BBC Was Quick to Say 'Kashmiri Muslim' When Denied Visa, But After Reports of a Heinous Crime... Not So Much
A sportsman was set to compete in the world snowshoe championship at Saranac Lake, New York, and he was ready to travel all the way from India to get there. That's when Tanveer Hussain was informed that “current policy” would be preventing him from obtaining a travel visa.
The BBC reported on his plight, pointing out the fact that Hussain was not actually traveling from a nation that was affected by President Trump's initial order:
The embassy in Delhi would not comment on individual visa applications for reasons of privacy, but emphasised that Indian citizens are not affected by the recent executive order.
Mr Hussain's coach, Abid Khan, said all his documents had been in order.
“We had local government recommendation and also the invitation and verification letter from the New York snowshoe federation. But as soon as a lady visa officer at the US embassy in Delhi read our names, she went inside a cabin and came back after a few minutes. She said she was sorry, but that she could not help us due to the current US policy,” he told the BBC.
Their headline on February 1 read:
Kashmir Muslim athlete denied US visa due to 'current policy'
After several American legislators — among them Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) greased the wheels, Hussain's visa was approved and he traveled to the United States to compete.
Then something went terribly wrong.
Hussain found himself remanded to an American jail after parents reported to law enforcement that he had sexually assaulted their 12-year-old daughter.
Once again, the BBC had the story:
His attorney has entered a not-guilty plea for him.
Saranac Lake police department said that the charges against Mr Hussain, which include endangering the welfare of a child, stem from him engaging in a “passionate kiss with the 12-year-old victim”.
“There was no accusation of force. The charges are a result of the age difference of the individuals,” the AP news agency quoted the police as saying.
Their headline, dated March 3:
Tanveer Hussain: Indian athlete held over sex abuse in US
The difference in headline tone did not go unnoticed:
Others called out New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) for his role in facilitating Hussain's travel to the United States:
Hussain is currently remanded to a New York jail, and family members say they are shocked to learn that he would be involved in anything of that nature. Young Ali, his younger brother, told the Indian Express: “thankfully, legal aid has been provided to him.”