Despite President Trump’s executive order which called for a ban on individuals hailing from seven Muslim-majority nations being overturned- the repercussions of even having the policy instated for a mere day are presently being felt. British Muslim teacher Juhel Miah, felt confident that since the UK confirmed with the US government that British passport holders, regardless of country of birth or citizenship to other nations, are not affected by said ban- planned to attend a class trip to New York City with his students and colleagues. Unfortunately for Mr. Miah, he was sorely mistaken. Although the teacher had the proper travel documents and a valid Visa to enter the US, he was removed from his connecting flight from Iceland to the New York, and sent back on a plane home to the UK- humiliating him in front of his peers.
According to Erin Corbett for Raw Story:
Juhel Miah was removed from the plane by security personnel in Reykjavik just before take off, leaving students shocked and distressed. The incident occurred just days after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals voted against reinstating President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim travel and immigration ban.
The Neath Port Talbot Council, Miah’s employer, wrote to the London U.S. embassy for an explanation on the matter, and a spokesperson of the Council called the incident “an unjustified act of discrimination.” According to the Guardian, Miah had valid visa documentation.
“Juhel Miah was with a party from Llangatwg comprehensive who travelled initially to Iceland en route to New York last week,” the spokesperson said. “Mr Miah boarded the onward flight in Reykjavik on 16 February but was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel. Whilst the school trip proceeded as planned, Mr Miah’s removal from the flight left pupils and colleagues shocked and distressed.”
The U.K. offered the following statement in response to Trump’s executive order earlier this month:
We have confirmed with the US government that British passport holders (regardless of country of birth or whether they hold another passport/nationality) aren’t affected by the executive order
Miah, who British authorities say has a valid travel visa, told Wales Online: “Everyone was looking at me,” Miah said. “As I was getting my luggage the teachers and kids were confused. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was being escorted out. It made me feel like a criminal. I couldn’t speak, I was lost for words.”
The Neath Port Talbot Council spokesperson wrote, “We are appalled by the treatment of Mr Miah and are demanding an explanation. The matter has also been raised with our local MP.” According to the Guardian, Miah’s experience is cause for concern and doubt on the U.K.’s input about travel to the U.S.
Surely, it isn’t only U.K. residents who have concerns about travel to the United States, it has already been reported that similar instances have occurred to Canadian travelers as well. What do you make of this whole incident? Do you think despite the “Muslim ban” being overturned, we will see instances like these on the rise? While border agents need not explain why they may turn away an individual- why is is that the only Muslim teacher, despite his travel documents being the same as those allowed entrance into the United States was singled out and denied entry? It doesn’t take much as to discovering why.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)