Muslim Family: We Were Banned From US
Wednesday 23rd December 2015
The father of a family from London who were stopped from bording a plane to America has told LBC he believes they were targetted by US officials because they're Muslim.
Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, his brother and nine of their children were heading to Disneyland when they were stopped from boarding the plane.
Mr Mahmood has told LBC they've been given no explanation as to why they were barred and haven't been able to claim their money back.
He told LBC: "They are refusing to give our money back as they say it's not them that are refusing our flight, it's Homeland Security.
"That's why our MP Stella Creasy is trying to get some answers and even she says she's hit a brick wall."
When Nick asked him why he believes he was stopped from flying, Mr Mahmood said: "The only reason that comes to mind is being a Muslim.
"To me, there was nobody else on the plane of the same origin."
Nick also spoke to Mr Mahmoond's sister-in-law, the mother of some of the children turned away, who revealed why the wives were not travelling that day.
Sadaf Mahmood explained she had been ill and was hoping to join her family later in the holiday.
And she insisted that they had made a big deal out of the incident because of how heartbroken her children were by being stopped from flying.
She told LBC: "A lot of people are asking why we're making such a big deal about it, why does it have to be an Islamic thing?
"We were the only Muslim family on that plane. The fact that we had our Esta cleared a month in advance, I think that would have given the US Government enough time to do any research they want to do on us and stop us beforehand.
"But I think it's pure cruelty to take us to that point and get the kids' hopes up."
Ms Mahmood also dismissed claims her husband had previously been arrested in Israel, claiming the incident had been blown out of proportion.