Irrfan Khan: More than the physical torture, it's the wounds of humiliation that never heal after you undergo such a horrific experience. It happened to me on two occasions. I was detained in New York and Los Angeles airport for secondary interrogation. I was outraged. I was told to quietly come into a room for questioning and identification verification.
I wasn't allowed to talk. When I tried to ask why I was being treated this way, I was told to keep quiet. I wasn't allowed to use my phone. They said, 'No, you just sit down.' All because my name was Irrfan Khan. You can't argue or rationalise. On a second occasion this time in New York, when I was detained I blew my top. I told this big Black American guy, 'Please clear the confusion about my identity once and for all. Or don't provide me with a visa. I don't want to come back to the US.' The guy wanted to know if it was a threat. I was taken aback. Mira Nair had to intervene. She advised me to never counter-question them. This is the free spirit of America.
This 90-minute detention changed me completely. Can you imagine what a 90-day detention can do to an innocent man thrown into jail?
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