British-Muslim detained for reading Syrian book on plane


London: A British-Muslim woman was detained at a UK airport and questioned under terror laws after a cabin crew member spotted her reading a book on Syrian culture on board her honeymoon flight.

Faizah Shaheen, who helps prevent teenage mental health patients from becoming radicalised, was returning from honeymoon in Marmaris, Turkey, when she was stopped by South Yorkshire Police at Doncaster Airport on July 25, the Independent reported on Thursday.

The 27-year-old was pulled over because a Thomson Airways cabin crew member on her outbound flight a fortnight earlier had reported her for suspicious behaviour.

Police officers interrogated her for 15 minutes and told her the suspicions related to the book she had been reading, ‘Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline’.

The award-winning book by Malu Halasa is a collection of essays, short stories, poems, songs, cartoons and photographs from Syrian authors and artists, the Independent noted.

Shaheen, from Leeds, said she was left angry and in tears by the experience – and with a feeling she had been discriminated because of her faith. “I was completely innocent – I was made to feel like a culprit,” the Independent quoted Shaheen as saying.