Many Indian film personalities have reacted to the detention of Shah Rukh Khan at the Los Angeles (USA) airport on the same day.
Kamal Haasan, said, “I know the gentleman (that he is). He‘d never say, ‘I‘m Shah Rukh Khan, so I should be treated differently.’ His fans might feel injured on his behalf. But it can‘t be helped. The Americans are an injured nation. They‘re being careful. It happened to me too, and I missed my flight.” Haasan said he was detained at an airport in Canada recently, as his name sounded distinctly Muslim.
“My father gave me a Muslim–sounding name. This confuses Americans, and I don‘t correct the misconception. I enjoy it. My father, too, enjoyed the ambivalence, and was keen that I spell my name, Kamal, with ‘Q‘, in a very Islamic way. I feel I should go for it to show solidarity with my Muslim brothers, including Shah Rukh. If I have to suffer for my name, I‘m willing to do so,” says the actor.
Others who faced a similar ordeal include actor Irrfan Khan and film–maker Kabir Khan. About being detained at the New York and Los Angeles (LA) airports for secondary interrogation, Irrfan had said earlier, “More than the physical torture, it‘s the wounds of humiliation that never heal after you undergo such a horrific experience. I was outraged. I was told to come into a room for questioning and identification verification. I was told to keep quiet. I wasn‘t allowed to use my phone. All because my name was Irrfan Khan.”
Kabir Khan faced the brunt of Islamophobia while taking a flight from LA to Washington 15 days after the 9/11 incident.
“I was accompanying my wife and the Morani brothers. We were waiting for the flight to take off, talking to each other in Hindi. Some passengers complained that we were talking in a strange language.
Two burly FBI agents came on board and took us to the front of the plane. When they got to know my name, they questioned me for more than two hours, googled my name for terrorist links and then finally allowed me to fly,” says Kabir, who was detained another time in New York. “The 90-minute detention changed me completely,” he adds. – CINEWS