Canadian Muslim Barred from Air Canada Flight Files Human Rights Complaint

November 27, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Canadian Press

A Canadian Muslim who says he was blocked from a domestic Air Canada flight because of racial profiling has filed a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

While attempting to purchase a ticket in Vancouver to fly to Victoria in May 2004, Shahid Mahmood said he was flagged as a security threat. Mahmood's Chilean-born wife, however, was allowed to purchase a seat.

"I was stunned at their refusal to allow me to board this flight," he said Tuesday.

Despite repeated attempts to find out why he was barred, the Toronto-born editorial cartoonist said the airline has never given him a reason.

"I am just as in the dark, with no tangible answers from Air Canada, now as I was three years ago."

Mahmood, who grew up in Pakistan, believes he was blocked because of his race and faith.