International Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan who is in the U.S. promoting his new film, “My name is Khan” was detained by U.S. immigration officials at Newwark Liberty International Airports in New Jersey, Friday.
Ironically enough, the film which Khan is promoting is about racial profiling of Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Khan said he was detained because his name came up on a computer alert list.
U.S. customs officials told The Associated Press that Khan was questioned as part of a “routine” process that took 66 minutes. Spokesman Elmer Camacho said that Khan was not detained, “but it took a little longer because his bag was lost by the airline.”
The incident has angered not just fellow Indian film stars and political leaders, but also fans of Khan in the northern city of Allahabad who burned a U.S. flag in protest Sunday and shouted anti-U.S. slogans.
“My name is Khan? Too bad. SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) feels the heat of American paranoia,” said The Times of India, quoting Khan as saying he felt “angry and humiliated.”
“Shocking, disturbing n downright disgraceful. It’s such behavior that fuels hatred and racism. SRK’s a world figure for God’s sake. Get real!” actress Priyanka Chopra said on her Twitter feed.
Khan later downplayed the incident. “I think it’s a procedure that needs to be followed, but an unfortunate procedure,” he told reporters Saturday in suburban Chicago.
Khan, 44, has acted in more than 70 films, and has consistently topped popularity rankings in India for the past several years.