Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan Stopped at Newark Airport

Okay, I'm not going to say that the fact that Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan was recently stopped for questioning at Newark airport as he attempted to catch a flight from NYC to Chicago was an outrageous case of racial profiling, mostly because I think everything there is to be said on that subject has been said already.

I've been pulled off the line at airports for special screening on more occasions than I care to remember, and believe me -- I don't fit any profiles I can think of... oh, except for all those times at Heathrow, because believe me, it's axiomatic with airport (and water port) security in the UK that all Americans with Irish surnames are IRA sympathizers. Ask me about the time I was stopped at Dover, where I was supposed to be catching a ferry to France, and my luggage searched so thoroughly that I missed my connection -- we're talking my toothpast slit open and my soap cut into pieces to make sure there was nothing hidden inside -- and was put on some smelly little commercial boat in the middle of the night because there wasn't going to be another passenger ferry until the next day. Be that as it may, I doubt that the screeners at Newark even know that Khan is a Muslim surname.

What floors me about this story is that Khan, who was traveling for business -- he was promoting a new film with appearances at India Day events in both cities -- wasn't pre-cleared through some super-deluxe first-class flyers program. I mean, do you think Brad Pitt has ever been singled out for special screening anywhere? That's how big a star Khan is -- mega-superstar, can't-take-a-walk-without-a-parade-license famous. Oh, and the best part is the movie he's promoting: My Name is Khan, about the post-9/11 profiling of Muslims. You couldn't make it up.

1 comment:

CheckMait said...

You should link to your Shahrukh Khan reviews.