UPDATE: Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, the father of the family that was recently barred from traveling to the U.S. for a Disneyland trip, has spoken out about the discrimination his family experienced.
"I respect these people need to react if there is a genuine concern but they need to make sure this concern is genuine," he said.
"They need to check our backgrounds, check our accounts and check our businesses before they react like that. They can’t react like that just because we are Muslim."
"We are decent people. My kids are obviously upset. They know why it happened and they know what is going on in the world."
Mahmood said his family wants an explanation for why they were targeted. He said his son has been so upset, he hasn't even left the house since the incident.
Sadly, what happened to Mahmood's family is not an isolated incident. There have reportedly been about 20 British families who have also been stopped from entering the United States, arousing fears that Donald Trump's proposed "Muslim ban" is already in effect.
Another British Muslim, Ajmal Masroor, reportedly said he had been prevented from boarding a New York-bound flight last week at the last minute and is aware of at least 20 other cases of the same situation.
Masroor reportedly said he was told he could not travel despite having a valid business visa that he had used earlier this year. He was not given a reason why he could not board the Virgin Atlantic flight, but claimed other passengers who were wearing Islamic clothing were also questioned by security officials, Telegraph reports.
It seems like America’s blind hatred towards Muslims is now affecting people living outside the country as well.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently barred a British Muslim family from traveling to the United States despite having complete travel authorization — much to the dismay of U.K. politicians.
The children of Muhammad Tariq Mahmood, residents of the United Kingdom, were counting down days to when they would fly to see their relatives in Southern California and visit Disneyland and Universal Studios. Everything was in perfect order for their long-planned Dec. 15 flight, but things took a sudden turn when the family of 11 reached the airport.
Mahmood, along with his adult brother and their children, was stopped at the Gatwick airport in London after the U.S. officials denied them entry without any explanation.
British Labor MP Stella Creasy, who was the first to raise the case, has urged Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene and challenge the U.S. She believes a lack of information from American authorities is fueling resentment within British Muslim communities.
“Online and offline discussions reverberate with the growing fear 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 an article for The Guardian. She also said she was in contact with at least one other citizen who had done through similar experience.
The incident is being attributed to the dramatic increase in violent crimes against Muslims in the U.S. in the wake of recent terror attacks in Paris and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Although the U.S. security officials have not released a statement or responded to any requests for comments on the matter, Mahmood believes the reason they were banned from the flight was “obvious.”
“It’s because of the attacks on America — they think every Muslim poses a threat,” he said, adding that before leaving the airport, they were also forced to relinquish every duty-free item they had purchased while there. “I have never been more embarrassed in my life. I work here, I have a business here. But we were alienated.”
Along with not being able to see their cousins and visit the theme park and studios, his children were also devastated that the airline refused to refund the $18,741 they had paid for plane tickets.
Meanwhile, the aides of the prime minister have promised that Cameron will examine the case in due time, particularly since there have been other cases of British Muslims being stopped at airports from coming into the U.S.
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