A British man was thrown off an Easyjet flight after a fellow passenger saw he had sent a message about ‘Prayer’ to a Whatsapp group called ISI Men.
Laolu Opebiyi, 40, from London, is a Christian, and was trying to arrange a prayer via conference call with fellow believers.
A passenger asked him about the message, then told cabin crew, and Opebiyi was escorted from the plane by armed officers – despite handing over his phone, and even showing his bible.
‘ISI’ referred to a Christian group named after a Bible quotation (’iron sharpens iron’), Opebiyi told The Guardian.
The pilot refused to let him back on board, and he had to wait three hours for the next flight – and also says he had difficulties with his e-passport when re-entering the country.
Opebiyi said, ‘Someone felt I was a terrorist because they saw the word ‘prayer’ on my phone and now I stand in uncertainty about my freedom of movement in and out of the United Kingdom.’
‘That guy doesn’t know me and within two minutes he’s judging me. Even if I was a Muslim, it was pretty unfair the way I was treated.
‘I don’t think anyone, irrespective of their religion should be treated in such a way.’
An easyJet spokesman said: ‘The safety and security of its passengers and crew is our highest priority which means that if a security concern is raised we will always investigate it as a precautionary measure. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to the passenger.’