I mean come on, I’m all for security at airports but isn’t there a better way to do it than this?
JERUSALEM — A performer with the renowned Alvin Ailey dance troupe was ordered to perform steps for Israeli airport security officers to convince them of his identity, a spokesman for the company said Tuesday.
Abdur-Rahim Jackson was singled out from other members of the black American dance ensemble when they arrived at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Sunday night at the start of a six-nation international tour, said publicist Shauli Baskin.
"They stopped him ... as he has a Muslim name," Baskin told The Associated Press. "He told them he was a dancer and was here to dance with the Alvin Ailey dance troupe and they told him, 'So dance.'"
Jackson could not be reached directly on Tuesday, hours before the first of six scheduled performances in Tel Aviv by the New York-based ensemble. But the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, which first reported the story, quoted him as saying that his father had been a convert to Islam and subsequently gave him a Muslim name.
"I demonstrated a few dance steps and after another round of questioning they let me go and join the rest of the group," he told the paper.
Baskin said that waiting for him in the group was Jackson's fiancee and fellow Alvin Ailey dancer Olivia Bowman, who has a Jewish mother with family in Israell.
Baskin said that Jackson did not lodge a complaint with airport officials, and the Israel Airports
Authority said it had no record of the alleged incident.