After a three week delay, Queens, New York native, Samir Suljovic has finally made it home. Upon entering the United States on Friday night in Philadelphia, Suljovic was questioned at length, causing him to miss his connecting flight to New York. He eventually caught a train for the final leg of his journey.
“I wear a cap, I have a beard, I roll my pants up,” Suljovic he told the NBC station. “They discriminated against me because I’m Muslim. What else could it be?”
“They made me feel like I’m some kind of terrorist, some kind of criminal for no damn reason,” he said. “I’m an American citizen. I’m being played here.”
Suljovic, who has worked as a security guard in New York, had been visiting relatives in Montenegro and was attempting to come home on Oct. 1 when he was denied boarding his U.S.-bound flight from Vienna, Austria.
Suljovic said he’s frustrated that government officials haven’t been able to tell him why he couldn’t come home, and that they haven’t been able to tell him if he is on the no-fly list at all.
At this point, the DHS is still refusing to answer why Suljovic may be on the no-fly list nor why he wasn’t allowed to fly home, sent around Europe by train to other airports where he was supposed to be allowed to fly from, denied, and then, finally, cleared to return home.
The fact remains that the no-fly list should be transparent and those that are listed on it should know that they are on it and why they have been placed on it. There should also be better avenues for redress to remove a person from the list, especially if there has been a mistake in placing the person on the list in the first place. Just because Suljovic is a Muslim doesn’t mean that his rights as a natural born citizen should be violated so that a few Americans can feel safe under the guise of security theater.