I thought they don't do this no more. I thought America has wizened up and is paranoid no more. I thought after 10 years, and a hard lesson, America has moved on.
I thought America has come to terms with the fact that Arabs are among its citizens.
Soon after 9/11 when America and Americans were gripped with fear and later, Islamophobia, I told my son that it was not a good idea for him to visit the US, given that he has a very common Arabic name that probably fills the US terrorist database.
My son's name is Adel Hakim. I named him after an Egyptian journalist friend.
It is also a name favoured by Pakistanis.
Sometime in 2004, in a chance meeting with the acting US ambassador to Malaysia, the issue of terrorism and Islam etc was predictably raised. I was reassured (by him) that nothing of the sort (arrest without reason or grounds) that I feared would befall my son if he travelled to the US.
But I was not reassured.
Guantanamo came to mind.
Many times, I have been proven right. US authorities had made many arrests of innocent Muslims.
And now THIS. Shame shame shame.
Read Shoshana Hebshi's ordeal in her blog HERE.