Muslim garb gets Houston student singled out at festival


When a fire alarm went off Saturday at the Westchase Marriott during a seminar he was holding for Houston WorldFest, Hunter Todd decided to do some investigating.

After the 200 attendees filed back into the meeting room when the hotel gave an all-clear, Todd, the chief executive officer for the 46th annual WorldFest film festival, approached a woman sitting in the front of the room who was wearing traditional Muslim covering.

Todd asked to search her backpack. He said he was “super polite” to the woman, who opened the backpack. She had just a few water bottles inside. That’s when another attendee, University of Houston student Mike Rudd, confronted Todd and accused him of racially profiling the woman.

Rudd, a UH senior, described the woman as a fellow student at the university, where he is studying film and media production.

On his Facebook page, Rudd states he asked Todd why he had demanded to search the woman’s bag, and that Todd told him, “because she is Muslim and a suspicious character, now sit down.”

Houston Chronicle, 23 April 2013

See also “W[t]F? WorldFest founder/CEO Hunter Todd searches Fest attendee’s bag ‘because she is a Muslim'”, Houston Chronicle, 22 April 2013