhzoomi said he is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for civil rights violations, discrimination and emotional distress stemming from the “Islamophobia” underlying the April 6, 2016 incident, which began as he awaited takeoff to Oakland from Los Angeles.

Southwest had no immediate comment. The complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

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