zayn malik recounts being racially profiled by american airport security touring with 1D

'They kept me there for three hours, questioning me about all kinds of crazy stuff. I was 17, my first time in America, jet-lagged off the plane, confused.'

by Isabelle Hellyer
|
22 June 2017, 9:59am

In a wide-ranging Evening Standard profile Zayn Malik has spoken candidly about his relationship to Islam, and the excessive security checks he's been subjected to at US airports. Though Zayn's now a supersized celebrity, during the early 1D days he was frequently racially profiled on US tours. 

"The first time I came to America," Zayn recalls, "I had three security checks before I got on the plane. First, they said that I'd been randomly selected, and then they said it was something to do with my name, it was flagging something on their system." 

"Then when I landed," the artist continued, "it was like a movie. They kept me there for three hours, questioning me about all kinds of crazy stuff. I was 17, my first time in America, jet-lagged off the plane, confused. The same thing happened the next time too." Zayn told the Standard, "I take a great sense of pride — and responsibility — in knowing that I am the first of my kind, from my background. I'm not currently practising but I was raised in the Islamic faith, so it will always be with me, and I identify a lot with the culture."

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has hinted at attempting to create a third iteration of his much-criticised 'Muslim Ban,' while the second version of the executive order remains tied up in a number of federal lawsuits. The ACLU has vowed to continue fighting against the order.

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Text Isabelle Hellyer 
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america
One Direction
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Zayn Malik
Evening Standard
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