Religion

Muslim-American Doctor Works Against Radicalization, Is Detained By FBI At Houston Airport (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Dr. Bilal RanaDr. Bilal Rana

Dr. Bilal Rana, a Muslim-American anesthesiologist, was detained by the FBI at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston after flying in from Newark, New Jersey, on Nov. 15 (video below).

"And It was embarrassing, it was very embarrassing," Rana told KTRK. "I realize that looking foreign can make people think you're dangerous on a plane."

Rana is head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA’s Youth Association, a group that works with Muslim young people to discourage them from becoming radicalized.

​"To any Muslims out there that may have something like this happen to them, I'd want them to know to be patient, to be graceful, to rise above it," Rana said.

"My intention is to try and bridge this gulf between Muslims and non-Muslims," he added.

As part of that effort, Rana wrote an op-ed about his experience for TIME magazine, which was published on Dec. 7.

"To those who saw me as a threat: I hope you never know what it feels like to have a group of police officers single you out," Rana wrote. "I hope you never know what it is like to be frisked while standing in front of a plane full of passengers. I hope you never suffer the embarrassment of watching mothers hold their children tightly as you walk by them.

"I hope you never feel the humiliation of having your belongings confiscated out of your hands, or being surrounded by cops who refer to you as 'the subject' on their walkie talkies. I hope you never have to, for the first time in your life, sit in the back of a police car.

"I hope you get a chance to explain who you are before you are judged. I’m not your enemy. I’m your biggest ally."

Rana also mentioned that he is a "volunteer with the Houston Police Academy, where I’ve spoken to cadets about diversity, and I’ve lectured at the Department of Homeland Security’s TSA courses, which are taught at Houston-area airports."

"I’m a U.S. citizen," he added.

“The FBI cannot confirm nor deny any particular individual name because no arrest was made and that is not part of the public record and covered by privacy law," the Houston FBI said in a statement after the op-ed was published. "However, I can confirm that FBI and Houston Police personnel were called to respond to reports of a suspicious passenger onboard a Southwest Airlines flight inbound to Houston on November 15, 2016. After further investigation, no threat was found.”

Sources: KTRK, TIME / Photo Credit: WhisperToMe/Wikimedia, KTRK