September 21, 2004

Gee, we feel so much safer now.

Authorities have prevented a dangerous terrorist from entering the US:

A London-to-Washington flight was diverted to Maine on Tuesday when it was discovered passenger Yusuf Islam - formerly known as singer Cat Stevens - was on a government watch list and barred from entering the country, federal officials said.

United Airlines Flight 919 was en route to Dulles International Airport when the match was made between a passenger and a name on the watch list, said Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration. The plane was met by federal agents at Maine's Bangor International Airport around 3 p.m., Melendez said.

Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy identified the passenger as Islam. "He was interviewed and denied admission to the United States on national security grounds,'' Murphy said, and would be put on the first available flight out of the country Wednesday.

Officials had no details about why the peace activist might be considered a risk to the United States....

Is this really the kind of country we want to be living in?

Via AP.

Posted by Magpie at September 21, 2004 10:07 PM | War on Terrorism | Technorati links |

ooh, baby, baby, it's a wild world; it's hard to get by just on a smile.

Posted by: anurag at September 21, 2004 11:05 PM

I believe that the peace-loving Yusuf once publicly proclaimed that Salman Rushdie should be murdered for a book that he wrote. He got off the "Peace Train" a long time ago.

Posted by: Jack Bog at September 22, 2004 12:09 AM

That 'quote' was really a misquote that he's tried to clear up. He was trying to explain why Muslims get so riled up when someone disses their faith. He never said that it was OK to kill Salman Rushdie.

The press did it's usual hatchet job on him because he had to audacity to convert to Islam.
He has been very active in the past few years seeking peaceful alternatives to the current conflicts in the Middle East.
The Peace Train may have been sidetracked, but it hasn't been derailed.

That said, I wonder who else in on the list?
On 'Unfiltered' today, Kent Jones said there was a standing order to shoot Seals and Croft on sight.

Posted by: David Aquarius at September 22, 2004 09:27 AM

but there's always been an order to shoot seals & crofts on sight, hasn't there?

Posted by: Magpie at September 22, 2004 10:29 AM

Note that Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam's history with militant Islam goes back 15 years. Here's a clip from the Financial Times, January 1989:

"Cat Stevens, the pop singer, is up in court in the Gaza Strip, at least in absentia.

Stevens is a convert to Islam and knowadays prefers to be known as Yusuf al-Islam. During a visit to Jerusalem last year, he was highly critical of Israel's handling of the unrest in the occupied territories. It was alleged in an Israeli military court in the Gaza Strip this week that he had gone much further and given about 4,000 Pounds (pds) to the fundamentalist Islamic movement, Hamas.

Hamas is bitterly opposed to the current peace moves of Yassir Arafat, the PLO chief, and wants to replace Israel with an Islamic state.

In 1991, Yusuf Islam led protests against America and the Gulf War in Bradford, England and demanded immediate withdrawal of our troops."

In July 2000, Stevens was kicked out of Israel. According to the AP:

"The man who gained fame as pop star Cat Stevens was denied entry into Israel and deported hours after arriving, officials said Thursday -- reportedly because he gave money to a militant Islamic group during his last visit.

Defense Ministry officials refused to comment on Yusuf Islam's case other than to say that the Shin Bet, Israel's internal intelligence agency, had ordered the man who wrote such songs as "Peace Train" and "Wild World" barred from the country.

Islam, 51, who changed his name after becoming a Muslim in the late 1970s, last visited Israel in 1988. The government claims that during that trip he delivered tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas, a militant Islamic group, the Maariv daily reported..."

Posted by: Basic facts at September 22, 2004 05:01 PM