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British-Indian siblings hauled off plane over suspicion of supporting ISIS

The trio from northwest London were hauled off the plane and grilled for an hour by officers, who first asked them, "Do you speak English?".

By: PTI | London | Published: August 24, 2016 5:42 pm
easyjet-759 The trio from northwest London were hauled off the plane and grilled for an hour by officers, who first asked them, “Do you speak English?”.

Three Indian-origin Muslim siblings, including two hijab-clad girls, have claimed that they were hauled off a plane at an airport in London and questioned on the tarmac by British policemen after a passenger accused them of being ISIS supporters.

Sakina Dharas, 24, Maryam Dharas, 19, and Ali Dharas, 21, had boarded the easyJet flight from Stansted to the Italian city of Naples last week when they were approached by a cabin crew member and asked to accompany her off the aircraft without explanation, media reports said.

The trio from northwest London were hauled off the plane and grilled for an hour by officers, who first asked them, “Do you speak English?”, according to Sakina, who narrated the ordeal writing in The Independent and in a Facebook post. They were asked by one of the officers, “Right, we have to speak with you. A passenger on your flight has claimed that you three are members of ISIS,” Sakina said.

“They saw you with Arabic or praise be to Allah on your phone,” the officer was quoted as saying by Sakina. In their reply, the siblings said, “Firstly, that’s part of the Quran, our religious text, so even if we did have it, it wouldn’t signify that we’re a part of ISIS at all.”

“Regardless, we’ve had nothing on our phone remotely Arabic related this morning. Also, we’re Indian by ethnicity, so we wouldn’t even have Arabic in conversation with anyone,” they told the officers, according to Sakina.

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During their one-hour interrogation on the tarmac, Sakina said she was asked to explain the details of various entry stamps on her passport. She also showed a MI5 agent recent WhatsApp messages. The siblings provided answers relating to their personal lives and were questioned on their home addresses, workplaces, social media history and parents’ professions, Sakina wrote in her post.

“The MI5 and police officers apologised for the ‘inconvenience’ and assure(d) us that, at a time where we are all ‘on edge’, they have to respond to threats such as these. Our accusers, we are told, were very ‘frightened’,” Sakina wrote.

“We were only allowed back on that plane, to continue our journey, because there wasn’t a shred of doubt on the part of investigators that we were innocent of the crimes accused — but somebody has been lying and misleading the authorities. Why weren’t those passengers who made the false claim about us removed from the plane for wasting valuable police time?” she asked. They returned from their holiday on August 20.

A spokesman for easyJet said the three had been taken off the flight “following concerns raised by a passenger”. “The police then confirmed to the captain that the passengers were cleared to complete their journey and they re-boarded the aircraft and the flight departed to Naples,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

“The safety and security of its passengers and crew is our highest priority which means that if a security concern is raised we will always investigate it as a precautionary measure. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to the passengers,” he said.

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  1. M
    MyTake
    Aug 24, 2016 at 11:36 pm
    I heard some are paid regularly to put on hijab as this is a low cost weapon that further their set agenda, in which case it turns Islam into more of politics in content! It is also an income for some in selected pockets in selected part of the world where points are to be made using this simple tool! This is how God started doing politics with human! Ameen!
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    1. M
      MyTake
      Aug 24, 2016 at 11:21 pm
      [“They saw you with Arabic or praise be to Allah on your phone,” the officer was quoted as saying by Sakina. In their reply, the siblings said, “Firstly, that’s part of the Quran, our religious text, so even if we did have it, it wouldn’t signify that we’re a part of ISIS at all.”]lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Muslims do politics in the name of Islam and now politics is catching up with them. Muslims need to decide what they want from their religion and behave accordingly - either follow religion 110% - minus politics and be respected or use Islam for politics 110% and pay for it in everyday life! lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;You get what you stand for!
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      1. B
        big b
        Aug 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm
        sorry, regressive religion, have a price to pay, deal with it..believers are as such physchos
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        1. M
          Manny Das
          Aug 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm
          Airlines have taken the correct action. Safety of pengers comes first before anything
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          1. G
            Guru
            Aug 24, 2016 at 12:39 pm
            And all of a sudden there remembered their Indian ethnicity....
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