British MP urges Cameron to intervene after US bans UK Muslim family

Labour MP Stella Creasy has called on the prime minister to challenge the US after a UK Muslim family was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles.

The family of 11, from Ms. Creasy’s Walthamstow constituency, had planned a holiday to Disneyland but were stopped at Gatwick Airport on 15 December.

Mohammad Tariq Mahmood said his family was given no reason why US officials had refused to allow them to board.

Downing Street said David Cameron would respond to the issues raised.

Ms. Creasy has written to the prime minister urging him to press the US authorities on what she said was “a growing problem” of British Muslims being barred from the US without explanation.

Writing in the newspaper, she said she had “hit a brick wall” with getting an explanation from American authorities and so has asked Mr Cameron to intervene.

Ms Creasy said: “The vacuum created by a refusal to provide any context for these decisions is fuelling resentment and debate.

“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.”

She added: “Just a week ago, parliamentarians were united in agreement that Trump’s views were abhorrent. Now we should do more than shrug our shoulders at secretive American security policies that leave our constituents in such limbo.

“If the embassy won’t answer to the family’s MP, it should answer to their prime minister and he to us about what he is doing to ensure that no British citizen is being discriminated against for their faith on our shores.”

Downing Street said Mr Cameron would respond to the issues raised by Ms Creasy

Mr. Mahmood, who was travelling with his brother and nine of their children, had planned to visit cousins in southern California and go to the theme parks. He said UK Border officials had informed them at the departure lounge that they were not allowed to board.

Mr. Mahmood told the Guardian that no officials had told them why their entry was refused, but he thought the reason was “obvious”.

“It’s because of the attacks on America – they think every Muslim poses a threat,” Mr. Mahmood said.

He said the airline had told them they would not be refunded the £9,000 cost of their flights. They were also forced to return everything they had purchased at Gatwick’s duty-free shops before being escorted from the airport, he said.

“I have never been more embarrassed in my life. I work here, I have a business here. But we were alienated,” Mr. Mahmood added.

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