Last updated: 11:50 AM ET, Sat March 05 2016

Passenger Removed from Flight after Typing the Word ‘Prayer’ on Phone

Airlines & Airports | Amy Coyne Bredeson | March 05, 2016

Passenger Removed from Flight after Typing the Word ‘Prayer’ on Phone

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A Nigerian-born British man was escorted off an easyJet flight headed to Amsterdam on Thursday after another passenger read the word “prayer” in a message the man sent to friends through WhatsApp, the Guardian reported. 

The fellow passenger reported Laolu Opebiyi, 40, of London, as a security threat after reading the message over his shoulder and asking what he meant by the word “prayer,” according to the Guardian. Opebiyi responded that he was arranging to pray with a group of friends.

READ MORE: Report: Muslim Chaplain Faced Discrimination on United Flight

Opebiyi was forced to give his phone to authorities and was questioned by a detective, the Guardian said. The detective cleared him; however, the pilot would not allow him back on the plane.

Opebiyi, who is a Christian, told the Guardian that he thought the other man assumed he was a Muslim terrorist.

READ MORE: Spirit Under Fire From Muslim Group

“That guy doesn’t know me and within two minutes he’s judging me,” Opebiyi said to the Guardian. “Even if I was a Muslim, it was pretty unfair the way I was treated. I don’t think anyone, irrespective of their religion should be treated in such a way. If we keep on giving into this kind of bigotry and irrational fear, I dare say that the terrorists will have achieved their aim.”


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