Canada: Rice Vows to Probe Muslim's Detention at Airport


The case of a respected London Muslim leader, detained for hours at the Detroit airport last month, has been brought to the attention of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

Dr. Munir El-Kassem, who was detained, interrogated and fingerprinted for hours in Detroit, met yesterday in Ottawa with Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay.

MacKay told El-Kassem -- a local imam, university chaplain and UWO professor -- that he brought the issue to Rice's attention over the weekend.

"(MacKay) told me . . . he spoke with Secretary Rice and she was quite concerned and promised to do a thorough investigation," El-Kassem said last night.

"Overreacting to security issues in this manner is not acceptable . . . and I hope they'll recognize that and find other solutions."

The Foreign Affairs Minister also instructed his own staff to follow up with a complete investigation into the series of events, El-Kassem said.

El-Kassem, a director at UWO's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, was interrogated for hours at the airport after telling an official he was Muslim.


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