Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Economy | By

Canadian Minister Receives Apology After Demand to Remove Turban at US Airport

Canadian Minister Receives Apology After Demand to Remove Turban at US Airport

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains he was asked to remove his turban at Detroit Metro Airport on his way back to Canada previous year.

Navdeep Bains, who is Sikh and serves as Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, was leaving Detroit in April 2017 when airport security officers asked him to remove the turban.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains says the incident only ended when the security people realized who he was.

Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland expressed disappointment to her USA counterparts, and the latter regretted the incident. He pushed back, and asked them to do the test again.

"I think it's quiet unfortunate that somebody so high profile who holds a responsible position In Canada would be subjected to such screening and would be asked to remove their turban".

The politician said he chose to talk of the matter publicly because "discrimination happens with many people, and I'm in a very fortunate position to talk about it".

What really stunned him was that, upon finding out that he is a cabinet minister, the security officials assured him that 'everything is fine'.


Following this, the security officials asked him for his identification. "Security is important. We cannot compromise on security".

A Canadian Cabinet minister said he was left "speechless" after he was told to take off his turban at a security check at a Detroit airport.

"He [security agent] told me to take off my turban".

While Bains said he accepted the apology, he made a decision to go public with his story to raise awareness about diversity and inclusion. "But by knowing my diplomatic status, you tell me that everything is correct".

In a statement on Thursday, he said: "As a Sikh, wearing the turban is considered one of the most dutiful acts for a person of the faith and I am proud to represent my community. This is not a satisfactory answer", he said.

"I've actually had it in Canada", Sajjan said, noting that it's not an issue exclusive to the USA and that he's gone through the US system smoothly. England added that the agent has since received additional training.

"We regret the screening experience did not meet the expectations of Mr. Bains", he said in an email. The agency says on its website that passengers "wearing head coverings, loose fitting or bulky garments" may undergo additional measures, such as a pat-down by an agent of the same gender.

Like this: