Ajmal Masroor, a high-profile imam and TV presenter from London, has started a new website called Flying While Muslim after being barred from boarding a plane headed to the United States in December. The website aims to support Muslims who have been prevented from traveling because of their religion, RT reported Thursday.
The new website tracks problems faced by Muslim passengers on airplanes and at airports. Contributors are able to report incidents anonymously, and Masroor claimed to have already received 20 accounts from people who have been treated unfairly and turned away at airports for little reason other than their religion, the Standard reported.
“Profiling people based on their religion, especially being a Muslim and flying makes a mockery out of what we call a democracy and freedom,” Masroor reportedly told BBC News Wednesday.
Today BBC has carried my US visa revocation story for the whole day and will have an extensive piece for the 6.30... https://t.co/9zUdvJMsvi
— Ajmal Masroor (@AjmalMasroor) January 13, 2016
Last month, Masroor was traveling to New York to lead prayers and speak at two events when he was stopped from boarding at Heathrow Airport in London. U.S. officials told him his visa had been revoked and that he “may have done something wrong,” Masroor said, RT reported.
“They were insinuating there was somebody in my Facebook group they wanted to talk to and don’t like…” said Masroor, who is also a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Britain, the Standard reported. “There’s 28,000 people who follow me on Facebook. The whole idea of Facebook is that people have the right to engage with you if they want because you’re a public figure. I have a public page.”
Masroor launched the website on the heels of controversial statements made by Republican candidate Donald Trump, who ignited a public backlash when he suggested Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. In response, 565,000 Britons have signed a petition for Trump to be banned from the U.K.
“If I’ve done something wrong, try me in a court of law. Don’t cast aspersions and insinuations — that makes me mad,” Masroor said, the Standard reported. “In the American Constitution, we’re all innocent until proven guilty.”