Woman: Security Didn't Want Her Waving Palestinian Flag During Israel Game in Houston

Categories: Spaced City

flag.jpg
Courtesy Buthayna Hammad
Perhaps there should be a list of "acceptable" flags to wave at booze-fueled sporting events.
A woman watching the Honduras-Israel soccer match at BBVA Compass Stadium June 1 says a security guard tried to confiscate her Palestinian flag because it was a "racial slur."

Buthayna Hammad says she was waving the flag about fifteen minutes into the match when four stadium security officers and four police officers approached. They asked her to step away from her seat for a discussion. That's when, she says, security manager Nathan Buchanan told her the flag "infers a racial slur." (We don't know what's more offensive -- the premise that the flag is somehow racist, or that he allegedly said "infers" when he should have said "implies.")

"My boyfriend came with me. He is Honduran," Hammad told Hair Balls via Facebook. "He was outraged and couldn't stop yelling. I was a little more calm about it because I have faced racism [quite] a bit...." (Hammad, a native Houstonian, says her parents are from Jordan Jerusalem and Gaza).

BBVA Compass Stadium spokeswoman Gina Rotola told us via email that "the decision to not allow the Palestinian flag to be displayed during the game was based on the sole intention of maintaining the safety of those in attendance. The flag bearer was instigating the crowd, and we felt it was important to diffuse a potentially volatile situation as emotions began to escalate. We instructed the patron that she could retain her flag but should refrain from waving it in front of fans from the other teams."

Rotola declined to explain how Hammad was "instigating" anything, but she told us that "A national flag from any country cannot be a racial slur, so if any statement of that nature were used, it would have been made incorrectly by an individual trying to deescalate a situation. Again, our goal is to host a fun, safe environment for all fans. Taunting, heckling, or creating a disturbance does not have a place in the stadium at any time."

Hammad, of course, has a different take: "Well, in this crowd, like many others, there are a lot of 'instigating' remarks or actions. Example, the crowds were yelling things like 'faggot,' 'mother-fucker' etc. I don't really speak Spanish, so I asked my [boyfriend] for a translation. I just shouted 'Honduras' or 'vamos Honduras' and held my flag."

Hammad told us that Buchanan said he'd make a "compromise," telling her that she could return to her seat and keep her flag, as long as she didn't wave it. She says he gave her his business card and said to contact him immediately if anyone gave her a problem.

So why wave the flag in the first place?

Hammad tells us "While I want to avoid the politics of the situation, it is difficult to do, but I have cousins who have immigrated to Honduras from Palestine and they were very welcomed there, so there is a love for Honduras in that sense. My intention was to represent myself and Honduras."

She adds, "It happens. It is an international sport, and people fly their nation's flag to represent their support for the team they are cheering on."

Hammad thinks someone may have complained to security, so Buchanan may have felt he was put in an uncomfortable situation. (We tried speaking with him directly, but no such luck). Still, this was not the way to handle it. But at least we now know one thing, based on Hammad's story: Shouting "faggot" and "motherfucker" at BBVA Compass Stadium may not earn you a visit from security, but waving a flag someone doesn't like might.




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86 comments
sturn578
sturn578

Ms. Hammad filed an affidavit with the court declaring she has no job and only $1600 in savings and $45,000 in student debt so she qualifies as a pauper and doesn't have to pay the court fees that a working person would have to pay to file in federal court. 

Here is the pauper filing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B51q66d6tD1lMHBJUHBqTGxWMzg/edit?usp=sharing

In her lawsuit, she is suing for an injunction because she plans on going to soccer games. Where does she get money to go to soccer games? 

Here is the lawsuit as filed 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B51q66d6tD1lMnY3bzVrVkZLWEU/edit?usp=sharing

This lawsuit doesn't really makes sense. 

colorfuldreamstudio
colorfuldreamstudio

This girl is a Hammas terror organization supporter. By her own word. Not mine. She is proud of it. She is looking for provocation everywhere she goes in Houston and often finds it. She speaks here about freedom of speech and all american liberal value. Values that have nothing to do with Islamic Hammas that treat women like property and freedom of speech is a funny joke for them at best.

From throwing the "fatah" (the opposite political party of the palestinian arabs there) activists to their death from roofs to dragging their dead corps in the streets tied up to a back of a car.

Nothing that Iv mentioned here is an "opinion".

Everybody is welcome to google the facts I mentioned here themselves and learn what this girl is supporting really with her "innocent" flag waving in a game where "palestinians" are not even playing.

Her intentions were pure provocation as usual, wherever she see's an israeli she will create a provocation.


Pure hate and arab racism. nothing more in this story and person.


ryotstorms
ryotstorms

damn she sexy!!!! you can wave any flag u want baby!!!!

ibrahimsued2
ibrahimsued2

The truth is she's been so kindly treated, could even remain with her flag. But just guess if a jew would have waved an Israeli flag in a soccer game in 'Palestine', hehe. Those murderous people would have just killed him with their own hands. And what exactly do they want to teach anyone?

ibrahimsued2
ibrahimsued2

I'm against her provoking attitude, think she's got no right to do that, but anyway couldn't she just be ignored ? On the other hand I heard personally about Israel supporters that complaind of harrassment in this game, I'll check it.

ibrahimsued2
ibrahimsued2

I'm against her provoking attitude, think she's got no right to do that, but anyway couldn't she just be ignored ? On the other hand I heard personally about Israel supporters that complaind of harrassment in this game, I'll check it.

RedActor
RedActor

There’s a long, complicated history re “infer” and “imply.”


The unquestionable offense is Rotola’s desire to “diffuse” (not “defuse”) the situation.

Michael Kray
Michael Kray

She was trying to induce a riot, one wouldn't wear a KKK hood to a historically black college football game and expect protection.

Dodd Melcher
Dodd Melcher

What was her point in waving a Palestinian flag when no Palestinian team was playing? Obviously just to be an asshole. Boo hoo.

Lisa Majzoub
Lisa Majzoub

Thank you for this, Houston Press and Craig Malisow. I love that this is getting attention in my home town's alternative weekly. It's too bad we cannot say the same for MSM.

Chris Lerma
Chris Lerma

She should be able to bring any flag in but let's be clear her motives were purely political. Why else to you bring a Palestinian flag to an Israel soccer match? Palestine was not playing.

Josh Webster
Josh Webster

She could have exercised her freedom of speech by picketing the game from the sidewalk, and no one could have stopped her. The stadium is not required to defend her protest, and if other patrons were getting angry, the stadium was right to resolve the situation. Besides, the only reason this story made the news is because security intervened, so you could say they did her cause a favor.

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

Palestinians are the new American indian. they're about to be extinct they jusy do know it yet...

suhail_shafi
suhail_shafi

Shame on the security officials who mistreated this brave woman. Her treatment is almost as disgraceful as US support for Israeli apartheid, human rights abuses and war crimes in the Palestinian territories. 


My humble advice to Ms Hammad is to get herself a good lawyer and sue the stadium. That should make them think twice about treating people like that. 

ksihasan
ksihasan

It is a shame ,in the country of freedom, free speach, a piece of colored cloth,i.e flag,can be percieved as a threat to security.! What's next.This what our friend/ally Israel is pushing us to ignore our values and principles ,when it doesn't suit them.

Andrew Hernandez
Andrew Hernandez

Sad how people always seem to try to make everything political; even a simple soccer game.

richardbraverman
richardbraverman

I don't really care about Buthayna Hammad and her method of supporting Honduras.  


However, as a proud and vocal HATER of all things Israel, I feel it is my duty to remind everybody on the planet about the vile history of that racist, US and European Taxpayer Funded, evil, apartheid nightmare without borders.  


Would it be racial slur to wave a US Flag at the Honduras vs Israel match ??

Well as a proud American, I would like to remind my fellow countrymen about the USS Liberty, GTR-5.  


Did you know that beloved Israel attacked an american ship in broad daylight murdering 34 US Navy Sailors and wounding 171 more.


Did you know that both the USS Saratoga and USS America launched fighter aircraft to defend their American compatriots only to have President Lyndon Johnson order them back to ship because as Robert Macnamara stated, "he did not want to embarrass an ally"


Did you know the USS Liberty was attacked for four hours. First by fighter aircraft, then bomber aircraft, then fast attack gunboats, and finally by helicopters loaded with armed marines.  Did you know that Israel fired four torpedoes at the USS Liberty with the sole aim of sinking the ship and blaming it on another country.


Did you know that the crew members of the USS Liberty were ordered to keep the incident quiet and that to this day the US Congress does not recognize their valor under fire.


So go ahead and raise any flag when Israel is present. Go ahead and scream at the top of your lungs about all things evil carried out by that vicious monster.


And ignore anyone who will try to take that right away from you.

Patrick C Moynihan
Patrick C Moynihan

She was trying to start shit. I don't see how that was over reacting on behalf of security.

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

Muslims Code:  I’m going to come to your country, spit on your culture, and demand that you change your lifestyle to suit my religion. And if you criticize me for doing that, then you’re an imperialist western bigot.

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

The Muslim in the United States complain about being Censored by our Law Enforcement to stop the threats to America. So the people of Islam are upset that our Law Enforcement agencies need to censor Muslims to stop terrorist attacks. The Muslims know this because they are censoring our Law Enforcement agencies like the terrorist support groups that they are.

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

Seasonal Killing by members of Islam, May through September is jihad season in non-middle eastern countries, companies will blow up, wildfires, damage to war memorials, grave markers, and churches, gas lines will explode, stabbing (beheadings), homes will explode, and groups of people will be run over by a vehicle. It is seasonal killing just before, during, and after Ramada in their home country. Mysterious crimes that will duplicate themselves about the same time; in different countries. All to kill Infidels for the love of Allah. 

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

Muslims & Arabs believe they are a superior race and have the right to rape, torture, kill because the Quran being in Arabic non-Arabic people are inferior and are to be treated like slaves. This is sanctified by God in the Quran.

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

"Muslim countries, the most protective of women’s ‘honor’, have one of the highest rape scales in the world" The Muslim Issue, July 11, 2013

moosemyfrnds
moosemyfrnds

the people of Islam are calling Americans anti Muslims for reporting facts, go figure. I am amazed that these fine Muslims and Hamas-The Muslim Brotherhood Front Group, Cair (The Council Of American-Islamic Relations)   are worried about Muslims arrested in the United States in making sue that they are eating Islamic approved foods while in prison. All in the name of their religion.  But this was not an issues when the Vietnamese came to this country 20 something years ago. The Vietnamese saw a chance to work and build a life in this country and they worked for it unlike the Muslims who are migrating here and living off our government while to have the money to build mosque and sue anyone who does not agree with their thinking. Vietnamese families moving into the US are making every effort they can to integrate themselves into the local community, thereby contributing to worldwide peace and harmony and a greater understanding of their faith.

NFLcopiesWWE
NFLcopiesWWE

@suhail_shafi Your advice is idiotic.  Are you a U.S. citizen?  If so, I hope you educate yourself about this country's laws.


The stadium had no obligation to let her wave that flag.


In fact, in America, that stadium could have told every spectator, "You must wear yellow pants and purple shirts, or you will not be allowed to attend the game."


Do you know WHY the stadium can do that?  Because in the U.S., it is the government that cannot silence a crowd, or stifle their expression. A private event has every right to do so.


Stop with your "get a lawyer" garbage. The troublemaker is lucky that she was simply told not to wave the flag, instead of being told to leave the event altogether.



yolo40
yolo40

@ksihasan A palestinian flag waved at Israelis and jews is an attack.  This woman knows it.  It should be nowhere in America as the so called palestinians have murdered many Americans going back to the 60's

ibrahimsued2
ibrahimsued2

@richardbraverman A true 'Brave Man' for you don't hide your hatred. I'm so sorry but there's no place for you in our stadiums nor in Israel.

JerseyGirl
JerseyGirl

Yep. I just wish they had thrown her out too.

zamunati
zamunati

@moosemyfrnds first of all Muslims have been a part of this country since day one ... the laws our declaration of independence and constitution are based on is Islamic law, read up on the founding fathers and their inspirations, namely Jefferson. The first two countries to recognize the USA as a legit country, do trade with us and offer up defense were Muslim countries ... Egypt and Morocco. The vast majority of slaves brought to this country were Muslims, one was even a prince and Morocco ended, for a time, all diplomacy with us until he was returned, which took decades. His family still exists in Mississippi. Also ... Muslim is not a race, it is a religion ...one which nearly 2 billion people across the world practice. Muslims come from every single country in the world, so get used to it, deal with it and get over it. Most Muslims in the USA were BORN HERE ... I am just as American as you ... though it seems I care to learn the history better than you...

my9mmauto
my9mmauto

@moosemyfrnds Sounds like how Israel was founded, and expanded against the native people's wills.

zamunati
zamunati

@moosemyfrnds who said this young woman is Muslim? You do realize that a huge portion of Palestinians are Christian right? Jesus included ... and she was not threatening anyway, she was not being aggressive, she was not being a terrorist or a threat to this country ... she was waving a flag at a soccer game ... a  very very regular thing. 

ksihasan
ksihasan

@moosemyfrnds you are full of ignorance, misinformation, hate and racism all combined in one.

suhail_shafi
suhail_shafi

@NFLcopiesWWE Private corporations do not have the right to silence free speech. The person needing education about the laws of America is you and the pro Israel lobby in general which uses frivolous and nonsensical allegations of ``anti Semitism'' to silence debate about US complicity in Israel's despicable human rights record. 


ksihasan
ksihasan

@yolo40 @ksihasan you mean the Israelis who killed, or caused to be killed Americans, remember Liberty,just an example. 

yolo40
yolo40

@zamunati @moosemyfrnds Wow you are so full shite.  First of all muslims have not always been in this country.  This country was discovered because of muslims kidnapping and murdering Europeans.  The people needed new routes to India so they would not be murdered by muslims.  The US navy was created to fight muslims in 1805.  The koran that Jefferson had was to study just how evil islam is. Muslims controlled the slave trade both Afriacn and arab.  Most of the slaves were not muslim.  They were however captured and sold by muslims.  Muslims were responsible for the deaths of 120,000,000 Africans that were taken for the Arab and muslim lands.  You have know clue about American history.  Muslims are the problem wherever they are and that includes the US where hundreds of muslims have been imprisoned for terrorism.  EVERYDAY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD MUSLIMS MASS MURDER NON MUSLIMS!!!!  I suggest you get a cue.  Islam is the most evil and vile ideology to ever exist.  Another thing islam is not the religion of god as no god would have a mass murdering rapist thief as his prophet.  Which as history shows was what mohammad was.

JerseyGirl
JerseyGirl

OUR constitution is not based on Islamic law and if you and your ilk weren't constantly trying to prove that you're superior to everyone else, perhaps you wouldn't be so disliked here.

screenstarr
screenstarr

@zamunati  You are wrong. A "huge portion of Palestinians" is NOT Christian, as you state. About 2.1 per cent of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are Christian. There used to be more, before Muslims burned, crucified and forcibly converted some of them. Get your facts straight before posting here.


NFLcopiesWWE
NFLcopiesWWE

@suhail_shafi @NFLcopiesWWE  


Are you serious???  Do you think you have the right to walk into WalMart and start preaching about how KMart is superior, and that WalMart has to let you stay there, because you have some First Amendment right that WalMart has to abide by???


Answer:  NO.  WalMart can tell you to be quiet, or to leave.


In fact, WalMart can put a sign outside their store that says "Upon entering this store, you must proclaim your undying love for Justin Bieber, or you will be denied access."


And you know what?  They have every right to make you say you love Justin Bieber, or to keep you out of their store.


Do you know why they can do that?  Because they are NOT the government.


Again, I tell you this FACT:  private companies, and private individuals have ZERO responsibility to respect your First Amendment protections.


Also, it doesn't really matter if you're an American citizen or not.  Most of the idiots in this country don't have a clue what our rights mean, and who has to respect them.

ibrahimsued2
ibrahimsued2

@ksihasan There is no room for your hatred speech in our stadiums, that's why neither you nor Hammad are welcome here or in Israel, so sorry.

kar325ix
kar325ix

@JerseyGirl I would have to say that it is the Zionist trolls such as yourself who believe that they are superior to everyone else. 

kar325ix
kar325ix

@screenstarr @zamunati  - Screenstarr is nothing more than another Zionist troll defending the illegal and immoral military occupation of the West Bank which has turned the lives of both Muslim and Christian Palestinians into a living hell.

suhail_shafi
suhail_shafi

@NFLcopiesWWE The people at Walmart show far more maturity than the stadium owners in question. Just goes to show Israel's supporters lack basic human values as well as civil ones. 

ibrahimsued2
ibrahimsued2

@suhail_shafi You clearly are an Israel and Jewish people basher as is your friend Hammad. You are both not wellcome nor here neither in Israel or elsewhere.

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