UK passengers' removal condemned
The men were on a Monarch Airlines holiday flight from Spain to the UK.
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(CNN) -- The removal of two young British Asians from a holiday flight last week because fellow passengers were suspicious of them has been condemned by British parliamentarians.
The men, thought to be in their 20s, were on a Monarch Airlines flight from Malaga, Spain to Manchester last Wednesday. Some passengers refused to board the plane unless the two were removed, according to the UK Press Association.
The UK Islamic Human Rights Commission chairman Massoud Shadjareh said there was "ever-increasing Islamaphobia" and the incident was "exactly the type of thing we've been so concerned about," the PA reported.
Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood said he thought what happened "is hugely irrational and people need to get their senses back into order."
A Monarch Airlines spokesman told Britain's Guardian newspaper the two men attracted attention because they apparently were acting suspiciously. He declined to say what they had done.
"The flight attendants were sufficiently concerned to alert the crew, who in turn informed the security authorities at Malaga airport," the spokesman said.
The flight was delayed for three hours after Spanish police removed the two men and searched the aircraft and luggage for explosives. The pair flew to Manchester on a later flight.
The incident coincided with a warning from Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei that Britain was in danger of creating a new offence of "traveling whilst Asian," the PA reported.
Dizaei, one of the UK's most senior Muslim police officers, said intelligence based on ethnicity, religion and country of origin was "hugely problematic."
But the UK's Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file police officers, said profiling had already been used to stop football hooligans traveling to Germany for the World Cup in June, the PA reported.
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