The Slatest

U.S. Officials Allegedly Blocked a British Muslim Family From Flying to Disneyland

Pedestrians walk near the entrance to Disneyland Resort on Feb. 19, 2009, in Anaheim, California.

File photo by David McNew/Getty Images

The U.K. government is looking for answers after U.S. officials allegedly prevented a British Muslim family from boarding a flight from London to Los Angeles for a Disneyland vacation earlier this month. At the moment, no one seems to know exactly why the two brothers and their nine children were prevented from going on their planned vacation—and the U.S. government isn’t saying.

One of the men, Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, told the Guardian that the Homeland Security officials who stopped him never gave a reason—though he was willing to hazard his own guess: “They think every Muslim poses a threat.” (Adding injury to insult, the airline apparently won’t refund the $13,340 the family spent on the flights.)

A British lawmaker, meanwhile, says she’s been trying for the past two weeks to get an explanation from the U.S. embassy. “Despite making enquiries, I’ve hit a brick wall too,” Stella Creasy, a member of parliament who represents Mahmood’s constituency, wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday. At Creasy’s urging, Prime Minister David Cameron’s office announced that it, too, would investigate.

Creasy says that she’s heard similar complaints from other Muslims constituents and says that the U.S. government’s silence alone is a problem—particularly given Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from coming to the United States, a proposal that was widely condemned by Cameron and other British officials.

“The vacuum created by a refusal to provide any context for these decisions is fuelling resentment and debate,” Creasy wrote. “Online and offline discussions reverberate with the growing fear that UK Muslims are being ‘trumped’. … Faced with such claims, our concern should be to offer more than a critique of American Republican primary political positioning. Because this isn’t happening in the US. It’s happening on British soil, at our airports and involving our citizens and challenging their sense of place in our society too.”