Plane passenger who pulled off Muslim woman's hijab and shouted 'this is America' is fined £815
The woman said she was scared to leave her home after the incident An apologetic Gill Parker Payne said he was drunk on the flight and has since visited a mosque
A man has been sentenced for pulling off a Muslim woman’s hijab and shouting “this is America” on a flight.
Gill Parker Payne, from Chicago, was fined £815 and ordered to a year’s probation including two months of home detention.
The 37-year-old admitted saying something to the effect of “take it off! This is America” while flying between Chicago to Albuquerque in New Mexico.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, US attorney Damon P. Martinez said: “The case sends a clear message to anyone who contemplates the use of threats or intimidation to interfere with the right of individuals, including members of our Muslim community, to express their faith without fear.”
Payne was sitting a few rows behind victim Khawla Abdel-Haq on the Southwest Airlines flight in December 2015.
Payne admitted in a statement: “I stopped next to her seat, looked down at K.A., and told her to take off her hijab, stating something to the effect of ‘take if off! This is America’.”
The court heard Ms Abdel-Haq was scared to leave her home for weeks after the in-flight tirade.
She said at the sentencing on Tuesday: “You hurt me, you disrespected me, you violated me.”
An apologetic Payne said he was drunk on the flight, and has since visited a mosque, adding: “I’m embarrassed. I’m 100 per cent embarrassed.”