Canadian Muslim Barred from Flight Files Complaint


A Canadian Muslim who says he was blocked from a domestic Air Canada flight because of racial profiling has filed a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

While attempting to purchase a ticket in Vancouver to fly to Victoria in May 2004, Shahid Mahmood said he was flagged as a security threat. Mahmood's Chilean-born wife, however, was allowed to purchase a seat.

"I was stunned at their refusal to allow me to board this flight," he said Tuesday.

Despite repeated attempts to find out why he was barred, the Toronto-born editorial cartoonist said the airline has never given him a reason.

"I am just as in the dark, with no tangible answers from Air Canada, now as I was three years ago."

Mahmood, who grew up in Pakistan, believes he was blocked because of his race and faith.

Nicole Chrolavicius, Mahmood's lawyer, said the case is the first of its kind in Canada, and that it brings into focus the plight of other Muslim Canadians who have been unjustly flagged as security risks and restricted from travelling.

She also suggested that Air Canada was unofficially using a U.S. no-fly list at the time. (MORE)

 


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