USA apologises after Canadian Sikh Minister told to remove turban

USA apologises after Canadian Sikh Minister told to remove turban

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it regrets requesting that the Canadian minister for economic development remove his turban before boarding a USA flight. "I reluctantly handed him my diplomatic passport", Minister said.

"I was very frustrated and disappointed that this occurred, but ultimately I was allowed to fly", Bains told The Associated Press.

"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".

But the minister says his position should not have mattered and that procedures were not followed properly in the incident.

Like many other Sikh men, he wears a turban as a sign of devotion to his faith. Staff conducted all the necessary procedures, but then looked at the turban of the statesman and started to pick. He said he had no issues with that.

Bains added that he has travelled to the US and internationally many times and had never before been asked to remove his turban. Being asked to remove the turban was akin to "being asked to take off my clothes", he said. It's the same thing. "It's a piece of linen", he said.

He told reporters in Toronto on Thursday that he had already made it to the gate while boarding his flight in April, 2017 when he was asked to remove the turban.

He went through a metal detector with no issues, and was then taken aside for a swab of his turban, to test for traces of explosives. "We can't compromise on security", he told La Presse.

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"He told me to take off my turban". "But by knowing my diplomatic status, you tell me that everything is correct".

He said he was astonished by the agents' response to the incident.

The airport officials were "very insistent and very difficult" during the encounter, he added.

In an interview Thursday, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said "Canada's perspective" was expressed to the US government. "I thought that was important for us to support Minister Bains and frankly, to support all Canadians traveling across the border". The officer has been given additional training.

"We regret the screening experience did not meet the expectations of Mr. Bains", TSA spokesman Michael McCarthy said in the statement.

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

Ms Negron said that additional security screening may be required of individuals wearing head coverings, and that it applies to all head coverings and does not target any one group. He again asked Bains to remove the turban. The practice "asserts a public commitment to maintaining the values and ethics of the tradition, including service, compassion, and honesty", according to the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy organization.

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