CAIRO - American Muslims hailed Monday, November 19, a decision to allow a Muslim Air Force veteran to board a flight to the United States after being denied twice the right to visit his ailing mother.
We welcome the positive development in this case, Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.Saadiq Long, who served for a decade in the US army, has been barred from returning to the United States as US authorities has placed his name in the no-fly list.
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But on Sunday evening, he was allowed to board a plane from the Qatari capital, Doha, to Amsterdam.
He then will fly to Detroit and is expected to arrive in Oklahoma City late Monday if there are no delays.
[We] hope Mr. Long will not face any bureaucratic difficulties when he returns to his native land, Soltani said.
Saadiq's dilemma began six months ago when he purchased a KLM ticket to Oklahoma, where he grew up to see his ailing mother.
His visit was the first after the Muslim veteran spent a decade teaching English in three Arab countries; Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
But to his surprise, he was told by a KLM air representative that he was not allowed on board because his name is placed on the US no-fly list.
The Muslim veteran was never convicted or indicted in any crime.
Receiving no notice why his own government prohibited him from flying back home, Saadiq was banned from boarding his flight from Qatar to the US twice before.
A few days ago, Saadiq's sister launched an online petition to pressure the US government to allow her brother back into home. The petition has gathered more than 6,000 signatures so far.
Saadiq is not the first Muslim to face troubles over being placed on the no-fly list for no apparent reason.
Established in 2003 and administrated by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, the no-fly list includes some 20,000 people deemed by the agency as known to have, or reasonably suspected of having, ties to terrorism.
About 500 of them are US citizens, according to an agency spokesman.
In May, fifteen American Muslims, including four military veterans, sued the federal government over being placed on a no-fly list for no apparent reason.
Earlier in 2011, an American Muslim family was kicked off a JetBlue flight because their 18-month child was flagged as no-fly.In 2009, nine members of a Muslim family were removed from a domestic AirTran Airways flight to Orlando, Florida, after they chatted about their seats in the plane.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net