“When has a white guy pounding beers on an airplane ever led to violence?” Jon Stewart irately asked, mock-defending a flight attendant‘s service decisions. In May, Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim, was denied an unopened can of soda on a United Airlines flight by a flight attendant who had no problem giving a white man seated nearby an unopened can of beer. When Ahmad asked about the beverage injustice, pointing out the man and his cold one, the flight attendant told her it was so “she didn’t use [the can] as a weapon.”
Ahmad, who is a chaplain at Northwestern University, wrote about her treatment on Facebook. The discrimination outraged many. (Though probably not the man who leaned over to Ahmad during the incident and said: “Yes you know you would use it as a weapon so shut the f*$k up.”) Stewart’s hilarious senior religious correspondent, Hasan Minhaj, joined in to bolster the side of the cautious airline personnel, noting that “carbonated grenades” are very dangerous. You never know when a law-abiding Muslim professional will try to slake more than thirst with a soda. (Minhaj says Doritos may also be weaponized.) Despite Minhaj’s articulate explanation, soda cans, it turns out, are rarely used as weapons.