Yumna Moosa – email@example.com
14 November 2022 | 2 minute read | 21:00pm CAT
“I was commuting through OR Tambo airport, returning back home from a work trip. After going through the [metal detector] I was told by the guard present that I needed to be searched (despite being cleared by the machine). A male guard then told me that it was due to wearing a doek.”
Joining Radio Islam International this morning, sister Shanaaz Paruk speaks about her recent experience at OR Tambo International Airport, where it was demanded that she remove her doek at airport security. She describes the experience as unsettling and unexpected.
“There were many things that jumped out at me. The first was the fact that this was clearly an individual who was employed to check and operate the machine. My biggest problem [with this] was that I did not give off any warnings or warrants for them to stop me. Why would they pull me off unless they were looking for, or told to search people of a certain profile ?”
Shanaaz explains that what bothers her the most is the more extensive conversation around the religion (Islam) being profiled.
“The entire experience was not nice. I’m someone who is proudly South African. This is my home. I was born here, and so were my parents and grandparents. Why should I have to be singled out based on my religious belief? Why should there be discrimination purely based on my head-scarf? It shouldn’t be acceptable.”
There has currently been no response from Airports Company South Africa or any authorities from the airport. Sister Shanaaz has now chosen to create awareness around her incident and write about it on her social media platforms.
Listen to the full interview on the Radio Islam International SoundCloud.