Five Muslim football fans were detained and questioned during a game at Giants Stadium because they were congregating near an air duct on a night former President Bush was in the stadium, the FBI said Wednesday.
Some of the Muslims said they did not know they were in a sensitive area, and they complained that they were subjected to racial profiling while they were praying, as their faith requires five times a day.
“I’m as American as apple pie and I’m sitting there and now I’m made to feel like I’m an outsider, for no reason other than I have a long beard or that I prayed,” said Sami Shaban, a 27-year-old Seton Hall Law School student who lives in Piscataway.
At a news conference Wednesday, Shaban said he and four friends had just gotten to the September 19 New York Giants-New Orleans Saints game when they left their seats to pray. Around halftime, 10 security officers and three state troopers approached the men and told them to come with them, Shaban said.
The men were questioned and then were not allowed to return to their seats, but were instead assigned to seats in another section, Shaban said. Three guards stood near them, and escorted them to their cars when they left the stadium, he said.