Air Canada Accused Of Discriminating Against British MP Because His Name Is "Mohammad"

  Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mohammad Yasin, a British MP, was reportedly pulled aside for questioning at Heathrow Airport in London by Air Canada ahead of a flight.

According to The Canadian Press, Clive Betts, another MP noticed the questioning happening as he and other lawmakers boarded their flight without any hiccups. He claims Yasin had been in questioning "for a considerable period."

In the U.K. House of Commons, Betts claimed that Air Canada had asked Yasin about where he was born and if he had been carrying a knife. He also believes that the questioning was led by "Air Canada and [...] the Canadian government." Yasin reportedly had a visa to enter the country.

Betts added that Air Canada and the Canadian parliamentary secretary have since issued several apologies to Yasin and that it was important to highlight the "racist and Islamophobic nature" of the questioning.

"We raised the issue with our high commissioner in Ottawa, who was very supportive," Betts said according to the official record of the proceedings. "She was amazed at what had happened, given the multicultural nature of Canada as an open and welcoming country. She has raised the matter with the Canadian government and appreciates that I am raising it in Parliament, to try to ensure that no one is treated in this way in future."

Though Air Canada did not respond to the Canadian Press' request for comment, it reportedly told BBC that it apologized for the disruption.

"Unfortunately Mr. Yasin was designated for additional screening prior to his flight after a security check, but he was still able to travel as planned as he was quickly cleared," Air Canada said according to the BBC. "We are following up internally the handling of this particular matter to ensure procedures were properly followed and we have also been in touch with U.K. and Canadian authorities."