I have had some of my best & some of my strangest experiences while I was studying in the United States. Being a Pakistani Muslim in Worcester, a city outside of Boston, it was only natural to be questioned and followed by strangers every now and then. Although I was never personally questioned by the FBI, my brother and his roommate had the privelage of having two FBI agents knock on their apartment door at 7:00 am for an intense questioning session.
Besides having spent hours at JFK Airport being questioned about my background, the only other strange experience I had was when I was the Vice President of the Muslim Student Association at Clark University and had organized an Eid dinner on campus. Just as we were done with our speeches and about to serve food to all the students from around the world with differnet backgrounds, the Worcester Police walked in and surrounded the Hall. We obviously didn’t understand why there were 15 police officers present at the dinner and upon questioning them, they said that it was a Muslim event on campus and they were told to report back about the activities going on here. Riiight.
I’m sure most of you who have such backgrounds have had similar experiences in the US at one point or another as well so do share them with us.
Omair Sattar just posted an article on Facebook by Sarfraz Manzoor, which is an interesting read. It was published in the Guardian today – check it out below.
(The picture above is done by Milan Kopasz in the co-winning and shortlisted posters in the Human rights violation brief)