Stella Creasy Demands David Cameron Intervene Over British Muslim Family Barred From Flying To US

22/12/2015 21:58 | Updated 23 December 2015

David Cameron has been asked to respond to claims that American authorities refused to let a British Muslim family board a plane at Gatwick Airport bound to Los Angeles last week without any explanation.

The 11-member family had their right to travel revoked whilst queuing in the departure lounge, according to Stella Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow, north east London.

The family, which lives in the member's constituency, was offered no explanation for the refusal, and the £9,000 they spent on flights will not be refunded, Creasy wrote in the Guardian.

The family had saved thousands of pounds for a trip to Disney Land, however as they attempted to board the Norwegian Airlines flight on December 15 they were stopped by officials from the US Department of Homeland Security, who told them their authorisation to travel had been cancelled.

The MP has since written to the Prime Minister demanding he intervene to find out why the family was barred as her enquiries have “hit a brick wall.”

Writing in the newspaper, the MP said: "Instead of heading to Universal Studios for two weeks of fun, they were told to go back home and unpack.” The incident raises "troubling questions well beyond how to diffuse the heartache of small children unable to meet Elsa from Frozen," Creasy added.

stella creasy

Creasy has called on Cameron to find out why her constituents were refused entry to the US

The father, Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, said no reason was given as to why they could not travel, even though the family were authorised under the Visa Waiver programme, which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days. Mahmood, who was journeying with his brother and nine children, said he believed the family was not allowed to board the plane “because of the attacks on America.”

“They think every Muslim poses a threat,” he added.

This month, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald trump called for a blanket ban on all Muslims entering the US in the wake of the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, which left 14 people dead.

On the Mahmood's plight, 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," concluded the MP.

Downing Street said Cameron would respond shortly to the issues raised by Creasy.

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