Racial Profiling Complaint Filed Against Southwest Airlines On Behalf of Cal Student Kicked Off Flight

Religious rights group says airline discriminated against Muslim passenger in April

A religious rights organization has filed a complaint with federal authorities against Southwest Airlines for what the group says was racial and religious profiling of a Muslim passenger.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation Wednesday on behalf of Khairuldeen Makhzoomi.

Makhzoomi, a student at UC Berkeley, was yanked in April from a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Oakland after mentioning a terrorist group's name during a telephone conversation in Arabic.

He has said he made a passing reference to Islamic State while telling his uncle about a speech he had attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Southwest Airlines says another Arabic-speaking passenger heard Makhzoomi mention the terrorist organization during his conversation and reported him to the crew.

The organization says it is calling federal authorities to hold Southwest Airlines accountable for its actions against Makhzoomi.

The complaint comes months after the Cal researcher, who initially was upset that he had been singled out, seemed to be past the incident, telling NBC Bay Area "Islam is about forgiveness as well."

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