On the Daily Show Wednesday, Jon Stewart skewered United Airlines’ refusal to serve a Muslim American woman a can of Diet Coke — on the grounds that the passenger might use it as a weapon, Mediaite reports.
“Lately Muslims have been subject to the ‘equal people test,” Stewart begins in a “new Islamic affairs segment” from last night’s episode called “Hallal Things Considered.” The host mocks the idea that a soda can is dangerous, but is United really guilty of discrimination, he asks?
In a clip, Stewart shows Tahera Ahmad, director of interfaith engagement at Northwestern University, describe how the flight attendant who refused her request gave the man immediately next to Ahmad an unopened can of beer.
Stewart notes the “double standard,” but warns that in “any situation involving a major airline, it could always get worse.”
After Ahmad pointed out the flight attendant’s unfairness, a man on the plane began shouting, “You Muslim, you need to shut the fuck up!” No member of the flight crew or fellow passenger reacted to the discrimination and humiliation Ahmad experienced on a United flight.
Senior religious correspondent Hasan Minhaj jokes on the Daily Show that Ahmad could have used a can of Diet Coke as a “carbonated grenade.” With a flight attendant willing to give you 198 cans, Minhaj calculates a determined soda can attacker could take over an entire flight.
Minhaj presents a hierarchy of religion in America, putting Islam squarely at the bottom, below evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, moderate Judaism, Scientology, and devil worship.
Watch Stewart take on United Airlines’ discriminatory treatment