Canadian minister Navdeep Bains asked to remove turban at US airport.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it regrets requesting that the Canadian minister for economic development remove his turban before boarding a U.S. flight.
Navdeep Bains, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minister of innovation, science and economic development, said Thursday he accepted an apology from the TSA for an April 2017 incident at an airport in Detroit where agents asked him to take off his turban, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.
Bains, a Sikh, refused to comply with TSA’s request, which he said was a first in his many American flights.
The incident was “frustrating” and “speaks to discrimination,” he said, according to Canada’s CTV News.
“Once they realized my position, who I was, I was ultimately allowed to fly,” he said, and noted the agency’s apology and the importance of security for international travel.
“We regret the screening experience did not meet the expectations of Mr. Bains,” the agency said in a statement Thursday, noting that passengers who wear “non-formfitting headwear” for religious reasons may be unable to remove them, and should be prepared for special security screenings.
A TSA spokeswoman said in a statement that after a review of video from the incident, the agency found that the officer screening Bains did not properly follow procedure.