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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Muslim pilot reveals shock at being ordered off flight

A British Muslim airline pilot yesterday described the "humiliating" moment when he was hauled off a transatlantic flight just before take-off.

Amar Ashraf, 28, who was born in Wrexham, North Wales, said he felt " demoralised and humiliated" after being told to leave the flight from Manchester to Newark by a stewardess, and then being questioned by armed police. He believes his removal was down to having a "Muslim-sounding name".

Mr Ashraf, 28, a British Pakistani who was returning to his job as a pilot for one of Continental's partner airlines in the US, will lodge a formal complaint with Continental Airlines, with whom he was travelling, as well as with the US authorities.

His complaint follows growing concern among British Muslims over incidents in which Asian people have been removed from flights, as well as anger over the "passenger mutiny" in which two men were ordered off a plane bound for Manchester. Passengers became concerned by the two, who were said to be speaking Arabic and looked of Asian or Middle Eastern appearance. [Link]

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