Jae C. Hong / AP

UK to probe claim Muslim family on Disneyland trip barred from US flight

UK lawmaker says US officials gave no explanation for refusing to allow family to board plane

British Prime Minister David Cameron's office says he will investigate a lawmaker's claim that U.S. officials prevented a British Muslim family from flying to the U.S. for a planned Disneyland trip.

Stella Creasy, a member of the opposition Labour Party, says U.S. officials gave no explanation for refusing to allow her constituents to board a flight from Gatwick Airport on Dec. 15. She told The Guardian newspaper this is part of a larger pattern affecting British Muslims, and that a lack of information from U.S. officials is sparking resentment among Muslims who feel discriminated against.

"It's because of the attacks on America — they think every Muslim poses a threat," said Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, who the Guardian identified as one of the family members turned away from the flight.

Mahmood also told the paper that the children in the family were devastated they would not be able to visit their cousins in California and that the family would not be refunded the nearly $13,500 they paid for the flights. 

The issue is sensitive in part because U.S. presidential contender Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslims visiting the U.S. due to concerns about extremist attacks.

"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 U.S. It’s happening on British soil, at our airports and involving our citizens and challenging their sense of place in our society too," Creasy wrote in an Op-Ed for the Guardian. 

Creasy's office also told The Associated Press Wednesday that she had written to Cameron seeking his intervention. She complained that U.S. officials who kept the family from boarding provided no information and complained she had hit "a brick wall" seeking information about the case.

Creasy told the prime minister there is "growing fear" among British Muslims that aspects of Trump's plans are coming into practice even though they have been widely condemned.

She warned that some Muslims believe the public condemnation of Trump's position "contrasts with what is going on in practice."

Cameron's office said he would look into the matter. He had earlier characterized Trump's policy as "divisive and wrong."

U.S. Embassy officials declined immediate comment Wednesday.

Al Jazeera and The Associated Press 

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