American Muslim allowed boarding passes on third attempt to fly to Oklahoma

BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Published: November 19, 2012

The third time might be the charm for an American Muslim who twice was denied boarding passes for flights to Oklahoma to visit his ailing mother.

Saadiq Long boarded a plane in Doha, Qatar, for Amsterdam on Sunday evening. He then will fly to Detroit and is expected to arrive in Oklahoma City about 5 p.m. Monday if there are no delays, said Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

“We welcome the positive development in this case and hope Mr. Long will not face any bureaucratic difficulties when he returns to his native land,” Soltani said.

Long has been trying to return to Oklahoma since April 2012 and has been barred in his previous attempts, apparently because he is on a government no-fly list. Long attempted to board a flight on November 8 and was denied boarding, according to CAIR Oklahoma.

Long, a U.S. Air Force veteran, has been living in the Middle East since 2000, where he teaches English.

He told The Oklahoman earlier this month he has no idea why he is being prevented from returning to America to visit his terminally ill mother, who lives in McAlester.


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