Parents Claim Their 6-Year-Old Son Is On No-Fly List For 'Being Muslim'
A 6-year-old boy who is reportedly on a no-fly list may have earned the restriction because of his name.
According to New York Daily News, Sulemaan Ahmed and his son, Syed Adam Ahmed, were headed to a flight to Boston out of Toronto Pearson International Airport when they were informed Syed, who goes by Adam, was on Air Canada's security risk list.
The boy was labeled as "high profile," or a flight risk, due to the danger he may pose to other passengers.
@AirCanada Why is our (Canadian born) 6 year old on DHP no fly list? He must clear security each time. He is 6. :) pic.twitter.com/WPZJIeWL4S — Sulemaan Ahmed (@sulemaan) December 31, 2015
Sulemaan and Adam were eventually allowed to fly after obtaining security clearance, but the family is yet to receive a clear answer from transportation and public safety departments as to why Adam is on the watch list.
Adam's mother, Khadija Cajee, told Global News,
I look at it as, he's basically being carded for being Muslim.
The father and son, both of whom were born in Canada, flew to Boston to watch the NHL's Winter Classic on New Year's Day.
Adam's parents said he had to undergo special security clearance every time he went to an airport.
The family reportedly went on a vacation to Mexico in 2011 only to have their passports taken away and returned a half hour later for reasons unknown.
Cajee, who is originally from South Africa, said,
They wouldn't give us any answers -- we were panicky.
She also told CBC News security agents are often in "disbelief" when their computers reveal Adam's "high profile" status.
Airline officials have reportedly asked Adam's parents if they'd like to change their son's name to avoid airport delays.
Sulemaan Ahmed told CBC News,
I think that's putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, quite frankly. I think we need to look at the government and Air Canada to work together to find a solution for everyone.
Cajee said she fears her son will be subjected to more invasive security checks as he gets older.
A spokesman for Air Canada told Global News the airline "will review this matter to determine what measures are available to facilitate future travel.”
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and parliament member Jane Philpott reportedly contacted the family shortly after Sulemaan posted the above tweet. Goodale allegedly vowed to personally investigate the issue.