Muslim Bollywood Star Under Attack From Hindu Extremists

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ollywood star Shah Rukh Khan has claimed that since 9/11, he has come under mounting attack from Hindu extremists in India. Writing in the Indian magazine Outlook Turning Points, Khan, who is a Muslim in Hindu-dominated India, said, I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. He has said that he has faced similar discrimination in the U.S. In the international hit film My Name Is Khan, the character played by SRK, as he is known in India, is hassled by American authorities because of his Muslim name. Ironically, I was interrogated at the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to promote the film in America for the first time, he wrote. His article appeared at the same time that it was reported that Mumbai police no longer provide security for him on the grounds that he no longer faces any threat. In 2008, after Hindu extremists sent messages to Indian news channels threatening him and three other celebrities, Mumbai's Protection and Security Office agreed to provide round-the-clock security for Khan. It was unclear when the guards were removed, but today (Tuesday) Pakistan's Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, called on the Indian government to reinstitute the protection. He is born Indian and he would like to remain Indian, Malik said, but I will request the government of India to please provide him security. Khan is as popular in Muslim Pakistan as he is in his own country, something that Malik alluded to in his statement: I am sure all those who are talking against him or are trying to threaten him, they will withdraw their threat with this hope -- that the ... stars provide love and they are like a symbol of unity.


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