SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A Southland Muslim woman is calling for a written apology and a full investigation after she was removed from a Southwest flight.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports it all started when Irum Abassi made a call on her cell phone prior to her takeoff from San Diego to San Jose.

After she was returned to the terminal, Abassi — a mother of three and a graduate student at San Diego State University — says she asked authorities whether she did something wrong.

She says they told her the flight attendant “thinks you’re suspicious” and referenced “something with a ‘go'” in her cell phone conversation.

Abassi confirms she used the phrase, but says it was only in reference to her flight.

“I said ‘I got to go’ because I was on the phone,” Abassi adds.

A San Diego State terrorism expert says since the woman — who was wearing a head scarf — had gone through secondary security and was cleared to fly, the flight crew had likely over-reacted.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (48)
  1. Saber 1 says:

    Brian, Brian, Brian. Your moron. I think some people from the middle east brought down the towwers and brought the fight to us. I have never heard of a person from Japan, Canada or Austrailia highjack a plane and kill thousands of people? Racial profiling is what has helped keep the police alive, planes in the air and our troops safer.

    1. vince says:

      actually WWII Pearl Harbor….although there wasn’t a “Hijacking of planes”


    2. potatoe says:

      George W (Hitler) Bush was responsible for the WTC disaster…..
      Obamma is our salvation!
      Islam is a religion of peace.
      Your government cares about you.
      Conservatives eat babies!!

      1. Saber 1 says:

        Your an OSAMA BIN NOBAMA tool, un informed adult that wanted chenge. G>W. Bush was a great President. Just because your lazy ass had to get a job, you ahte him. Look in the mirror at who is really destroying this Country.

  2. rjsmitty says:

    San Diego State terrorism expert ??? From SDSU ?? why would they ask some one from the college ?? Why not ask the real experts that are in the air port???

  3. Lenny says:

    Well done Southwest for putting the people first.
    You can’t take chances.

  4. Ramalamma says:

    Maybe she was an illegal, immigrant farm worker…

    1. vince says:

      OR maybe she was an illegal, immigrant, farm working, gardener maid, somali pirate, tsunami, stealin all the jobs, blowin up all your buildings, taking work over seas, having babies in america leach…

      hell maybe she has super powes too and shoot lazers from her eyes…can’t be too careful…

      1. Ramalamma says:

        Awesome….my thoughts exactly!!!

  5. jeff says:

    brian….you are an idiot! How about all the towel heads appologize to us for 9/11

  6. deen says:

    Mitzi you sound like an idiot…She shoukd apologize ?…Why should she do that ?
    So should a Cjhristian or Jew apologize if one of them killeed an iinnocent Muslim.
    What is wrong with you ?

  7. vince says:

    that was probably one of the dumbest things i have heard today hahahaha!

  8. vince says:

    I don’t see why people are getting thier panties in a bunch all she asked for was a written appology…not money…she isnt’ freaking out causeing a big scene…not like some of the fake posters on here…shock value is great and all..but it’s pretty old when all of you are doing it

    1. rjsmitty says:

      You can not say what really happened from one side of the story . If you do then you will continue having a difficult life .

  9. vince says:

    that comment is exactly why the U.S. school system suffers…hah…

    George maybe you should applogize for calling yourself a human.

  10. deen says:

    Towel heads ? Just say that to a Muslim doctor or a parmedic or a firefighher saves your sorry assed life …Jeff you are an iitiot.

  11. I'm an AmeriCAN! says:

    It’s funny, I was thinking to myself, why wouldn’t she just take off her head scarf and not bring so much attention to herself. Then it made me wonder, why would a terrorits WEAR a headscarf? They probably wouldn’t because they want to blend in so that their “mission” is a success. So, I guess in reality, we need to be away of everyone NOT wearing a headscarf instead! 🙂

    In all truthfulness, there is no easy way around this. The filght crew does not WANT to be bias, but they also want to live. It is a very difficult situation to be in. But to SUE? Sounds like Abassi has learned th litigious “American way.” BUmmer for all of us.

    1. vince says:

      totally…we need to watch our backs…that’s why it’s rediculous that people make a big deal about her wanting an appology…

      don’t we always appologize when anyone makes a mistake? i know i do…

      so why is everyone acting like she is asking for them to sacrafice a goat in her honor or something?!

      I didn’t see anything about her wanting to sue the airline.

  12. Kim says:

    people like you give americans a bad name. Just because she is of muslim descent doesn’t mean she is a terroist, thats as bad as saying any mexican is an illegal alien. Go back to hiding under your rock.

  13. Grace says:

    This Muslim woman should apologze for terrorism? For what? Did she fly the planes on 9/11? Should the whites of today apologize to blacks for ensliaving them, to the Japanese-Americans for interring them, to the Native Americans for destroying them, to the Japanese for nuking their children? Maybe all Germans should constantly apologize to the Jews? And every Catholic should apologize to all boys because of clergy abuse?. Ludicrous.

    1. Bryan says:

      well said Grace..

  14. sangroazul says:

    I’d rather they “over-react” and eveyone gets there in one piece, then not react at all and have something crazy happen. I’ve been pulled aside a few times at airports and (because I have NOTHING to hide) don’t mind it one bit. These people have a job to do & that’s keep the law-abiding folks out of harm’s way. I want them to profile!! Profile away!! My life is more valuable than the “civil liberties/rights/you-fill-in-the-blanks” that knuckleheads like this lady think are being violated… Good night, now…

    1. vince says:

      very true……but the next time you are pulled of your flight and have to miss your destination for a reason you do not know…don’t tell me you are just gonna sit there and act like..

      oh well…at least everyone else gets on thier flight safe…

  15. herb says:

    Jeff you are an idiot

  16. j says:

    Yeah, the WTC disaster is nothing to be afraid of, America is just paranoid! lol

  17. Nikko says:

    Mitzi, that is the most obnoxious and idiotic comment I’ve ever heard. Just because a group of evil radical terrorists proclaimed the same faith as this innocent woman doesn’t make her equally guilty of what they did. She shouldn’t be victimized for that nor apologize for something she took no part in. And because you choose to not go to the airport doesn’t mean she needs to limit her own choices. There must have been a reason she decided to take airplane in the first place. As a white American woman you should be ashamed of your ignorant rambling making us Americans look worse than already perceived by others. Your generalization makes others generalizations of us ever more true, and I’d rather not be bunched up with someone like you and your views.

    1. deen says:

      Excellent reply Nikko …..

  18. david siegal says:

    perhaps you should apologize for hating life. i feel sorry for you and everyone around you ditzy

  19. Lenny says:

    The ones that unnerve me are the ones that wear the blankets with the little letter box’s where the eyes are. All you can see are two eyes looking at you!

    Is it a man or is it a women?

  20. alex says:

    Prevention is better then investigation. Good job,SOUTHWEST!!!
    Her “inconvinience” is nothing . This beach could provoke situation to sue and to make money.
    I would not fly next to her. All muslims do not belongs with normal people.

    1. deancalif says:

      Another idiot on board with his stupid comment …what is going on …So if a Muslims tries to saves your sorrry life will you tell him/her go away you do not belong with the normal idiotic people like me. …… what a follish comment you made Alex.

    2. kafir says:

      I have heard that CAIR has workshops, with attorneys, that demonstrate not only standing up for your rights, but the multitude of instances that are provided for your rights to be violated…

  21. Bonnie says:

    I didn’t notice that those 3 Orthodox Jews that they pulled off of Alaska Airlines demanded an apology. People make mistakes, and if you’ve done nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about.

    1. Clyde says:

      Well said Bonnie.

  22. Realist says:

    Gee!….Maybe Everyone Would Feel Better If We, Once Again, Established Relocation Camps For Muslims As We Did For The Japanese During World War II. Problem Solved!

  23. Ramalamma says:

    Because Muslim women do not suffer tyranny and oppression enough, lets pull this woman off a plane for saying the word “go”. Oh, and lets subject her to public humiliation and lump her into a group of radical terrorists. Lets also accuse her of being the mastermind behind the Lindsay Lohan necklace theft and the firing of Charlie Sheen. Those dang Muslim, illegal, immigrant farm workers sure keep busy….

    1. Lenny says:

      I say ban those post box things and all the scarfs and that would help matters.
      What do you think Ramalamma??

      1. Ramalamma says:

        Sure! Then we can ask nuns to stop wearing habits, priests to stop wearing collars, Christian’s to stop wearing crosses, Jews to stop wearing yalmulkes, Omish to stop wearing those Holly Hobby dresses, KuKluxKlan members to stop wearing hoods….I mean really. It violates everything we are as a country…freedom of speech, freedom of religious expression and freedom to call racist, insecure ignorant goofs stupid….and really, lets be honest, that would just be no fun for anyone

      2. Lenny says:

        Ok I guess you disagree with that proposal.

        Can we come to an agreement on the post boxes at least?

  24. sue says:

    I dont trust any of them.

  25. Gabriel Hill says:

    Here’s her apology. “Sorry you worship a false god.”

    1. Carrieann says:

      There’s a terrific aounmt of knowledge in this article!

  26. Ruckweiler says:

    Sorry about that. If something would have happened the same people decrying her treatment would have been screaming and asking why security didn’t stop the disaster. Considering that those attacking the US since at least 1993 have been Moslem, Arabic/Iranian, and in the 18-35 years old range, I applaud Southwest’s caution. To the lefties I say sit down and shuut up!

  27. Peter says:

    Next time she should say I gotta take a dump instead of I got to go.

  28. REV Wright says:

    iS THERE A Moooooooooooslim free airline? I’d pay extra for that!

  29. DixieRecht says:

    When can we be honest and all admit Islamists are the source of terrorist activities. Islam is a violent religion. Islam is a problem for the world.

    Dispute my opinion? Try bringing a bible into Saudi. Try being a convert to Christianity. Try being a woman with a desire for education.

  30. kaye says:

    i cant believe people think we should feel guilt for not wanting to fly with muslims with bear and dress that is the same as what terriorists wear.

    if i was in a middle east country i would have to dress as they wish.

    so why should we accept them dressed that matches terrorists.

    we are told to keep eyes and ears open and expect attacks. does that mean the governmnet only. we, the people, have no rights?

    they know what is going on, they know the history of 2/11. they should respect us and dress as we do.

    yes, i would not ant to fly with them.

    why havent they come forward against terrirism.

    give me a break.

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