Sikh American designer barred from Mexico-US flight over turban

By AFP
Published: February 9, 2016
SHARES
Email
Actor Waris Ahluwalia (left) and Santigold attend DKNY Women’s Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week. PHOTO: AFP

Actor Waris Ahluwalia (left) and Santigold attend DKNY Women’s Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week. PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY: A Sikh Indian-American actor and designer said Monday that he was barred from boarding an Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to New York because he refused to remove his turban.

“This morning in Mexico City I was told I could not board my @aeromexico flight to NYC because of my turban,” Waris Ahluwalia wrote in his Instagram account.

Donald Trump makes ‘hat’ joke after ejecting Sikh protester from rally

The 41-year-old bearded actor posted a picture of himself holding up his boarding pass and another in front of an Aeromexico customer service desk. The House of Waris chief was heading to New York’s fashion week.

“Dear NYC fashion week. I may be a little late as @aeromexico won’t let me fly with a turban. Don’t start the show without me,” he added.

The Mexican airline issued a statement late Monday saying that it was obligated to follow “federal requirements in terms of security determined by the US Transportation Security Administration to review passengers.”

US Army lets Sikh captain keep his beard – for now

The airline said it “regrets the inconvenience that any passenger may perceive from the application of these procedures” and it vowed to transport all passengers regardless of their religious beliefs.

As an actor, Ahluwalia appeared in the Oscar-nominated film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and the US television series “The Carrie Diaries.” He also has modeled for clothier Gap.

Reader Comments (11)

  • Feb 9, 2016 - 10:37AM

    Really getting out offhand is it not??? Ignorant.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:02PM

    Sikhs in US are being mistaken for Muslims because of turban and being assaulted daily. The fools there cannot tell difference between Sikh and Muslim.Recommend

  • IBN E ASHFAQUE
    Feb 9, 2016 - 12:39PM

    The mainstream corporate media has created an image in the west that human beings wear only shirt and trousers……..If you are wearing a Dhoti, a turban, a shalwaar Kameez, a lungi, a toop, you are suspected to be a terrorists……….Worst if you have grown a beard and are without a moustache………Humanity is in crisis as we do not appreciate that there are more than one way of living rightly and honorably…….Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Feb 9, 2016 - 1:07PM

    @Ali:
    And this is just an aperitif…when Trump gets elected the …. will really hit the fan !Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 9, 2016 - 1:29PM

    @Feroz:
    It’s the beard that equates them with extremism and that means you are Muslim. The turban relates to something Arabic in their perception. Really stupid. Not everyone with beard or head covering is a terrorist. If you have passed airport scanning, than what is the problem???? Recommend

  • Rex minor
    Feb 9, 2016 - 5:04PM

    @IBN E ASHFAQUE:
    Humanity is in crisis as we do not appreciate that there are more than one way of living rightly and honorably……

    Sir, there is only one way to live rightly and this is called the “community way”, one must conform and integrate in the community or live with similar kinds in the avatar land where the pepper grows.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Feb 9, 2016 - 5:14PM

    @Ali:
    One wonders how a band like ZZ Top manage to escape all this Security harassment…?Recommend

  • Rex Major
    Feb 9, 2016 - 11:34PM

    @Rex minor: Sir, there is only one way to live rightly and this is called the “community way”, one must conform and integrate in the community or live with similar kinds in the avatar land where the pepper grows.

    Do you walk this talk too?
    Just around a year ago you were writing about blowing up a whole lot of Indians in India won’t be a bad idea.

    Are you now integrated in the world community or are you saying this because it is the politically correct thing to say.Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Feb 10, 2016 - 2:29AM

    It is the fault of the schools because they do not teach their students dress codes of religions of the world. That is why people become frightened when they see someone dressed differently. Also the fault lies with the US Transportation Security Administration which cannot recognise the dress code of some of US citizens. IMHO the airline should have allowed Ahluwalia to board after thoroughly checking that he was not carrying offensive material and weapons and left it to US immigration service to handle him. Recommend

  • Tp
    Feb 10, 2016 - 6:11AM

    He should stop wearing his religion on his face.Recommend

  • Agrippa - The Skeptic
    Feb 10, 2016 - 12:38PM

    Let’s face the reality folks.
    There is something called common sense.
    There are also some abstract nouns called human nature, religion, culture and freedom (from whatever).
    The human nature – impressed by religion and culture tends to be exclusive i.e. develops fear of the other, the unknown.
    Common sense should guide one to doing things right by your surrounding.
    Could we as respective nations claim freedom from prejudices? Freedom from the fear of the “other”?
    US Americans as a nation are “very open” to the “other” as compared to most parts of the world in general, and south Asia in particular.
    US of A is one of the most open societies of the world, any wonder that the lines in front of the US visa departments have never dwindled?
    US was traumatized by bin Laden who had an unkempt beard and a turban.
    Shouldn’t common sense dictate your garb to be as far away as that of bin Laden?
    Does one have to poke the Americans in the eye to claim freedom, of speech, dress, and religion?
    Reflect within – how you treat your “others” as a nation and then cast the first stone.Recommend

More in World