Riz Ahmed says “Islamophobic” US border guards stopped him appearing at Star Wars convention

'Rogue One' star says he is regularly prevented from boarding planes because of racial profiling

Riz Ahmed has says that “Islamophobic” US Homeland security guards prevented him appearing at a major Star Wars convention.

Ahmed had been due to appear at Star Wars Celebration along with many of his co-stars from the franchise.

Initially, it was said that “circumstances beyond his control” had caused the actor from cancelling his appearance.


In a full explanation, the Star Wars: Rogue One star has revealed how racial profiling was the cause of the cancellation in April.

Speaking at the CAA Amplify Summit event, Ahmed said he had been regularly stopped from boarding planes over the past 15 years – and that he was more worried than ever about the effects of racial profiling.

“Some of these obstacles are systemic and we can’t really face them alone,” Ahmed told the audience at the Summit, which promotes diversity and multiculturalism in sport, arts, politics, and technology.

“We need your help. I’m basically here to ask for your help, because it’s really scary to be a Muslim right now, super scary. I’ve often wondered ‘Is this going to be the year when they round us up?’ I wonder if this is going to be the year they put Trump’s registry into action, if this is going to be the year they ship us all off.”


Ahmed, who played pilot Bodhi Rook in Star Wars: Rogue One, said he no longer wanted to have to alter his mannerisms and his appearance in order to have more chance of getting through security.

Explaining how he’d had to use his acting skills to win over security guards, Ahmed said: “Like all of you here, I’m a code-switcher. We all know how to change the way we talk, the way we dress, the way we walk as we enter one room or another.”

Ahmed continued: “We all know how to navigate terrain that isn’t of our own making. That’s how I can do it, but that’s not why I do what I do. The why is because I don’t want to have to code-switch anymore.”

Others appearing at CAA Amplify Summit included Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria and Michael B. Jordan.