April 2016 and Khairuldeen Makhzoomi a 26 year old university researcher is about to fly on a Southwest flight and rings his uncle. “I just called him and talked to him about it and everything, and he told me (to) call him when I get to Oakland, and I said, ‘insha’Allah insha’Allah (God willing), I will call you when I arrive.’ And during the conversation a lady was staring at me,” Makhzoomi said. The political science student thought the woman might have been concerned with how loudly he spoke on the phone. He saw her abruptly leave the plane. And suddenly, the situation turned.”One guy came with police officers within two minutes -I can’t believe how fast they were -and told me to get off the plane,” he said. This unfair turn of events was reported widely in the media with CNN interviewing Makhzoomi and the Guardian linking the event to rising Islamophobia in the US.
In our RS GCSE lessons we learn that Inshallah means God willing, and is something that Muslims might say after they promise to do something. It shows their belief that they are not in control of what happens: only God is in control. This idea leads some Muslims to believe that God controls everything human beings do and that humans do have free will. Shi’a Muslims think slightly differently, that God doesn’t force people to act in certain ways, but that God has allowed people freedom to choose how to behave.