British teacher removed from New York-bound plane despite halt on Muslim travel ban
A British Muslim teacher was removed from a plane traveling from Iceland to New York City on Feb. 16, as a group of students and teachers was heading to the United States for a school trip, the Guardian reports.
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.
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.