Muslim man in Kansas reported to FBI after someone mistook his Malaysian flag for an ISIS banner
A Muslim man who works in Kansas was reported to the FBI last year after a bystander watching his celebration of Malaysian independence mistook his Malaysian flag for an ISIS flag.
The Kansas City Star reports that Munir Zanial, an engineer for Spirit Aerosystems, last summer rented out a recreational lake facility operated by the Spirit Boeing Employees’ Association to celebrate Malaysian independence day.
However, a park employee who saw the celebration looked at the Malaysian flag and thought it was related to the Islamic State terrorist organization. Specifically, the employee told the FBI that the celebration featured people “dressed in Muslim garb” along with an American flag “desecrated with ISIS symbols.”
Zanial was contacted by the FBI, which quickly dropped its investigation into him after it determined that his Malaysian flag had nothing to do with ISIS.
However, Zanial also says that he has been barred from renting out the facility again since his previous rental resulted in an FBI investigation. Because of this, reports the Star, he has filed a discrimination lawsuit to set the record straight.
“[Zanial] is concerned that the investigation could affect his lawful permanent residence status,” the lawsuit states. “He also feels distress and humiliation based on this experience of being singled-out because of his ethnicity, race and religion.”