A viral video of a man allegedly being thrown off a Delta Airlines flight went viral recently, the reason for his eviction purportedly being his use of Arabic while making a phone call to his mother.
If the video was genuine, it would be documented evidence of bigotry by a well-known company. However, as news outlets later reported the man in the video is known “prankster” – Adam Saleh – who manipulated the footage to make it appear that it was his use of Arabic that got him evicted from the flight.
The truth, however is that Saleh has a long history of creating videos that stage incidents of discrimination towards Muslims. In this case involving Delta Airlines, Saleh was kicked off for his rude and unruly behavior towards other passengers.
In 2014, another of Saleh’s videos was also exposed to be a hoax. Titled “Racial Profiling Experiment”, the video allegedly shows Saleh and a companion being stopped and frisked for being of Arabic descent.
Fortunately, the elaborate hoax was revealed by several news outlets – which prompted Saleh to edit the video description stating that rather than an actual footage it was a “Dramatization of previous events” where Muslims were allegedly maligned by law enforcement officers.
For his shenanigans, Saleh was rightfully condemned by media outlets. Some have called for his total ban on any commercial airline, while his fellow passengers branded him a “liar”. However, had his antics not been exposed the Muslim “prankster” could have caused serious damage.
In the immediate aftermath of Saleh’s uploading of the video, his followers made viral the hashtag #BoycottDelta calling for a public backlash against the company. The airline would have suffered massive losses and laid-off several employees in effect, if the video was not heavily refuted by various media outlets.
Videos and other media narrating an incident of “Islamophia” have been widespread over the years, and it begs to question whether all these anecdotes can indeed be substantiated.
There is good reason to suspect this, since there has been several documented cases of hate crimes against Muslims that were later revealed to have been staged or greatly fabricated.
Just before the controversy involving Adam Saleh, a University of Michigan student claimed that she had been harassed by “Trump supporters” for her use of a hijab.
Yasmin Seweid, 18, claimed that men chanting “Donald Trump” hassled her in the subway station and threatened to “pull off” her hijab if she did not remove it herself. The student also claimed that she was told to “get out of [their] country”.
Upon scrutiny by the police, Seweid eventually fronted that she fabricated the story because she had missed her curfew and would be in trouble with her parents without a valid excuse.
The incident sparked a nationwide outcry towards the implications of Donald Trump’s victory as president of the United States, as well as wasting valuable police time.
It was also revealed that Yasmin is not the only one in her family who had fabricated an “anti-Muslim” hate crime. In 2012, her brother Abdoul – then only 17 – claimed that a Muslim friend of his was attacked by three men.
The report was proven to be false by local police, and instead it was actually Abdoul and a number of his associates who had committed a crime by breaking and entering into parked vehicles.
Just last month, a University of Oklahoma professor – who is a Muslim – claimed to have been handed an “anti-Muslim pamphlet” on campus. Mashhad Fahes blamed the incident on “post-Trump election values”, similar to Yasmin Seweid’s case.
However, upon investigation by the Oklahoma University Police Department the details of the alleged hate crime was strongly identical to others that had been reported in the past. The OUPD also took note that no report had been filed at the time of the incident and no CCTV footage had been located to substantiate Fahes’ claim.
Barring any evidence to support such claim, the OUPD and the university’s administration rightfully dismissed the report to be a mere hoax.
Similar to Yasmin Seweid’s case, another 18-year old student in Paris, France also claimed to have been harassed for wearing a hijab – only to be proven to be lying about it. The student known only as “Miss Choudhury” claimed to have been “punched and shoved” by an assailant, shortly after the attack on the Belgian suburb of Molenbeek by Muslim terrorists.
But local police found no evidence to support such claims, despite going through CCTV footage of the area where Miss Choudhury alleged it took place and talking to shop-owners in the vicinity as well.
Also during the aftermath of the Molenbeek attack, a hijab-laden Muslim woman was reported to have been run-over by a car in a purported “anti-Muslim attack”. The Huffington Post was quick to report it as a case of “Islamophobia” and of Belgian backlash against its Muslim population after the terrorist attack on their airport.
However, local authorities’ investigation of the incident reported a very different conclusion. The perpetrator was a drunk, local youth named ‘Mohamed’ who was under the influence of narcotics during the incident as well.
The cases described above all happened within the last 12 months, yet the dossier of these fabricated anti-Muslim attacks is quite thick. The habit of faking hate crimes among Muslims has seemingly become commonplace, which is detrimental to society as it wastes precious news airtime, police resources and even genuine sympathy.
It should also be noted that in the Muslim religion, the practice of “taqiyya” is encouraged. Translated, it means “deception”, which is necessary – according to Muslim interpretation – “to protect themselves or to protect the Muslim community”.
However, the use of “taqiyya” by Muslim minorities in Western societies only further alienates them from their host community and strengthens the case of genuine, anti-Muslim bigots to see them as a legitimate enemy.
Under Western law, Muslims are protected like any other citizen or resident. Their use of taqiyya is unnecessary and could potentially be dangerous to themselves.