Some advice for traveling Muslims and Muslim-looking people (especially South Asians):
1. Try, if possible, to speak English and no other language even when speaking with others of your party.
2. Wear Western clothes.
3. If you can, a clean-shaven look will go a long way in your favor. Especially for the women.
4. Try not to use cell phones. If you must, speak in English and at such a volume that if someone nearby wants to hear you, they can. But don’t disturb anyone. This way people won’t think you’re hiding something.
5. If you have a business card, especially one that lists your title and gives an indication of your duties, keep it with your passport. When you open your passport, make sure the card is visible.
6. If you can, keep your passport on you.
7. Act calm and reasonable. Don’t do anything weird or strange. Be inconspicuous (even though 75% of the plane will be watching you).
8. Smile. Smile and nod to passengers. If you’re among Americans, engage in polite small talk.
9. Do not talk about the following topics: politics (especially American politics), terrorism, Islam, persecution of Muslims, anti-Semitism.
10. If offered somethin haraam, smile and shake your head and say, “No, thank you.” Do not look, sound, or seem offended.
11. Try not to pray or to use Islamic utterances (especially takbeer or shahaadah).
Finally: If for some reason you are asked to deboard, do so politely, calmly, and without a fuss. There is no need to make an issue of it.
Don’t be upset with the West or its people because of this: Take your anger out on the Arabs and South Asians who make such measures necessary for us.