Bollywood film star Shah Rukh Khan was questioned for over an hour in Newark airport before boarding a flight for Chicago, allegedly because he had a Muslim name. Ironically, Khan is in the US to promote a film on racial profiling.
What I find annoying about this incident is that he was released after two hours because he contacted a politician in India, who then contacted the Indian Embassy in the US. In other words, he probably would have been detained for longer — indeed, the only reason we know about his detention is because he is celebrity. To his credit, Khan himself played down the incident.
For contrast, here’s what is happening to a Pakistani journalist, who is not a celebrity. Rahman Bunairee arrived a week ago with a US visa to begin a years job with the Voice of America in Washington. Bunairee was detained by US immigration, who will not provide any information about the case. A month ago his home was destroyed by the Taliban after he participated in a VOA radio call-in show and discussed continued Taliban presence in the northwest frontier region of Pakistan.