Once again, Bollywood film star, Shah Rukh Khan (AKA SRK) has been detained at US immigration on the way to make a speech at Yale University. The first time Khan was detained was in 2009.
Khan alleges that this was due to US prejudice toward muslims, and I couldn’t agree with him more. The US has this strange bent that anyone who is muslim is a terrorist, which was made clear to me when I played with a computer that had the names on the US terrorist watch list: Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, and a few other Irish Republicans didn’t set off the system, but the name Muhammad did.
The US, of course, will deny this sort of thing, but if you watch who watch how the US Homeland Security tends to bead in on Muslims to the detriment of other threats, it becomes pretty obvious.
There have been several incidents in the past of prominent Indian officials being stopped or frisked at US airports.
In December 2010, the US expressed regret after India’s then-ambassador Meera Shankar was pulled out of an airport security line and frisked by a security agent.
Some reports said she was singled out as she was wearing a sari.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was concerned about the incident and vowed to prevent a recurrence.
And in 2009, America’s Continental Airlines apologised to former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam for frisking him before he boarded a flight to the US.
Members of India’s parliament were outraged after it emerged that Mr Kalam had been frisked and made to remove his shoes at Delhi airport in April.
Protocol exempts former presidents and other dignitaries from such searches.
Khan joked about the incident saying “Whenever I start feeling arrogant about myself, I always take a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom”.
“They [immigration officials] always ask me how tall I am and I always lie and say 5ft 10 inches. Next time I am going to get more adventurous. [If they ask me] what colour are you, I am going to say white,” he said.
Amusingly enough, SRK did a film called “My Name is Khan” was about an American Muslim with Asperger’s syndrome. I think it would be more appropriate if he did something like The Mad Adventures of ‘Rabbi’ Jacob where a rabid anti-Muslim Jew is confused with a Muslim because his name was Kahn.
After all, Muslims can also be semitic people.