New Delhi: Waris Ahluwalia, American Sikh actor and designer, was barred from boarding a flight home to New York from Mexico on refusing to remove his turban during a security check.
According to the New York Times, Ahluwalia on Monday checked in at the Aeromexico counter at Mexico City’s international airport about 5:30 AM and was given his first-class boarding pass with a code that meant he needed secondary security screening.
He was told to step aside and wait while boarding the flight 408 to New York City, said Ahluwalia.
Following that, his feet and bag were searched and swabbed. He was then ordered to remove his sweatshirt and was patted down. Then, he said, was asked to remove his turban.
“I responded matter-of-factly that I won’t be taking off my turban,” he was quoted as saying in an interview from the airport in Mexico City. “And then they talked among themselves and they said, ‘OK, then you are not getting on the flight.”
He was refused to board any other Aeromexico flight by airline security official until he met their security demands.
“It is a symbol of my faith,” Ahluwalia said, explaining why he would not remove the turban. “It is something that I wear whenever I am in public.”
A statement released by the airline on Monday said that Ahluwalia’s screening was in compliance with Transportation Security Administration protocol and the airline had offered him alternatives to “reach his destination as soon as possible.”
Ahluwalia, 41, who grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is an actor and a designer based in Manhattan known for his House of Waris jewellery line and other design work.(IANS)(Image courtesy: citizencouture.com)
NewsGram View-In recent time Sikhs have been the victim of racial discrimination in US and other countries, the reason being the ignorance about their religion. Sikhs have been treated like terrorists. This is also a form of racism which should be avoided.