Cameron's office investigating why US barred British Muslim family

Cameron's office investigating why US barred British Muslim family
British Prime Minister David Cameron will look into reports that US officials prevented a British Muslim family of 11 from flying to Disneyland for a planned holiday.
2 min read
23 December, 2015
Muslims have complained of airport profiling even before Trump's recent comments [Getty]

British Prime Minister David Cameron's office said on Wednesday it was looking into the case of a family of 11 British Muslims who were refused permission to board a flight from London to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland.

The family of two adults and nine children were told by a US official that their right to travel had been revoked as they waited in the departure lounge of Gatwick airport last Tuesday. 

Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, who was travelling with his brother and nine of their children, said the officials gave no reason for blocking their travel plans. 

US  government source said only one male member of the family had been deemed to be prohibited from flying. But because all 11 passengers had booked their travel together, they were all denied boarding.

But he told the Guardian newspaper he believed it was because US officials "think every Muslim poses a threat".

US officials 'think every Muslim poses a threat'

"Because I have a beard and sometimes wear Islamic dress, I get stopped and asked questions," Mahmood added in comments to the BBC. "I feel that is part of the deal of flying."

The family has also been unable to secure a refund for the cost of the flights - around £9,000 (12,000 euros, $13,400).

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged to intervene on Wednesday.

Mahmood's local lawmaker in London, Stella Creasy of the main opposition Labour party, has asked Cameron to look into what happened.

Cameron's Downing Street office confirmed that the prime minister would respond to Creasy's request.

"Online and offline discussions reverberate with the growing fear that UK Muslims are being 'trumped' - that widespread condemnation of Donald Trump’s call for no Muslim to be allowed into America contrasts with what is going on in practice," Creasy wrote in Wednesday's Guardian.

"We should do more than shrug our shoulders at secretive American security policies that leave our constituents in such limbo."

The US embassy in London and Britain's Home Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.