Canada: Muslim Subjected to Interrogation


Vancouver resident Mohamed Khan was returning from London in May when
government airport officials checked his baggage and took him to a room for
questioning, which lasted more than an hour.

"I was the only one out of 300 passengers to be thoroughly interrogated,"
said Khan. "I was the only person taken to the side."

He feels the incident was the result of his name, which suggests he is Muslim.

Previously, he said, he had been questioned about his reasons for going to
Germany and the U.S., asked about where he stayed while overseas and if he
was bringing more than $10,000 cash into Canada.

"I've been travelling since 1959," said Khan, a 71-year-old retired travel
agent who calls himself a globetrotter. "I'm addicted to travelling."

But he is offended by the frequent questioning he has experienced at
Vancouver's airport, especially since the U.S. terrorist attacks of Sept.
11, 2001.

He points out that he was born a British subject in Tanzania, his parents
were born in India, he came to Canada in 1987 and became a Canadian citizen
in 1991.

He has written letters of complaint about his treatment to Air Canada, the
Canada Border Services Agency and Anne McLellan, the federal minister of
pub-lic safety and emergency preparedness, who is in charge of border
security.

"It is racism and profiling based on a person whose name appears to be
Muslim," Khan said of his past experiences. He's not alone in that
sentiment..

 


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