Israeli Airport Security Makes American Performer Dance to Prove his Identity

When the famed American dance company Alvin Ailey arrived in Israel, one of the troupe was singled out by airport security because of his Muslim name. That’s nothing new in a place where security concerns trump political correctness.

But this particular situation didn’t stop with the usual searches and passport verification. The dancer, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, was asked to perform a dance in order to prove his identity. After being held in a holding room for a few minutes, a different security official asked him to dance again. Jackson claimed that another security official told him it might be wise if he changed his name.

Jackson received his name when his father converted to Islam. He is not religious and is engaged to a Jewish woman whose family he intended to visit while in Israel. Despite being taken aback by the treatment, Jackson said that he did not plan to pursue any sort of official complaint. However, the story has been picked up by the Israeli press and commentators have complained about the negative image the story has caused for their country. Source.