A UK Labour MP was stopped while boarding a flight to Canada “because his name was Mohammad.” 

Last week, Mohammad Yasin, an MP for Bedford, was traveling with a group of other British MPs from the UK Commons’ Leveling Up, Housing and Communities Committee when he was pulled aside for additional questioning by Air Canada officials.

Yasin was asked where he was born and whether or not he was carrying a knife or any other weapons. 

He was asked a series of similar questions upon his arrival into Canada and again during his return trip home, according to Daily Mail.

The issue was discussed in the UK Commons and the Labour chairman of the committee Clive Betts said he would contact Canada’s high commissioner in the UK to discuss the unacceptable “racist and Islamaphobic nature” of the incident.

‘When the committee checked in for their flights at Heathrow, all Members got through with the exception of the Member for Bedford, who was delayed for questioning for a considerable period,” said Betts. “He was told it was because his name was Mohammad.”

“He was also asked whether he was carrying a knife, or other offensive weapon, he was also asked where he was born,” added Betts. “The questioning was undertaken by officials from Air Canada and we believe the Canadian government, and despite him already having been given a visa to enter Canada.”

“After proving he was an MP with the help of my committee clerk, he was eventually allowed through.”

“At Montreal airport, the same issues were raised by Canadian immigration.”

“On return at Toronto airport on the way back, he was again challenged and got on his flight with the assistance of my consul general, who was very helpful.”

Betts continued, “’He has received apologies from the parliamentary secretary to the Canadian minister for immigration and Air Canada, however, given the racist and Islamophobic nature of these challenges, I believe that it is worth writing to the Canadian high commissioner, which I will do.”

Air Canada responded by issuing a formal apology, saying, “Unfortunately Mr Yasin was designated for additional screening prior to his flight after a security check, but he was still able to travel as planned as he was quickly cleared.”

“We are following up internally the handling of this particular matter to ensure procedures were properly followed and we have also been in touch with UK and Canadian authorities,” said a spokesperson for Air Canada. “’We regret any inconvenience or upset this situation may have created for Mr Yasin and have reached out to apologize.”

Betts said that his party had also notified their high commissioner in Ottawa about the incident.

“We raised the issue with our high commissioner in Ottawa, who was very supportive, and amazed at what happened given the multicultural nature of Canada as an open and welcoming country,” said Betts. “She has raised it with the Canadian government, and… I would also raise it in Parliament to try and ensure that no-one in the future is treated in this way.”

Deputy Speaker Sir Roger Gale responded to Bett’s concerns by saying, “I am sure that the whole House will share the dismay at the treatment of the Member for Bedford.”

Gale then said the incident was “wholly unacceptable under any circumstances” but emphasized that it was “particularly concerning, occurring as it did, in the course of official travel on parliamentary business.’