The BBC is reporting that an Egyptian student, applying at the US embassy in London for a visa to work at Camp America, was told that he would have to undergo additional security tests at his own expense, for predictable reasons:
He said: “She asked me all the usual questions like what was my purpose for visiting and what was the nature of my job and then she said there was a problem with my name.
“She said there were a lot of bad people in the world with that name, meaning terrorists.
“Then she told me I would have to have some additional security checks, which meant all my fingers were fingerprinted and she told me these would be compared to a database in Washington. I had to pay an extra 80 dollars.
“I was totally speechless. I didn’t know what to say to her.
“Now I am worried I may not get a visa and travel to the States because of my name.
“I’m sure that if some white candidate came along there would have been no problem.”
Obviously. But speaking as a white Muslim convert whose official name remains Matthew Joseph Smith, I’ve sometimes contemplated approaching sisters in the US for marriage (for example), and thought twice after considering whether it’s worth risking the hassle of dealing with US immigration (including their humiliating fingerprinting, in this country reserved for criminal suspects), and the risk of being sent home after a half-day flight because some ignoramus does not like my beard or something. (I also passed up an opportunity to visit family in San Diego for the same reason.) Perhaps this individual might decide to find a better use for his summer holiday.
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