World

Muslim Canadian Says She Was Asked Trump Views By US

| by Michael Allen

Fadwa Alaoui, a Canadian citizen who is Muslim, says she was turned away at a U.S. border crossing on Feb. 4 after being asked questions about President Donald Trump and her religion.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Alaoui has lived in Quebec for 20 years. She and her female cousin were stopped at the U.S. border crossing in Highgate Springs, Vermont. Alaoui had two of her children with her.

"I felt humiliated, treated as if I was less than nothing. It's as if I wasn't Canadian," Alaoui told CBC News.

Alaoui said that she has traveled to the U.S. before on her Canadian passport to see her parents and brother, but was denied entry for a shopping trip to Burlington, Vermont.

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Alaoui was born in Morocco, which is not one of the seven Muslim-majority countries that Trump recently banned travelers from.

Alaoui recalled the U.S. border agents checked her and her cousin's cellphones, and then asked them questions separately:

[The border agent] said, "Do you practice? Which mosque do you go to? What is the name of the imam? How often do you go to the mosque? What kind of discussions do you hear in the mosque? Does the imam talk to you directly?"

According to Alaoui, she was also asked about the terrorist attack at a mosque in Quebec City, if she had any personal knowledge of people shot there and her opinions on Trump's policies.

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Alaoui said that the agents also asked about Arabic videos that she has on her phone. Alaoui informed them that the videos were daily prayers.

"They said, 'You're not allowed to go to the United States because we found videos on your phone that are against us,'" Alaoui stated.

David Long, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told CBC News via email that privacy laws would not allow him to talk about individuals.

Canadian Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale had no problem speaking about Alaoui's "troubling" situation:

To the best of my knowledge, this was one incident, but it's one incident too many. And I will want to examine it, but I need to get the detail of exactly who and when it happened so that I can follow it up.

Sources: CBC News, Montreal Gazette / Photo credit: Dominic Labbe/Wikimedia Commons

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