Deported from Israel for being a Muslim who visited Pakistan

Published: July 16, 2013
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My purpose of visiting Israel was mainly visit Jerusalem and see everything within it which ‘drives men mad.’

Destination: Israel

Purpose: To visit Jerusalem and everything within it which ‘drives men mad.’

I had spent months preparing for my trip to the country with the primary aim of visiting Jerusalem and seeing the great historical landmarks such as the Al Aqsa mosque and Wailing Wall. I had purchased clothes appropriate for the sweltering heat of the Middle East, booked my flight well in advance and converted almost all of my remaining savings to Israeli Shekels in an almost hyperactive state of eagerness. It was in this mood that I reached Ben Gurion airport on the morning of the 24th of June.

The early warning signs should have been clear at passport control when the woman there rifled through my passport, asked “You’ve been to Pakistan?” and quickly sifted me through to the interrogation room where  everyone incidentally was either Arab or Muslim. My fears of racial and religious discrimination, instead of being proven overblown and hyped up as I had hoped, were quickly justified.

The “guilty until proven innocent” ordeal began with a brief period of questioning about my personal details and motives in visiting and lasted for ten hours in which I was questioned four times. The perpetrator was a blond woman who seemed eager to prove right all the stereotypes I had ever held about Israelis. Indeed on this occasion, I would like to quote from “Naughty Nomad”, an infamous traveller whose advice I quite closely follow:

“The worst thing were the attitudes. Israeli women are forced into the army for two years and many come out the other end as little monsters…”

If you would be so kind as to type “Israelis are..” into Google, the first option on this list (unsurprisingly) is “Israelis are rude”.

The interrogators read all my WhatsApp and text messages in a blatant violation of privacy while they repeatedly insisted they knew I was up to something untoward and threatened me with severe consequences if I didn’t inform them of my hitherto unknown plan. Of course, these claims were made with no evidence whatsoever, and despite my calm exterior, left me incredibly flustered. As expected, exactly what I feared transpired and I was told that I would be denied entry to the state of Israel upon a “security risk”.

My luggage was put through an “explosion detection” machine and after an uncomfortably thorough body search, I was hounded into a van with two security guards. They drove me for five minutes into a gated, white building surrounded by huge fences that one would only accord to a jail or a police station. The doors in our cells were without knobs, the windows were double barred and the rooms incredibly humid and damp – a fact made worse by the presence of six individuals in mine. We all had to make do on small bunk beds covered by furry grey blankets. And thus, it was like this that we were left that night – hungry, thirsty and worried without any fresh water, without any food and unable to sleep a wink due to the heat.

The others in my cell included the British Pakistani and French Arab guys who had come in with me as well as a middle aged Ukrainian man, a Palestinian who had been refused entry despite being a citizen of the state of Israel and a 70-year-old Tajik guy who had been hoping to fulfil his dream of praying at Al-Aqsa mosque. It was this person that I felt for the most; when he wasn’t touching his head to the ground in prayer, he was anxiously walking around the room saying “Y’Allah Rehem” (Oh Allah, mercy).

If only our captors had a semblance of this quality in them – a fact which seemed rather unlikely given how well versed they were in Israeli state propaganda and their hounding laughter when sometimes, fatigued by the heat and bored by inactivity, we banged against the door attempting to earn a precious five minutes of fresh air.

The messages previous “visitors” had enshrined on the walls, occasionally by famous persons such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, were interesting and indeed provided a source of inspiration as the day dragged along.

At around 4pm, I received a visit from a rather pleasant man from the British embassy who helpfully booked me an Easy Jet flight home early on the morning of the next day. In response to my demands that something be done about the violations of privacy and degrading treatment I had been subjected to, I was given a fairly standard explanation:

“We cannot disrespect Israeli sovereignty- it is their country and they can do as they wish.”

My next question left him dumbfounded and he quickly fell silent when I asked:

“Would you be saying the same thing if I was locked up in an Iranian facility?”

The amount of frustration I inwardly felt was immense and my sheer naivety that a British passport would exempt me from these kinds of experiences – particularly in a self-proclaimed democracy – was quickly shattered.

I was driven up on to the runway and straight on the steps of the plane before my flight. The agents escorting me refused to hand over my passport and I only managed to retrieve it from the captain after landing at Luton airport.

Israel today has become what one would call an anachronism. The very idea of a Jewish state where minorities are subjected to inferior treatment is an idea the roots of which lie in centuries past. This ethno-religious criteria used to denominate and rank citizens is hardly the hallmark of a liberal democracy. The Zionist state is the only developed country on the planet which undertakes the policy of ethnic cleansing and encroachment of foreign land with such arrogant gusto and in doing so has forever became an international pariah. With American support, the Israelis have continuously flouted UN security resolutions, became the only country in the Middle East to possess deployable nuclear weapons of mass destruction and slowly leeched into Palestinian territory with the intention of creating a greater Israel. What is more these policies and the sheer indifference of the Israeli political elite to the wretched fate of the Palestinians has now become the best recruiting tool for terrorists all over the globe.

At times during my brief stay, the calls of “hanzeer” (pigs) by the Arabs holed up with me in reference to the Jewish race almost resonated with me and yet, if a solution is to be found to this conflict, the rational amongst us must ensure that we don’t fall blindly into the same category of bigotry and hatred of which the Israelis are guilty.

PHOTOS: USMAN CHATTA

Follow Usman on Twitter @UsmanChatta

Anonymous

Anonymous

The blogger wishes to remain anonymous.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Mohammad

    I am sure if Pakistan removed the statement “This Passport is valid for all countries except Israel”, none of Pakistanis or those who travelled to Pakistan will have an issue on any Israeli Airport. Recommend

  • alepo

    and we’ve so-called liberals in our country who see israel as most urbane and civilized country, but at the same time extreme love for israel despite its attrocities ,barbarism and racism against poor palestenians and minorities(especially muslims)Recommend

  • Vikas

    Why go somewhere where you are not respected? And then play the victim card? Something should be wrong with you as they didn’t treat everyone the same. May be your Pakistani connection?Recommend

  • that dude from LaL masjid

    Amazing article. Thank you for writing it and make sure you keep submitting your story to all the major news outlets and papers, both in the UK, US, and here in PK.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    Al Aqsa is again a mosque constructed on top of a temple – the most important jewish temple in this case.Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    Very Enlightening Article. Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Vikas:
    “Something should be wrong with you as they didn’t treat everyone the same. May be your Pakistani connection?”

    This shows the worst form of apartheid type descrimination from the authorities for treating someone like a security treat just because he visited Pakistan. Recommend

  • Joker

    Non-Muslims are treated Worse in Saudi Arabia Recommend

  • Yes man

    No body likes terrorists.Recommend

  • Naveed Hassan

    Hypocrisy at its best.Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Joker:
    “Non-Muslims are treated Worse in Saudi Arabia”

    Biggest Lie of the Millennium!! Non muslims are in top dollar jobs in Saudi, they are given vast compounds in Riyadh where they can do what they like. You have thousands of Hindu Indians, Thousands of Westerners, Phillipino, Sri Lankans and many more non muslims enjoying tax free salaries in Saudi.

    How many non jews in Israel? Recommend

  • http://Peshawar Tulla

    UK, France, Canada and USA, all allow Israel to do this to their citizens. Currently, a law in USA is in process of being enacted which will allow all Israeli citizens visa free entry for three months into USA but will allow Israel to reject free entry to any USA citizens on the basis of security issues. You can see that those denied will be either of Arab or Muslim history/background. They also deny a number of western human rights activities.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/congress-and-aipac-want-to-name-israel-major-strategic-partner-but-ap-highlights-anti-arab-discrimination.htmlRecommend

  • mAS

    Thank you for showing real face of IsraelisRecommend

  • http://Americanthinker.com Craig

    @I am a Khan:

    Please buy a dictionary so you can properly use the word ‘apartheid’. Your use of this word clearly shows you have no understanding of its definition. Recommend

  • http://Americanthinker.com Craig

    Oh the humanity!
    Recommend

  • Zubair

    @Joker: Can you please explain what exactly do you mean by the “worse treatment” here?Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @author

    I do sympathize with your distress. It is known Muslims and Arabs are discriminated in Israel, very few are allowed by their immigration. racial and ethnic profiling is being done openly. If you would have visited an academic institution, it would have been a different story. Muslims are not treated kindly in Israel because of security threat. It is known. You are a Muslim activist, that’s why they denied your entry. you have to see Israel Palestine conflict from a neutral perspective. Almost all Muslim countries refuse the right for Israel to exist as a country and there is a deep entrenched anti semitism when Muslim talk about Jews. I have studied Torah as part of my comparative religion course, if there is a abrahamic faith close to Islam, it is Judaism. But there is a too much hatred towards Jews by Muslim, you might want to disagree with me. I am ok with that. As for Palestinians, they need to have honest discussion with Israel in regards to peace. you might want to hear some Friday sermon in regards to Jews in Muslim countries including yours in UK, you will be surprised how much hatred is there towards Jews. Like I said Israel Palestine conflict is a ethnic conflict not a religious one. I condemn mistreatment of innocent Palestinians at the hands of Israeli security and at the same time I condemn killing of innocent Israeli civilians at the hands of extremists. Jews, Christian and Muslims have originated from same abrahamic root, we share same god and numerous prophets of the old and New Testament. You penned this article in a pakistani news paper, you know almost everybody will sympathize with you including myself, but you need to see the treatment that was meted out to you from security perspective. Zionism is Jewish term that explains Jewish people yearning to return to their land that god gave them. there is nothing wrong with this idea. If it has been misused to treat other people badly, then it is not the fault of Judaism, similarly Prophet Mohammed didn’t sanction killing of innocent in the name of Islam. I hope peace will return to the holy land one day that we all have been fighting for millennia. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @author

    Look how minorities are treated in Pakistan where your ancestors originated from, especially Shias and ahmedis. At least Palestinians are not hounded like dogs and killed in state of Israel on a daily basis. FYI 20% of Israeli population is Arab, they have rights and carry Israeli passport. Again I am sorry for the unkind treatment you receive at the Israeli airport.Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @ I know many Muslims have visited Israel for business and academic reasons, and they have been treated well. It depends on your circumstance. Recommend

  • Realist

    It’s amusing when Pakistan-haters in the comments section (of which there seem to be a lot trolling on this website) compare this ordeal to the treatment of non-Muslims in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran. The point is that Iran and Saudi Arabia are ridiculed by the whole world when they mistreat minorities or show any signs of racial discrimination… but Israel is apparently a shining example of democracy and peace while it continues to commit genocide. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    @I am a Khan:

    Yet there are no Hindu temple, Christian churches, and Jewish synagogue in Mecca and medina.Recommend

  • roadkashehzada

    shhhhhh
    antisemitism antisemitism Recommend

  • Peace Seeker

    @Mehdi:
    “I know many Muslims have visited Israel for business and academic reasons, and they have been treated well. It depends on your circumstance.”
    Yes, those in particular with Israeli connections before they visit that country.Recommend

  • Babloo

    “The very idea of a Jewish state where minorities are subjected to inferior treatment is an idea the roots of which lie in centuries past.”
    true, but have you read the Pakistan constitution and what it says about non-muslims ability to become PM or President of Pakistan or the blasphemy laws ?Recommend

  • faisal

    @Vikas: lol to be a pakistani or national of any country is not a crime… Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    They allowed to any thing six millions of them died by muslims????????? in ww2.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    If you have a Pakistani visa stamp in your Passport, you are in big trouble. Very difficult to convince Immigration Officers that you have visited Pakistan for anything other than terrorism. You were detained not because you were Muslim but for having visited Pakistan.Recommend

  • Jahangir Khan

    You have to look at this from another angle. The only reason Israel survives in a neighborhood surrounded by hostility is their non-nonsense attitude to everything about defense and terrorism.
    Yes they are a democracy, but they know what has to be done to survive. If they don’t do what they are normally doing it will be taken as a sign of weakness and they will be finished off.
    For every small infraction they receive from the militant type Palestinians, their answer is with a massive jack hammer. That is what keeps the Iranian and Syrian funded militant organizations at bay. They do not Mollycoddle minorities because of political correctness the way USA ., UK and all other western countries do. They cannot afford to. else one day they will be wiped off by the very same ‘minority’. BTW, most people in the west admire this approach of Israel. Talk to a Swedish or Enlish guy who is fed up with how Muslim minorities payback the larger Swedish/english society – and they will tell you, why can’t we be a bit more like the Israelis?

    Israel cannot afford to be polite or display softness. Else it will be eaten up. The Ummah has been after it since its inception.

    And as far as the Pakistan connection – what else can you expect? Almost every known terrorist has some type of connection to muslim countries or societies especially Pakistan.
    At times don’t you wonder how USA and UK keep on allowing Pakistanis to keep coming in even after numerous incidents? Every time a terror incident in the West happens, does every resident in that country resident of Pakistani decent not pray ” I hope there is no Islamic or Pakistani connection to this” ?Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    The whole( mis) treatment started the moment your travel to Pakistan was observed . What does it signal. the Israelis are surrounded by hostile Muslim countries and they are unwilling to take the slightest chance on their security even at the risk of being rude to Pakistani connection. It is better to be safe than to have a softer image. Their mindset is clear. Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Craig:

    Indeed I used the word Apartheid wrongly because what Israel does to Muslims is much more terrible than ‘Apartheid’…Zionism is definitely a million times worse than Apartheid! and people like you who support Zionism are worse than the Afrikaners.

    @Mehdi:

    No one stops them (the non muslims) from practicing their religion in their homes and their vast dream resort like compounds in Riyadh. got it?Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Mehdi:

    is there any Mosque, Temple or Synagogue in the Vatican? is there any Mosque Church or Synagogue in the Char Dham hindu sites that were recently destroyed by floods? Recommend

  • Just Truth

    @Mehdi:
    “Yet there are no Hindu temple, Christian churches, and Jewish synagogue in Mecca and medina.”
    Equally, there is no Hindu temple, a Moslem mosque, or a Jewish synagogue in the Vatican. (The closest mosque is two miles from the Vatican border.) And, besides the disputed Wailing Wall (also known as the Western Wall) disputed as part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Jewish Temple, there is no Hindu Temple there.
    In Vernasi, besides the Gyanvapi Mosque, which is threatened to be taken down by Hindu extremists, there is no other mosque, no Christian Church, or Synagogue.Recommend

  • khankhan

    @Joker:
    I agree with you. Saudi Arabia falls in a same category. But If you are an American or European decent – you are very welcome in Saudi Arabia. The rest are simply worthless regardless of religion.Recommend

  • khankhan

    @Mehdi:
    We respect your sympathy with Israel’s behavior. Blog is about “discrimination” by state Israel, which claims the only true democratic country in the middle east. Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Pretty shocking and disgusting. Pakistan has never brought any harm to Israel, nor do Pakistanis have anything against Israel. We know of so many Israelis who happily live in Pakistan, travel freely and never harmed.Recommend

  • weirdity

    The picture of the holding room doesn’t correspond to the grim description by the author. I can see sun light coming in and it looks like they were even free to take pictures in it. Is the author indulging in propaganda against Israel because…ahem…of the “special” status for Jews in islam?Recommend

  • http://pakistansfuture.blogspot.com Mohammed Hassanali

    @Joker:You mean to say there is no difference between the Saudis and the Israelis?
    I second that. Recommend

  • Harbringer

    Don’t be fooled by people who tell you it wasn’t because you were Muslim. It’s a story that was also interviewed by The Fast Track program on the BBC http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/do-you-feel-more-arab-or-more-american-two-arab-american-womens-story-of-being-detained-and-interrogated-at-ben-gurion.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/fast_track/9741639.stmRecommend

  • Afrooz

    The author is probably mot revealing all the information in this story. I know of a few (muslim) friends who have travelled to Israel several times on business and personal visits without any harassment. It's possible the author would have flagged some attention either by his words or something on this passport in order to be treated so bad.
    Recommend

  • stevenson

    @Feroz: I have travelled all over the world with Pakistani visas stamped in my US passport and never had an issue – the real truth is that immigration officials have a lot of discretionary power all over the world. Whoever saw you chose to be difficult. That’s life. I would blame Israel or your Pakistani visa because this can happen anyways. By the way, in the eyes of most people of the world, a British passport does not make you British. I have seen how other Europeans treat coloured British passport holders as foreigners too. They may be obliged to observe the passport regulations but in their hearts, they do not accept you as British. This is more true now because people know that many UK Asians live on social assistance since they don’t work and live in low income housing.Recommend

  • Well Wisher

    @Mehdi:
    “Yet there are no Hindu temple, Christian churches, and Jewish synagogue in Mecca and medina.”
    That is because there are no Hindus, Christians, of Jews in Mecca and Medina.Recommend

  • Well Wisher

    @Mehdi:
    “Look how minorities are treated in Pakistan where your ancestors originated from, especially Shias and ahmedis.”
    I have been reading your posts and I find whether there is relevance of not you seem to always bring up “how minorites are treated…especially Shias and ahmedis.” But you never mention the bright side of how well these same minorities, “especially Shias and ahmedis” are well represented in Pakistan’s institutions, for example, in the officer cadres of the Pakistan Army.Recommend

  • A-B

    @Feroz and a lot of people are just typing nonsense here. Having a Pakistani stamp on your passport does not automatically lead you to being denied entry. I have multiple Pakistan entry stamps on my passport, have been to hajj, am in my early thirties and I was blessed to to visit in 2011. I have a friend who was denied entry on first try and went through a tough 10 hours of questioning / waiting but he tried again a few years later and was allowed. Do not be disheartened and it may be worth trying again. The global situation is as such that Israel has become very strict on visitors especially of muslim origin.Recommend

  • Optimist

    I’ve been to 50 countries but would never even think of going to Israel and a couple of other enemy countries. Recommend

  • Milind

    @I am a Khan – “Non muslims are in top dollar jobs in Saudi, they are given vast compounds in Riyadh where they can do what they like

    Are you sure, I as a Hindu can take a out a jalsa or have a religious gathering with drums, conch-shells in Saudi Arabia?

    The “Non-Muslims in top dollar jobs in Saudi Arabia” are because there’s a paucity of qualified Muslim candidates… Its another fact that you have unwittingly admitted that Muslims lack in science and education all over the world (and not just India as you keep blaming us).

    There is clear discrimination against kafirs as well as Shias and African Sunnis as well in your beloved paradise of KSA…Recommend

  • nassi

    Israel is surrounded by hostile neighbours and there is a multitude of determined terrorist groups around the world who are constantly trying to penetrate its security defences to carry out their attacks. Israelis are perfectly justified in taking every necessary precaution when allowing visitors into their country. Recommend

  • saad

    @Mehdi: there are no mosques in the vatican also .Mecca and Madina are situated in the Hejaz and non-muslim are not allowed in the Hejaz.Recommend

  • Genesis

    The comments of the British consular official is right.It is their country and they can do what they wish.If you do not like it,do not go.You have the choice.Recommend

  • http://gujrat RAW is WAR

    Pakistani complaining against Israel? Recommend

  • noman1234

    @Mohammad:
    Usman Chatta was travelling on a British PassportRecommend

  • AB

    A freined of mine, a French Guy of African descent had the same experience. He had never been to Africa or anywhere except Europe, but landed in trouble because of his muslim name. I keep on hearing stories of acute racism, not just with other nationalities but also directed to Jews of Middle Eastern descent. This country is such a farce, and despite so much wrong, doesn’t get the press that will normally tear any other country for this behavior…remember South Africa in 80s.Recommend

  • noman1234

    @Vikas:
    There is nothing wrong in being a Pakistani. Also Jerusalem is a holy land where muslims visit to pray in Masjid Al Aqsa (The first mosque ever built). Pakistan has fought 3 wars with India but we still allow Hindus and Sikh from India to visit their Holy Temples in Pakistan. Pakistan has not fought a single war with Israel, no Pakistani has been involved in any terrorist attack in Israel yet the Blogger Usman Chatta was denied entry even though he was traveling on a British Passport.Recommend

  • Khair Khaw

    @Mehdi:
    Strange comment. Why should there be “Hindu temple, Christian churches, and Jewish synagogue in Mecca and medina” when there are no non-Muslims there?Recommend

  • noman1234

    @Joker:
    That is not true. Saudi Arabia treats everyone bad as far as their law enforcement goes Muslim or non-Muslim. Saudi Arabia allows non-Muslims and Muslims to work in their country on work permit, Israel doesn’t. They don’t hold tourist in a hot humid cell with no door locks. They are not perfect but they are more reasonable than Israelis are in this matter.Recommend

  • A. Khan

    @Joker: Two wrongs don’t make a right.Recommend

  • x MBA LSE

    @Mohammad: u must be a guy from Harvard…lolRecommend

  • INFORMATIVE.

    Thanks for writing this awesome piece of article and exposing the true face of israel. I appreciate your efforts for the good. Recommend

  • Pakistani Ostrich

    “You’ve been to Pakistan?” and quickly sifted me through to the interrogation room where everyone incidentally was either Arab or Muslim.

    The “guilty until proven innocent” ordeal began with a brief period of questioning about my personal details and motives in visiting and lasted for ten hours in which I was questioned four times.

    That is really pathetic. Very sorry to hear your mistreatment by the Israelis. However, since you had traveled on a UK passport, your article is more suited for a UK newspaper or blog. I haven’t been to israel, but have traveled all over the world without any problem.Recommend

  • Biig Dood

    The amount of frustration I inwardly felt was immense and my sheer naivety that a British passport would exempt me from these kinds of experiences – particularly in a self-proclaimed democracy – was quickly shattered.
    .
    Why do Pakistanis find it so difficult to understand democracy? In this case you are British, still you do not fathom it?
    .
    Democracy does not provide any right to foreigners. Currently, the elected government of Bibi is right-wing and he was voted into power by their own people. As others have posted, obviously they were very concerned with your visa stamp from Pakistan.
    .
    On another note, how do you think it feels when one is deported from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries and Iran for having an Israeli stamp on your passport?Recommend

  • pacifist

    I am sorry for the treatment you got at the hands of Israeli security agencies. But imagine this, you narrowly escaped forfeiting your right to visit half a dozen other countries in the region by failing to get your entry stamped on your passport. No Gulf country will allow you in if your passport shows you ever visited Israel. So you are lucky. So, its not a bad bargain, after all. Now you do not have to forgo visit to so many other countries.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Chalk it up as a harsh learning experience………….what you learn from it is upto you.
    Recommend

  • Hamza

    Every one. Please be honest. Suppose your job and livelihood depends on stopping terror. And one mistake, you are fired and will have no job. Will you double search an islamic guy? Would you double search a pakistani canadian/american/british/whatever? Yes, of course you will. Dispassionately speaking, and I know it hurts me to say it, of course the world’s largest threat today is some sort of islamic extremism that thrive in pakistan and other places. So, it is not racism. It is just a man trying not to loose his job and feed his family. So, be considerate in what you write without placing yourself in the other person’s shoes.Recommend

  • G. Din

    @I am a Khan: to Joker

    “Al Aqsa is again a mosque constructed on top of a temple – the most important jewish temple in this case.”
    Exactly as Babri Masjid!Recommend

  • SaneGuy

    “Israel today has become what one would call an anachronism. The very idea of a Jewish state where minorities are subjected to inferior treatment is an idea the roots of which lie in centuries past.This ethno-religious criteria used to denominate and rank citizens is hardly the hallmark of a liberal democracy.”

    Well, one could remove Israel from the above sentence and replace it with Pakistan and it would be very true.

    Israel has a right to be concerned about its security and is well within its sovereign right to refuse entry for individuals who it perceives as a security risk. Does it mean all folks visiting Pakistan are security risks ? I do not think so but Israel has a right to think otherwise. Actually it just not Israel but most countries of the world would see a visit to Pakistan as a red flag.Recommend

  • Mrs. Chishti

    Although wrong & extremely rude treatment that you got, it is definitely not surprising. Even US warns its citizens regarding traveling to Israel. it states on its site:

    “U.S. citizen visitors have been subjected to prolonged questioning and thorough searches by Israeli authorities upon entry or departure. Those whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab, Middle Eastern, or Muslim origin; those who have been involved in missionary work or activism; and those who ask that Israeli stamps not be entered into their passports may face additional, often time-consuming, and probing questioning by immigration and border authorities, or may even be denied entry into Israel or the West Bank.”

    source: http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov/border-crossings.html

    The a above statement clearly shows that you will have trouble if you are of “Arab, Middle Eastern, or Muslim origin”, for US embassy to warn is own citizens like this shows that it is quite prevalent in Israel to act this way towards Muslims, Arabs & Middle Eastern in general.

    All those claiming that it is only a “Pakistani” issue are either extremely naive, or simply choosing to be ignorant for whatever reasons.Recommend

  • desi dada

    You conclude well – “and yet, if a solution is to be found to this conflict, the rational amongst us must ensure that we don’t fall blindly into the same category of bigotry and hatred of which the Israelis are guilty.”

    How can we achieve that? You are asking rational intellect always winning over the emotional mind. This is conflict within – emotion and intellect, always fighting. Does it have to be this way?

    Religion is an alien concept to most of us natives. It was invented in 4th century, a century or two after Jesus, whose name Roman took to create a new Armed Legion which divided Jews and it became easy for Romans to rule over them. This thought virus mutated but symptoms are same – division of native communities, exploitation by distant Pope, Roman emperor, Khilafas,and their local proxies, wiping out native culture, language and connection to the real ancestors, bloodshed, rape, plunder. loss of identity, loss of connection to the native soil.

    With above historical background you can understand psychological make up of a typical Israeli Jew. Jew is trying to reclaim his ancestral land, preserve culture, language etc. Judaism is organic spirituality to Palestine.

    To cut it short – It is high time that world gets rid of this thought virus which makes us all bow to One Book, One Prophet, One Khilafa, One Currency, One Kremlin, One White House.Recommend

  • Syed

    Pakistan government has a legit standing that Israel is an illegitimate state and can not be considered as sovereign as they occupy Palestinians [email protected]: Recommend

  • Raoon Kundi

    @Vikas: Traveling to Pakistan does not make a person a security threat. Your statement reeks of propaganda.Recommend

  • bangash

    Israel is an extremely racist state that uses violence regularly against Palestinians and Muslims but because of guilt over Holocaust, West keeps silent.Recommend

  • MK

    @Mehdi:
    “Yet there are no Hindu temple, Christian churches, and Jewish synagogue in Mecca and medina”

    Same as there is no Hindu temple, Christian church, Jewish synagogue and Muslim Mosque in The Vatican.

    Get a Life. Recommend

  • Sandip

    There are two sides to this story. One that has been narrated by the author. Another one that would give the perspective of the Israelis. We Indians can absolutely understand the steps that the Israeli government takes to ensure security for its citizens. It is its duty to do so. Every single person who saw the macabre dance of death perpetrated on 26/11 by the Pakistanis in Mumbai, will absolutely support the actions taken by Israel to disallow anyone who might even remotely enable such incident in any way. Please remember the role of David Headley in the Mumbai attacks.
    It is time for Pakistanis to ponder now. Just because the UN hasn’t labelled Pakistan government as a state sponsor of terrorism doesn’t mean that the reality will be ignored by the world at large. Unfortunate though it is, I am sure this is a familiar reaction that anyone who has travelled to Pakistan will get anywhere around the world. Including your brotherly countries.Recommend

  • sab sach heh

    This country is lauded world wide as the only country in the middle east to be a democracy and we see from us and euorpean countries democracy STINKSRecommend

  • Insaan

    @I am a Khan:
    This shows the worst form of apartheid type descrimination from the authorities for treating someone like a security treat just because he visited Pakistan.

    It could be more then that. Person interviewing this Brit Pakistani did not feel comfortable with him. When a terrorist or their supporter goes any where they pretend to be ordinary people.

    Dawood Gilani (David Headley) went to India to open a travel agency with the help of one Pakistani Rana of Chicago USA.

    David Coleman Headley conspired with the Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist organization and Pakistani intelligence officers in plotting the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    He helped ISI and LeT terrorists kill 164 people from 12 different country. Out of 164 people killed 6 were Israelis and 40 Indian Muslims.

    Unfortunately there are no machines to detect who is a terrorist or who is not a terrorist. Some time innocent people get punished. Terrorists should be blamed for this.Recommend

  • Altamash

    @Sinclair:
    What it has to do with the treatment of this poor chapRecommend

  • awellwisher

    Why shouldn’t Israel be careful of who they let in considering that it is the Muslims who have been targeting Israel in all the terror attacks there? Also, Pakistan is one of most rabid anti-Israel country. Irrespective of one’s passport, any connections to Pakistan raises caution anywhere in the world. Why not blame the Muslim countries on why Muslims are stereotyped and profiled? Recommend

  • Grammarian

    @Mohammad:
    nonsense.Recommend

  • Aleef

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It was an eye opener for me. I thought Israel to be much more open and pleasant society than their neighbours in middle east.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    @Altamash

    Read through the article once again if you please. I thought this was an article aimed at taking the high moral ground, while still mentioning the disputed structure in the same breath (and without telling all the facts). Recommend

  • choclet

    on the other hand nearly a year back read a travelogue in a local paper about a family of pakistani origin visit to israel which went pretty smoothly!Recommend

  • ER

    When Israel questioned me for hours before allowing me to even get my plane to Israel, I did not mind at all. Nor did it bother me that I was seated between 2 soldiers. Actually I respected their security measures. I am not male nor Muslim (nor Jewish), just had a few too many red flags that fairly warranted extra scrutiny. After what I’ve seen the inflammatory inaccuracies I’ve seen Usman say about Israel here, I would never have let him in either.Recommend

  • Usman Chatta

    Couple of quick points guys- firstly I live in Britain and went on a British passport so the policies of Pakistan are effectively irrelevant particularly when they disagree so strongly with own open minded beliefs. Moreover it’s extremely hypocritical to use Pakistan’s treatment of Jews in a pathetic attempt to justify this- two wrongs don’t make a right!Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @Joker:

    Saudia is not a democracy..on the other hand Israel proclaims to be liberal and a democratic country…
    Far but not the least you can enter Saudia even if you are a non muslim…!!!!Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @Milind:

    AGAIN..SAUDIA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY…and I think you dont have Muslim jalsas in Saudia as well…!!!!Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @Biig Dood:

    Sir please go and read wht DEMOCRACY really means…Even Pakistan and India allow citizen of each other countries to enter. There are hurdles but Israel is on its top……..

    Israel claim to be a liberal democractic…yeah right…!!!!!Recommend

  • http://Malaysia Mir

    I do not be leave this story is true. AS I hold US passport,Pakistani origin Birth place Peshawar. My passport is full of visit to Pakistan. I have visited Israel number of time no one ever asked a single question about Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @awellwisher:
    yeah right lets just ban the whole world from entering other countries..wht a lame comment..do you know there is some thing known as privacy and your rights…!!!!!!Recommend

  • Khadim Karrar

    @Harbringer:
    Thanks for informative links/references.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    Only if India had rejected David Headley’s Visa after knowing he visited Pakistan, so many lives would have been saved.

    Israel doesn’t care for political correctness. The problem emanates from a set of people, keep them out, is the mantra and it makes perfect sense!!

    The people who shout discrimination should be told how it has saved lives. If Israel had allowed every legal entry into its lands there would have been many needless deaths by now.

    Also, the general unsaid rule of thumb is: If you want to travel to the West and India and Australia and many other countries, even and especially China, better stay away from Pakistan. Or, be prepared for humiliation at the Airports of all the said countries.

    I had read long ago of an Indian businessman refusing to travel to Pakistan as that would blacklist him or mark him out at US Airports. Considering US was a big market for him, he refused to travel to Pakistan.

    Makes perfect business sense.Recommend

  • Sal

    Here is another side of the story, a must read for everyone, and its recent too.
    http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta3/tft/article.php?issue=20130208&page=26
    and reading that definitely make me suspicious why they deported you.Recommend

  • The Khan-Waterloo,Ontario

    I have no idea why my Indian brothers are saying that just because i have a Pakistani passport, airport officials will humiliate me. I have been to 19 countries and the only country that took a little longer time to process my passport was at the Atlanta oneRecommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Milind:
    “The “Non-Muslims in top dollar jobs in Saudi Arabia” are because there’s a paucity of qualified Muslim candidates…”

    Complete Rubbish! If Saudi were to sack all Indian & Sri Lankan Hindus/Buddhists they will get better replacements from Muslim Pakistanis, Egyptians, Bangladeshis, Malaysians, etc. There is no lack of talented and educated muslims in Pakistan who will happliy replace the hindus in Saudi. It the fact that the Saudis are not bigoted like the israelis, about religion show the very large community of non muslims that stay there for extended periods of times (several years)Recommend

  • Syed Azeem

    @Mohammad:
    I think the writer was clear that he was on a British PassportRecommend

  • Syed Azeem

    So the writer was so happy and eager to visit the zionist entity

    but once going after this ordeal he discovers that the Zionist entity is infact criminal, occupying and bigots

    I wonder what the ordinary Palestinian who doesnt have a Biritish Passport has to feel day in and day outRecommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Insaan:

    Oh please stop blaming ISI for 26/11, will you? one of your top ministers has already let the cat out of the bag that 26/11 was done by the indian authorities to tighten the noose around muslims, enact stronger anti terrorism laws and increase security agencies recruitment. Recommend

  • Seriously?!

    @Mohammad:
    Dude there is a reason this sentence is written on a Pakistani passport. Pakistan does not accept Israel as a sovereign state as it is a land occupied by the Israelis from Palestine. Your views do not quite match with you name sadly. Recommend

  • Milind

    @I am a Khan -“There is no lack of talented and educated muslims in Pakistan who will happliy replace the hindus in Saudi. ”

    I hope you’re not confusing white-collar talent with the taxi-driver jobs reserved for your brethen in KSA. If yes, then there’s no lack of talent.
    Overall Saudis are the worst racists, who have gone to the extent of supporting the brown Muslim on black Muslim genocide in Darfur.

    Israel btw is more relaxed the bitter experience reported by the author notwithstanding. Ask its Arab citizens if they’re better in Israel or any of the Arab countries and they would (and have) prefer to stay back in Israel.Recommend

  • Sad but true…..

    @Anoop

    wht are you so arrogant about in India..Is it the ur country is the Rape capaital int he world or is it tht you Army is killing innocent people in Kashmir..Do you know tht any officier who has served in Kahsmir is regarded as a terrorist in Canada…your country is divided into vast culture where every minoriy wants to get separated but is unable to because of heavy attrocities commited by your Army……your country is becoming the second Africa when it comes to AIDS…wht are you so proud of …….
    Your own officers are declaring tht Mumabi attack and Parliment attack might be done by the intelligence themselves…!!!!!!Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Sad but true…..:

    Problems exist in all countries, but Terror emanates from select places only. Keep the people out of those places, you are relatively safe.

    What ever problems you listed its much more severe in Pakistan and Bangladesh. India has terrible problems, I’ve never said no, but things can only improve.

    With greater education which leads to social awakening most of the problems you alluded to(even though it is irrelevant, but brought forward to derail and win some childish debate contest) will be solved to varying degrees.

    When a girl was brutally raped, the civil society came on the streets and in every corner of India, especially Delhi protests were held. An attrocity on a woman evokes such passion!

    Compare this with Pakistan where Malala was shot. Can you ever dare to bring out a rally in support of her? I challenge you. I participated in campaigns for the poor girl in Delhi, do you think you can and survive?

    Answer honestly to those questions you will start seeing things in perspective.

    Problems exist everywhere, but the kind of anarchy that exists in Pakistan and in much of the Muslim world is simple beyond compare!Recommend

  • Anon

    The self-loathing in almost all ET comments is actually really worrying. This is the quickest way to destroy a people – make them hate themselves. These are the hallmarks of colonialism and slavery.
    All under the guise of “introspection”. Pitiful!Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    And alas this debate is now moving to Malala thanks to Anoop who just loves to insult and degrade us Pakistanis on thi page, do they not approve your comments on Toi?Recommend