Muslim teen denied entry into US despite being a citizen

A 17-year-old from Knoxville was denied entry to her flight over the weekend

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The Independent US

A Muslim teen was denied permission to board a Turkish Airline plane on her flight back to America over the weekend—despite being a United States citizen.

Zubaidah Alizoti, a high school student from Knoxville, was returning from the Middle East with her family when airline security prevented her from boarding the plane. However, the officials allowed the 17-year-old’s family to board the flight to Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

The teen’s mother, Sabrina Sadaf Siddiqi, wrote a Facebook post explaining the situation to friends and family.

“I've been absent from my social media because I was taking an epic journey to surprise my mother, father, family & friends by going with them to umrah again Alhamdullilah! (Pictures to come soon iA),” she wrote. “But today, as we tried to board our flight back to America my daughter, my 17 year old, my kind, my courteous, my loved by many, my Tennessee born daughter was denied entry back to her country, my country, our country.”

Paul Galloway, the executive director at the Center for American Outreach, told the Associated Press that the Siddiqi family joined a group of nearly 50 people who made the trip to Mecca.

In a separate Facebook post on Monday, Siddiqi said that she attempted to meet with members of the US Consulate but was told that she would need to make an appointment. The family will attempt to board a new flight on Wednesday.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero expressed concern over the situation and has reached out to state Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander.

"I saw the Facebook posts about the Siddiqi family's situation, and I was concerned," she said. "I contacted the offices of Congressman Duncan and Senators Alexander and Corker, and they all responded promptly and promised to reach out to the Siddiqis. I have heard from Sabrina Siddiqi that she has heard from them, and she appreciates the support."

The Transportation Security Administration said on Monday that Turkish Airlines failed to provide essential information required in order for the teen to board the flight.

"International carriers are tasked with providing security information to the federal government before a passenger can fly into the United States," a TSA spokesperson told the paper. "That did not happen in this case."