Pilot Accused Of Refusing To Fly Muslim Passengers

Two Muslim religious leaders who were removed from a commercial airliner in Memphis say they were told it was because the pilot refused to fly with them aboard.

Masudur Rahman said by telephone from the terminal at Memphis International Airport that he and another imam on Friday had already been allowed to board their Delta Connection flight to Charlotte, N.C., before they were asked to leave.

Transportation Security Administration spokesman John Allen in Atlanta confirmed the incident Friday and said it was not that agency’s decision to deny boarding.

A Delta Air Lines corporate spokeswoman said the flight was operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, which is also based in Atlanta. ASA didn’t immediate respond to repeated telephone calls seeking comment.