Alvin Ailey Artist Forced to Dance for Israeli Cops

Black dancer with Muslim name ordered to dance to prove ID
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 10, 2008 4:50 AM CDT
Alvin Ailey dancer Abdur-Rahim Jackson was ordered to dance for Israeli airport cops to prove his identity.   (AP Photo/Moti Milrod)
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(Newser) – A member of New York's Alvin Ailey dance troupe with a Muslim name was forced to dance for Israeli airport cops in a holding cell to prove his identity, AP reports. "It was embarrassing," said Abdur-Rahim Jackson. "The only time I'm really expected to dance is when I'm performing."

Jackson, who is black, was separated from other members of the troupe as they landed in Israel to begin a six-nation performance tour. He was ordered to dance for a group of male security officers and a second time for a female cop. One officer suggested Jackson change his name, he said. Officials have apologized.