Thousands of Muslims are humiliated at U.S. airports every day. My surname is Hasan and I have been stopped and interrogated at American airports many times. President Obama can tell the world “we are not at war with Islam” but the routine humiliation of ordinary, law-abiding Muslims at U.S. airports tells a different story.

M. Riaz Hasan,

Hyderabad

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The treatment meted out to Shah Rukh Khan only shows how vulnerable Muslims are. If a well-known actor with a huge fan following across the world can be harassed, one can imagine what kind of harassment an ordinary Muslim faces in the West.

Manzar Imam,

New Delhi

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This is not the first time that a well known Indian Muslim has been humiliated in the U.S. It happens to many innocent Muslims everyday and they do not have a billion people to support them as icons do. The government should take up the issue strongly with the U.S. because such incidents fuel hatred and racism.

Nirish Chandra Sahu,

Karnal

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The news of Shah Rukh Khan’s detention and interrogation has reopened the debate on the hardship faced by Indians abroad and exposed the discrimination Muslims suffer throughout the world.

Alok Kumar Mishra,

Jamshedpur

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There is no denying that one needs to adhere to procedural norms; however, it is unjustified to violate a person’s right to dignity because he or she belongs to a particular community. That the government does not seek an apology from the U.S. shows our willing submission to American hegemony.

Shabbeer Ahmed,

Kadapa

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Let us get this straight. Americans are racial, more so when they are dealing with Asians. I had an unpleasant experience in a store in Santa Clara. I entered the store to buy a juice can. Just as I was about to pay, the manager and salesgirl accosted me and snatched my umbrella, which I had put in my overcoat, saying I had stolen it. I told them I had bought it from the same store a few weeks earlier. They accused me of shoplifting and asked me to leave. Humiliated beyond words, I rushed home, found the bill and went back to the store. The manager shrugged and returned my umbrella, without a word of apology.

Anuradha Srinivasan,

Chennai

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Recently, I travelled from Venice to Geneva by train. There were about 40 people in my coach. As we entered Switzerland, the Swiss police got in and began checking the passports. Not everybody’s passports — just my family’s and those of a Chinese group of three. Nobody else was even asked, though some offered to show their papers. The westerners are prone to prejudices. While the common man routinely puts up with such treatment, rare incidents that involve the so-called VIPs make news.

Nivedita Shrinagesh,

Chennai

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Much ado August 17, 2009

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