Waris Ahluwalia, a Indian-American actor and designer, was barred from flying to New York City from Mexico because he refused to remove his turban when asked to do so by AeroMexico staff.
Waris, who runs the label ‘House Of Waris’
, was on his way to the NY Fashion Week. The 41-year-old actor resorted to social media to show his anguish and disappointment.
Safety checks shouldn’t be compromised – that’s apt. But isn’t this what terrorism does? Perpetuate fear so deep that you discriminate and humiliate those who are different from yourself. Officials need to learn to discriminate between a suspicious looking man and a turban-wearing man. Not all turban-wearing men are Muslims. And well, not all Muslims are terrorists.
Social media poured out their concern supporting Waris against AeroMexico’s unfair treatment. Mexicans on the other hand, seemed quite supportive of the behavior showing the common perception which lurks in the minds of hundreds who fear ”terrorist-looking” men. It’s to be noted that Waris was ready to remove his turban in private. However, AeroMexico didn’t comply with his request, forcing him to miss his flight.
As Waris puts it: Fear is an opportunity to educate.
Hopefully, instances like these will stand as strong examples to curb wrong perceptions of suspicion in the world. A human is not entitled to go through humiliation on the grounds of his ethnicity, religion or race. We’ve been fighting this off for a long time now. Opportunities like this help us to talk about such discrimination.