Mohammad Tariq Mahmood and his brother, both British Muslims, spent months planning and saving for a trip with nine of their children to Disneyland -- until they abruptly had to call it off.
Mahmood told The Guardian that they were notified in the airport terminal that their travel authorization to Los Angeles, which they'd cleared months in advance, had been cancelled.
“It’s because of the attacks on America -- they think every Muslim poses a threat," Mahmood said.
Stella Creasy, a local parliament member from the brothers' area, wrote in a letter to The Guardian that this case, while particularly sad because of the "devastated children," isn't an outlier, but that there's little transparency as to why people are being rejected.
"This is more than a sad consumer affairs story about missed gate numbers or paperwork problems," she wrote. "The official who stopped them was from the US Department of Homeland Security – and in the ensuing furore other local residents have come forward to say that they, too, have been summarily refused entry to America."
She adds that while she has been looking into the inquiries into what can be done about these situations, she's "hit a brick wall."
As for Mahmood's family, Creasy said she's only been able to confirm that they would not be getting their money back due to the "small print" of the airline that says they aren't liable for "refused entry" by Homeland Security.
"Faced with no holiday, no explanation and no compensation, it is little wonder that festive cheer is in short supply and anger is growing," Creasy wrote, adding that -- in conjunction with Islamophobic and fear-mongering rhetoric in the United States -- these incidents contribute to a growing anxiety among British Muslims.
"The vacuum created by a refusal to provide any context for these decisions is fueling resentment and debate. Online and offline discussions reverberate with the growing fear that UK Muslims are being 'trumped' – that widespread condemnation of Donald Trump’s call for no Muslim to be allowed into America contrasts with what is going on in practice."