US apologizes to Canadian cabinet minister asked to remove turban

The U.S. is issuing an apology after a member of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet was asked to remove his turban by TSA agents.

It happened at an airport in Detroit. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains revealed in a televised interview to CTV News how security agents repeatedly asked him to remove his turban even after he’d already passed through security and was at his departure gate. Bains is a devout Sikh, writing on his Facebook page wearing a turban is “considered one of the most dutiful acts for a person of the faith.” He says he was only able to fly after showing his diplomatic passport.

According to French site La Presse, Canadian officials contacted the U.S. government to complain and received an apology.

According to the Washington Post, Bains says he decided to go public with his story to raise awareness about diversity and inclusion. Writing to his Facebook page, “Unfortunately these types of incidents do occur from time to time to minorities in particular. But it should never become the norm.”

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Canadian minister Navdeep Bains
Canadian Minister of Innovation Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, introduces Blackberry CEO John Chen (not pictured) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Federal Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, smiles during an announcement from healthcare group Bayer, and venture capital firm Versant Ventures, that will have them partake in a $225 million joint venture to create a new stem cell therapy technology company, BlueRock Therapeutics, in Toronto, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Canada's new Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains (L) is congratulated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa November 4, 2015. Morneau's expertise on pension reform will likely also be a significant asset to the newly sworn in Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised during the election campaign to work with the provinces and businesses to enhance the national pension plan. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Canada's new Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains (L) is congratulated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa November 4, 2015. Morneau's expertise on pension reform will likely also be a significant asset to the newly sworn in Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised during the election campaign to work with the provinces and businesses to enhance the national pension plan. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Federal Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, speaks during an announcement from healthcare group Bayer, and venture capital firm Versant Ventures, that will have them partake in a $225 million joint venture to create a new stem cell therapy technology company, BlueRock Therapeutics, in Toronto, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Liberal Member of Parliament Navdeep Bains stands to speak in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 21, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (CANADA)
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