Hours after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering into America, an Iraqi family has already been denied access.

A husband, wife and two children were due to fly from Cairo to New York on Saturday (28 January), but officials from EgyptAir restricted them from boarding the flight.

They all had American visas and had reserved seats on the flight, but could not fly because of the new regulation, airport officials told AFP.

Trump's "extreme vetting" order is intended to fight radical Islamic terrorism, he said, as he put a 90-day block on US entry to people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia, and an unlimited ban on refugees fleeing Syria.

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, labelled Trump's categorisation of "extreme vetting" as just a euphemism for discriminating against Muslims.

"Identifying specific countries with Muslim majorities and carving out exceptions for minority religions flies in the face of the constitutional principle that bans the government from either favouring or discriminating against particular religions," he said in a statement.

"Any effort to discriminate against Muslims and favour other religions runs afoul of the First Amendment."

In a separate incident, Mohammed al-Rawi, a California resident from Iraq, said on Facebook that his 71-year-old father was prevented from boarding an LAX-bound flight from Qatar, because of Trump's new regulation.

EgyptAir has not responded to AFP's or IBTimesUK's attempt to contact them.

Qatar Airways, one of the largest Middle East airlines, said on its website that only those with Green cards would be able to board flights headed for America.

However, according to Ayed Ayoub of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, even Green card holders have been discriminated against.

Jamal Abdi, from the National Iranian American Council, told Sky News: "We are inundated with calls and questions of how this is going to affect people."

Despite Trump's insistence that the executive order is aimed at preventing terrorism, many on social media have questioned why Saudi Arabia was not included on the list. The country is the home of Wahabism, the radical sect of Islam, and is where 15 of the 19 hijackers from the 9/11 terror attack came from.

According to the New York Times, Trump's executive order is illegal. It reported that Congress outlawed such discrimination against immigrants based on national origin more than 50 years ago. Rights groups are to file lawsuits against the order.

My 69 year old dad is in Qatar boarding LAX flight to come visit us and and he's being sent back to Iraq. Some US official told him that Trump canceled all visas.

Posted by Mohammed Al Rawi on Friday, January 27, 2017