British MP Vaz calls for probe into barring UK Muslims from flying to US

LONDON(REUTERS): Indian-origin British MP Keith Vaz has sought a probe into why a number of British Muslims were being denied entry into the US, amid reports that a family of 11 was stopped from boarding a flight to Los Angeles.

Indian-origin British MP Keith Vaz

Nearly 20 British Muslim families may have been refused entry into the US this year despite UK’s visa waiver programme with the US, according to media reports.

“There are now a number of examples of British citizens who happen to be of the Muslim faith being refused entry to the US without explanation. I will be writing to the US ambassador seeking a full explanation and if this is not forthcoming I will recommend to the committee that we call him to give evidence,” Vaz, chair of the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, said.

Referring to remarks by Republican presidential contender Donald Trump, that Muslims should be banned from the country for security reasons, he said: “Donald Trump is not the President, Barack Obama is.”
Vaz’s remarks followed reports that a British Muslim family of 11 on their way to Disneyland was stopped from boarding their flight to Los Angeles at London’s Gatwick airport on Tuesday last week by US immigration officials.

Mohammed Tariq Mahmood, 41, his brother and their children aged between eight and 19 were given no reason why their permission to travel had been revoked. Their visas had been organised six weeks before they were due to fly.

Labour MP Stella Creasy has raised the issue with Prime Minister Cameron, who has assured her of looking into the matter. A US Embassy spokesperson said: “We do not comment on the details of individual cases.”