Toronto editorial cartoonist still on no-fly list

Shahid Mahmood, a Toronto-born architect and cartoonist has not been able to fly into the U.S. since 2004 after Air Canada placed him on their no-fly list. He and the Human Rights Commission have been investigating why his name was placed on the list and if racial profiling was involved. So far they’ve only found “contradictory explainations” as to why.

While his case is not as dramatic as those of others who have been erroneously detained or questioned due to no-fly lists, Mahmood said there have still been ramifications. After the Star first published an account of his story, he said his boss at his former architecture firm criticized him for going public and used a racist slur.

Mahmood gave the firm two weeks’ notice and quit.

Air Canada privacy officer Gale Paul wrote, “Air Canada does not, and did not, practice racial profiling as alleged by Mr. Mahmood. Passenger bookings are automatically flagged if the name of the passenger is a close match to a name appearing on a security list.”