“Flying While Muslim” Prejudice?

You’ve probably heard the expression “driving while black,” referring to law enforcement’s tendency to pull over a disproportionately high number of African-American drivers. Now there’s “Flying While Muslim” — an expression used by some Islamic groups in protest of perceived prejudice against Muslim passengers by U.S. airlines.

However, other, more moderate Islamic organizations, disagree about the size of the problem.

A Saudi-funded website references an incident with Northwest airlines, in which the company barred 40 American Muslim passengers en route the U.S. from Mecca from boarding a German flight bound for Detroit. In the same article, the site notes similar incidents with the same airline, quoting one passenger who said Muslims had dubbed Northwest “Northworst.”

On the other hand, Freemuslims.org, a more moderate site, suggests that the real problem is flying while American — noting that Saudi Arabian Airlines routinely bumps American Muslim passengers in favor of friends and relatives of the Saudi royal family.

Is this a real problem, or just imagined injustice? Have you experienced discrimination while flying?