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Southwest Airlines

Arabic speaker briefly kept off flight after complaint

A Philadelphia man says he is humiliated and upset after he was briefly stopped from boarding a flight from Chicago when another passenger overheard him speak Arabic, making him uncomfortable.

Pizza shop owner Maher Khalil emigrated from Palestine 15 years ago. He says he had never experienced discrimination before the incident Wednesday at Midway International Airport.

"We came to America to have a better life," Khalil explained on Friday. "Everybody in America is from different countries. I'm one of them. I'm an American citizen."

Khalil said he was chatting with a friend while waiting to board a Southwest Airlines flight. When he approached...