A Muslim teenager who was detained at Heathrow Airport for 13 hours after flying into the UK believes she was “judged” because of her faith.
Ayan Mohamud, an US national arrived at Heathrow Airport last month said she “wasn’t expecting to be interrogated or held in a room for hours”.
The 18 year-old left the US for the first time, to visit family in Leicester.
The UK Border Agency said the checks were for immigration purposes.
Keith Vaz, Leicester East MP, said he would be raising her case in his capacity as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
Mohamud told the BBC she was warned by her father that she could be questioned at the UK border.
“[But it] hit me that I was being judged based on what I was wearing on my head. I felt that I was detained because I’m Muslim,” she explained.
“After the Paris incident happened, [Border Force] feel that everyone wearing a scarf needs to be checked thoroughly.
“I felt it was inhuman for them to treat me that way.”
Her aunt Jawaahir Daahir, who lives in Leicester, described her niece’s ordeal as “a terrible, distressful unimaginable experience for her and for our family”.
“She didn’t commit any crime except being a Muslim girl with a headscarf,” she said.
“People shouldn’t be discriminated against, Muslim or non-Muslim, they should be all checked.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “To ensure the correct decisions are reached it is sometimes necessary for Border Force to detain passengers while checks are carried out to ensure they qualify for entry to the UK.
“The passenger was given leave to enter the UK as soon as officers were able to make further inquiries, including in the United States.”