This Muslim comedian sat next to Eric Trump on a flight. Here’s what they said

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Mo Amer: ‘It doesn’t hurt to have a civil conversation with someone you rarely interact with.’ Photograph: Courtesy of Mo Amer

Comedian Mo Amer was glad of his upgrade when it pinged on the board. His tiredness – he had only just arrived back from Australia, and was heading from the US to Scotland – slipped away as he thought of the first-class sleep he would get.

But when he got to the front of the jet bridge, there was a strange atmosphere.

“You know when there’s a celebrity on the flight there’s a different energy on the plane,” Amer said. “I walked to my seat and I could see the lady behind me looked perturbed by something.”

He followed her eyes to the seat next to his, where he saw the famous man, unmistakable, wearing a blue sweater emblazoned with his family crest. “I’m like: are you kidding? Eric Trump?”

Amer was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, and came to America as an asylum-seeker after the first Gulf War and became a US citizen in 2009. He saw his assignment as a golden opportunity, both as a Muslim, an American and a comedian.

“I put my bags up, I sat down, introduced myself as Mohammed,” Amer told the Guardian. Then he got straight to the point. “I said: ‘I’m a Muslim. I’m not gonna do that Muslim ID thing. That’s not gonna fly.’”

Eric Trump’s response was not exactly on-message with his father’s campaign. “His exact words were: ‘come on, man, don’t believe everything you read, we’re not going to do that’,” Amer said. Representatives for president-elect Trump did not respond to a request for clarification on the policy, or Trump’s past suggestion of a registry of Muslims.

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