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Friday, December 23, 2005

Two British Speakers for U.S. Muslim Conference on Combatting Terrorism Detained at Airport

On December 18, 2005 The Guardian/Associated Press reported, "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 it wasn't clear why the men were delayed. Calls to U.S. Customs and Immigration officials late Saturday seeking comment were not immediately returned. Maher Hathout, founder and senior adviser of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said Saturday that American Muslims needed to actively define their role in society so other groups, including extremists and media organizations, didn't define it for them."

This article cross-posted at the Pluralism Project's International Religious Diversity News.

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