Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan arrived at Liberty Airport In Newark where he was abruptly halted by gun-toting members of the security force because anyone who was dark skinned, came from Southeast Asia and had a Muslim name like Khan could not be up to anything beneficial. “I was really hassled at the American airport because my name is Khan. They interrogated me for a couple of hours, wanting to know if I knew anyone in America. While all around people from India and Pakistan were vouching for me, these guys just wouldn’t let me through.” Shan Kahn is known to millions of people throughout the world as “King Khan” and was listed in Newsweek as among the world’s fifty most influential men.
Ironically, he was visiting America to publicize his new film, “My Name Is Khan” about a Muslim who is wrongly fully identified as a terrorist in America
The incident was greeted with fury in India where angry fans burned American flags. One government minister suggested a “tit for tat’ policy of questioning American visitors to India. According to officials at Newark Airport, they did nothing wrong. All they did was ask this man to spend 66 minutes answering questions.
The election of Barack Obama allegedly was going to usher in a new era of respect for humans. But, under his administration, harassment of civilians heading for Canada or visitors like Kham occur all too often. How about another speech by the president about the need to reach out to the world in friendship?