Woman Forced To Remove 'Hail Satan' Top On American Airlines Flight
A woman who was about to travel on an American Airlines flight was told to either remove her 'Hail Satan' T-shirt or leave the plane.
Swati Runi Goyal had planned to fly from her home in Florida to Las Vegas, and when approached by airline staff, she thought she was getting upgraded to first class.
However, the 49-year-old soon realised that this was very definitely not the case.
Speaking to The New York Post, she said: "The gentleman asked me if I understood what 'offensive' meant. I said, 'I'm a foreign-born minority woman. I know what my T-shirt means and my T-shirt is not offensive.'
"It's usually met with giggles and thumbs up from people who get the irony of the T-shirt."
Her shirt refers to the Satanic Temple, of which she is a part. The organisation is a non-theistic religious group - which means they do not worship a specific God or deity.
She approached the airline on Twitter, telling the newspaper that she shared her story after American Airlines 'failed to investigate' the incident, hoping that she could bring about change and increase religious freedom.
She said: "I'm really trying to make some good deeds come out of this. This is really about religious discrimination.
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"Because they treated me this way, I can only imagine how they're treating other religious groups like Muslims."
The airline later tweeted a response:
Discrimination has no place at American Airlines. Please meet us in DMs with your record locator and contact info.
- American Airlines (@AmericanAir) December 6, 2019
According to BuzzFeed, American Airlines has now reached out to Goyal, saying in a statement: "We apologise to Ms. Goyal for her experience, and we are reaching out to her to understand what occurred."
Since the incident, Goyal has closed down all her social media accounts, claiming to have received substantial abuse about her top.
Although it uses traditional 'Satanic imagery' on its merchandise, the Satanic Temple isn't actually a religion. It's recognised as a church for tax reasons and, according to its website, its mission is to 'encourage benevolence and empathy among all people'.
It also wants to 'reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will'.
Not to be confused with The Church Of Satan, the group has opposed the likes of The Westboro Baptist Church in the past, and campaigns regularly for social justice.
It has also given 'religious exemption and legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women's reproductive autonomy'.
Featured Image Credit: Swati Runi Goyal
Topics: US News