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23rd Dec 2015

British Muslim family inexplicably stopped from boarding a plane to Disneyland

Nooruddean Choudry

One family’s dream holiday has been ruined – and it’s unclear why.

A British Muslim family’s once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyland, California was scuppered when they were stopped from getting on a plane by US authorities.

Department of Homeland Security officials stopped the family at Gatwick airport on December 15. No reason was given for why they wouldn’t let the group of eleven board their flight.

The family had planned to stay with cousins in California, and visit both Disneyland and Universal Studios, but they were turned away while at the departure lounge.

The family had already been granted travel authorisation online, but that seemed to count for nothing.

Writing for the Guardian, Labour MP Stella Creasy expressed concern about the incident and the more general victimisation of Muslim people.

‘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,’ wrote Creasy.

Mohammad Tariq Mahmood was one of the family members turned away from the flight, and was understandably devastated.

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

Aides to David Cameron have promised he will look into the case.