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"Sluggy"
Sep 22nd, 2004, 02:46 PM
Any of you kids heard of him?

CAT CAUGHT



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Yusuf Islam

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Sep 22, 2004 7:51 am US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) (WASHINGTON) A London-to-Washington flight was diverted to Maine when it was discovered that passenger Yusuf Islam - formerly known as singer Cat Stevens - was on a government watch list and barred from entering the country.

United Airlines Flight 919 was en route to Dulles International Airport when the match was made Tuesday 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.

He said Islam 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. Islam had visited New York in May for a charity event and to promote a DVD of his 1976 MajiKat tour.

One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Islam, 56, was identified by the Advanced Passenger Information System, which requires airlines to send passenger information to Customs and Border Protection's National Targeting Center. The Transportation Security Administration then was contacted and requested that the plane land at the nearest airport, that official said.

Melendez said Islam was questioned by FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

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Passenger Cat Stevens Gets Plane Diverted







Another federal official, who is in law enforcement and spoke anonymously because of agency policy, said that after the interview, Customs officials decided to deny Islam entry into the United States.

Flight 919 continued on to Dulles after Islam was removed from the flight.

Islam, who was born Stephen Georgiou, took Cat Stevens as a stage name and had a string of hits in the 1960s and '70s, including "Wild World" and "Morning Has Broken." Last year he released two songs, including a re-recording of his '70s hit "Peace Train," to express his opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

He abandoned his music career in the late 1970s and changed his name after being persuaded by orthodox Muslim teachers that his lifestyle was forbidden by Islamic law. He later became a teacher and an advocate for his religion, founding a Muslim school in London in 1983.

Islam founded Islamia Primary school in London in 1983. In 1998, it became the first Muslim school in Britain to receive government support, on the same basis as Christian and other sectarian schools.

A statement posted on a fan-supported Web site where his music is promoted said Islam being on a watch list "is certainly an error."

"It's also a very sad state of affairs when a man best known as a peace loving pop star can be grouped into the same category Osama Bin Laden just because of his chosen faith," the statement said.

Islam drew some negative attention in the late 1980s when he supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence against Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses." Recently, though, Islam has criticized terrorist acts, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the school seizure in Beslan, Russia, earlier this month that left more than 300 dead, nearly half of them children.

In a statement on his Web site, he wrote, "Crimes against innocent bystanders taken hostage in any circumstance have no foundation whatsoever in the life of Islam and the model example of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Islam issued a statement saying: "No right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: The Quran equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity."

Helen Lawson
Sep 22nd, 2004, 02:48 PM
When I fly commercially, they kiss my ass, put me in first class whether I've paid for it or not, give me cavier and champagne and then I sign some autographs for the crew when we land.

PointBlank
Sep 22nd, 2004, 02:51 PM
Why is he on the list anyways? What has he done but be a Muslim?

alfajeffster
Sep 22nd, 2004, 03:19 PM
All I can do is quote the former musician's own words, and implore every single person who is registered to vote in the United States, to make your voice heard:

"I swam upon the devil's lake, but never, never, never, never, I'll never make the same mistake" (Mr. Bush, this one's for you!)

Sally Struthers
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:06 PM
When I fly commercially, they kiss my ass, put me in first class whether I've paid for it or not, give me cavier and champagne and then I sign some autographs for the crew when we land.

I'm surprised you admit you fly commercial, Hel. That takes a lot of courage. Why aren't the studios providing you with a jet? Myself, I have a private plane. Save the Children picked up the bill of course.

Bacardi
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:20 PM
This is Bush's plot to get every peace loving hippie he can out of the US. Trust me, I just hope Searchlight and I don't fly anywhere until after the election, because he'd have us out on our asses in Cuba before we knew what hit us.

Cat Steven's wasn't a threat, who the hell is George Bush trying to kid. IF anything I hope this pisses off the other peace loving hippies, and they get to the polls and vote for Kerry. Not only that, doesn't W know the baby boomers who were fans of Cat are some of his largest voters... DUMB MOVE DUBYA!

Helen Lawson
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:22 PM
I'm surprised you admit you fly commercial, Hel. That takes a lot of courage. Why aren't the studios providing you with a jet? Myself, I have a private plane. Save the Children picked up the bill of course.
After the stupid government broke up the studios over antitrust concerns, I really lost of a lot of perks. I guess if I'd married a dictator or something, I'd have a plane, but poor old Hel has to fly commercially these days.

Neely OHara
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:24 PM
So much for the Peace Train. Pffft.

Helen Lawson
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:33 PM
You know, I think if I'd really layed it on, I could have landed Marcos, Baby Doc, or even that nut from Lybia. I just don't want to live abroad.

Sally Struthers
Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:34 PM
After the stupid government broke up the studios over antitrust concerns, I really lost of a lot of perks. I guess if I'd married a dictator or something, I'd have a plane, but poor old Hel has to fly commercially these days.

That's horrible. If you ever need to go anywhere give me a ring and I'll set you up on my plane.

alfajeffster
Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:06 PM
Why is he on the list anyways? What has he done but be a Muslim?
I have a friend who lives in Toronto who no longer thinks about visiting the United States on vacation, or for whatever reason. Why? Because he is originally from the Republic of the Maldives, a predominantly Islamic republic way out in the Indian Ocean. While he is not practicing Islam, he appears to be what I guess the U.S. State Department (who obviously hasn't been to Puerto Rico, or New York City for that matter) considers a stereotypical Islamic Fundamentalist, and he gets not only harassed at the customs office at the airport- they actually tore apart his luggage last time he tried to visit the USA, and detained him long enough to make him miss several flights and have to sleep in the airport. It just isn't worth it for him to visit here any more, and I feel very sorry for him, and even worse for the hypocritical hysteria the Bush 911 machine has wreaked on this great nation. I have not historically been a politically active person (outside of voting), but am seriously considering getting involved- especially after visiting France and England this year, and seeing a little of what we in the USA never see on our commercial network television programming. The world is a much bigger place than CNN.

griffin
Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:15 PM
Oh hell, Ted Kennedy's name (not Teddy, per se, just someone with the same name) got on their list, and HE had a devil of a time getting on a plane. He had to go to Tom Ridge directly to get things straightened out.

If a US Senator has problems getting bs like this fixed, what hope do the rest of us have?

Allez-H
Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:28 PM
So because Cat Steven now is Yusuf Islam,the guy is a threat to the US? :cuckoo: From what I know Yusuf is a loving and peacefull person who happens to be a Muslim,so what?

Bacardi
Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:39 PM
What's next, are they going to stop medical treatments for Muhammad Ali?

I am being serious, now this is getting something like the times of Nazism. Soon everyone that even appears to be Islamic or have an Islamic name is going to be throw into a camp somewhere. Bush's Terror on the USA has to STOP!

alfajeffster
Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:58 PM
...Soon everyone that even appears to be Islamic or have an Islamic name is going to be throw into a camp somewhere...
Unless you have oil or control natural resources either domestic or abroad- then you can dress however you like, visit whatever countries you like, rape, murder and bomb americans, and spit on and burn our flag, and who cares? My emoticons are frozen suddenly. Guess there is no adequate emoticon for the truth.

"Sluggy"
Sep 23rd, 2004, 08:01 AM
I think Cat did some other stuff. im not so sure he is so innocent, though i dont know. I know he renounced all of his music and said it was stupid and wish he never did it. that in itself should get you banned from the United States.

Dirty Sanchez
Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:36 PM
He must've done some stuff to be deported..... he's a changed man since his Cat Stevens days I guess!! I'm a bit confused how someone who is considered a threat in America is just able to walk into the UK without any fuss! :scratch:

Helen Lawson
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:11 PM
It's possible that Cat Stevens did nothing, I know people who have really been put through the ringer in customs and stuff who are US citizens even who aren't terrorists.

Some customs guy was pulling a tude with me once early this year when I was coming back from Asia. I'm like, who the fuck do you think you are, I was born in this city and am a US citizen, piss off! Of course, I didn't say any of that, that's a one-way ticket to jail, but I was thinking it!

I hope there's a rythme or reason to these lists, but when the plane takes off with someone on the list, isn't it too late? I mean, why bother with the list if it isn't checked until after the plane takes off. By the time the plane gets to Maine from London, the flight's like almost over, you know?

OUT!
Sep 23rd, 2004, 01:56 PM
Why is he on the list anyways? What has he done but be a Muslim?Well he funds many Islamic schools in London (not a crime in itself of course), but the big one was that he allegedly donated to Hamas, I say allegedly for obvious reasons. Consequently, the authorities are suspicious of him which is not altogether unfair?