Shahrukh Khan, described by some as India’s Brad Pitt, was detained for questioning for an hour at Newark Airport while traveling on his way to Chicago (I think “India’s Brad Pitt” understates his popularity – while I was in Delhi from what I could tell Mr. Khan was in every single Bollywood movie and appeared on every single talk show. I had never seen anything like it.) The interrogation has caused a bit of an uproar in the Indian-American community and sparked discussion about profiling at airports (Khan is Muslim).
For its part, although Customs officials won’t say why Khan was stopped, they said it was rather routine to pull people aside for secondary questioning, and that the discussion lasted as long as it did only because the airline misplaced (aka “lost”) his luggage and they had to wait for it to be located before Khan could be released.
And in a coincidental twist, Khan was here to promote his new film, “My Name Is Khan,” which is about racial profiling of Muslims.