[CONTACT: CAIR-Houston Board Member Kaleem Siddiqui, 210-884-5335; CAIR-Houston Civil Rights Director Halimah Shaheed, 713-838-2247]
HOUSTON – An Islamic scholar traveling to a religious conference in Houston was denied entry this week into the United States, officials said.
Yahya Ibrahim, a Canadian citizen who resides in Australia, was scheduled to speak this weekend at the Texas Dawah Convention V in Houston. But Customs and Border Protection officials denied him entry Monday night when he landed in Detroit, said Chief Ron Smith, a Customs and Border spokesman.
“The only information I can give out is that he was denied entry under the Immigration Act,” Smith said.
No contact information was immediately available for Ibrahim, who flew to Canada after learning he was not allowed into the United States, Smith said.
Officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the scholar told them he was detained for five hours and given no reason for being refused entry. Kaleem Siddiqui, a spokesman for the council’s Houston office, said the organization was contacting congressmen and other authorities for an explanation.