NEW DELHI -- When Karanveer Singh Pannu was asked by a security agent in California, "Is there anything we need to be aware of before you remove your turban?," the Sikh teenager had a great answer to this "asinine question" -- "I politely answered that there is a lot of long hair and something called the brain underneath."
Security personnel in U.S. airports are notorious for harassing Sikhs about their turbans during security checks.
The irony of the situation is that Pannu, an 18-year-old from New Jersey, has written a book on the bullying of Sikh American children, and he was visiting California to speak at the annual Sikh Youth Symposium in Bakersfield.
Agents asked Pannu to remove his turban as part of a secondary test after he had gone through a metal detector and done a self-pat down of his turban and chemical swab test for explosive material, NBC News reported.
"I refused at first but when they threatened me that I could not fly, I agreed, provided they gave me a mirror to retie my turban," he said.
Having to remove his turban, Pannu said, had left him feeling "utterly humiliated, shaken, distraught."
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