British MP Denied Boarding on Canada Flight Due to His Muslim Name
British Parliamentarian Mohammad Yasin, representing the Labour Party for Bedford, was prevented from boarding a flight to Canada with other members of parliament. Yasin was singled out solely due to his Muslim name.
Yasin was part of a group of MPs from the Commons committee dedicated to levelling up, housing, and communities.
During the incident, Yasin was subjected to questioning about carrying weapons and his place of birth by Air Canada officials. The discrimination against Yasin’s Muslim name continued during his return trip to the UK.
The Committee Chair Clive Betts considered the incident racist and Islamophobic. He declared his intention to write to the Canadian high commissioner in the UK to address the issue.
In a point of order raised in the Commons, Clive Betts shared details about the “serious incident.” He revealed that Mohammad Yasin was the only committee member singled out for questioning at Heathrow Airport, despite all other members being allowed to check in without any issues. Yasin was informed that the delay was due to his name being Mohammad.
The questioning was conducted by Air Canada officials despite Yasin holding a valid visa to enter Canada. Yasin was ultimately allowed to proceed only after proving his identity as an MP with the assistance of the committee clerk.
Similar challenges awaited Yasin at Montreal airport during his trip. The MP faced another round of questioning when returning to Toronto airport on his way back to the UK, receiving assistance from the consul general.
Yasin later received apologies from the parliamentary secretary to the Canadian minister for immigration and from Air Canada. However, Clive Betts is determined to write to the Canadian high commissioner to address these concerns formally.
Betts underscored the importance of documenting these concerns in the parliamentary record and pointed out that it is entirely unacceptable for a member of the House of Commons to be treated in such a discriminatory manner.
Deputy Speaker Roger Gale echoed the sentiments of the House regarding Yasin’s treatment. He pointed out that such treatment is unacceptable since it occurred during an official trip for parliamentary business.
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