Contrary to recent reports of international travelers flocking to America this year, British Muslims are said to be “rethinking its plans.” According to Muslim officials, a significant number of British Muslims say they are avoiding United States travel in light of Trump’s Travel Ban which prohibits most visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries.
Sulaika Abokor is a London school teacher and says she has dreams of “a road trip from Seattle to California.” But due to Trump’s Travel Ban, she now says “that’s not going to happen.” Ms. Abokor holds a dual citizenship – UK and Somalia – and says she doesn’t want to risk being turned away or experiencing a difficult time in America by custom and immigration officials. “A place that does not want my people, then you don’t deserve my tourist money.”
“Some British Muslims don’t want to go to the United States because of the hassle of traveling there,” says Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain. Concerns are primarily due to “the fear of what might happen when they travel or arrive there.”
Ismail Einashe, the British journalist covering this topic for the New York Times, says he faces his own personal dilemma with the Ban. “’Traveling while Muslim’ is the reality that many of us face these days. I hope to return this fall to the United States to see friends in New York, but I wonder whether I will be able to keep panic at bay when my plane lands and I must face customs and immigration officials. In those anxious moments, I am reduced to my ethno-religious origin. Not an individual, I am seen as just a Muslim — viewed only as being a possible threat.”