British Muslim teacher denied entry to America on school trip with pupils

‘Understandably he feels belittled and upset at what appears to be an unjustified act of discrimination’

Johanna Carr
Tuesday 21 February 2017 09:50
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Maths teacher Juhel Miah had flown to Reykjavik in Iceland from Britain with the schoolchildren before boarding a flight to New York, but was escorted from the plane before it took off
Maths teacher Juhel Miah had flown to Reykjavik in Iceland from Britain with the schoolchildren before boarding a flight to New York, but was escorted from the plane before it took off

A "popular and respected" Muslim school teacher was denied entry to the United States while on a trip to New York with students.

Juhel Miah and a group from Llangatwg Comprehensive in Aberdulais, Neath Port Talbot, South Wales, were travelling from Iceland when he was removed from the plane at Reykjavik on 16 February.

A spokesman for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council said the trip proceeded as planned but pupils and colleagues were left "shocked and distressed" after "popular and respected" Mr Miah was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel.

The council has written to the US Embassy in London to express its dismay at the treatment of one of its employees and said it understood that Mr Miah was refused permission by the United States authorities to fly to New York, despite being issued with a valid visa for travel.

The spokesman said: "We are appalled by the treatment of Mr Miah and are demanding an explanation. The matter has also been raised with our local member of parliament.

"No satisfactory reason has been provided for refusing entry to the United States - either at the airport in Iceland or subsequently at the US Embassy in Reykjavik.

"Mr Miah attempted to visit the embassy but was denied access to the building.

"Understandably he feels belittled and upset at what appears to be an unjustified act of discrimination."

President Donald Trump's executive order was hastily unveiled at the end of his first week in office.

Trump considers "brand new" travel ban

While the White House boasted that he was fulfilling a campaign promise to toughen vetting procedures for people coming from countries with terror ties, the order caused chaos at airports in the US and sparked protests across the country.

The president has cast the order as crucial for national security.

In its original form, the order temporarily suspended all travel to the US for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

The order was put on hold by the courts and a revised version has not yet been signed though it is understood from a draft that the same seven countries - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya - will be targeted in it.

Press Association

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