UK Muslims held at US customs, forced to miss conference

Muslim leaders who gathered Saturday to discuss their role in combating extremism within the Islamic community complained that two scheduled speakers missed the event after being detained at Los Angeles International Airport.

“People are upset,” said Salam Al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which organized the conference. “On one hand the U.S. government is asking us to do more, but on the other they are preventing us from doing our work.”

British citizens Mockbul Ali and Waqqas Khan had arrived on a flight from London at 4 p.m. but only cleared customs after 8 p.m., said Erin Robertson, a spokeswoman for the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles. Robertson said the reason for the delay was not clear.

Associated Press, 18 December 2005

That would be Mockbul Ali, the foreign office’s adviser on Muslim affairs, and Wakkas Khan of FOSIS. Unbelievable. (Mind you, after the experiences of Tariq Ramadan, Yusuf Islam and Zaki Badawi, perhaps they should be thankful they were allowed in at all.)