Wednesday, September 22, 2004

And a "Wild World" It Is

Now, I am not about to profess that I know anything about the "no-fly list," or the "watchlist" as I've also heard it called, I'm sure it has something to do with John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act, but Cat Stevens...GIVE ME A BREAK!

So it was reported in the USAToday that Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens, one of the greatest songwriters of the late 60s, early 70s) was aboard United Airlines Flight 919 yesterday when the plane was grounded and Yusuf Islam was taken into custody for interviewing. The USAToday even says that "officials had no details about why the peace activist might be considered a risk to the United States." It seems to me a peace activist, note the word PEACE, wouldn't be interested in any terrorist activity while aboard that airplane.

Yusuf Islam was denied admission to the United States and sent back to London. A man who is known for his devotion to the ideal of peace is being compared to Osama Bin Laden today because?!!?!??!?! He belongs to the Nation of Islam!! That's the most far reaching accusation I've heard all week...and I've been reading conspiracy theories for two days!

I'd like to know what exactly the Homeland Security Department has against this man. I don't know how a man who once wrote, "Trouble, Oh trouble can't you see. You're eating my heart away And there's nothing much left of me," and "you know I've seen a lot of what the world can do and it's breakin' my heart in two," could be a terrorist, I'm going to need some hard facts to change my mind on this one!

(*Lyrics taken from Stevens' albums "Tea For the Tillerman" and "Mona Bone Jakon")

1 comment:

Nick Speth said...

Okay, in principle I agree with what your saying. If it were simply because he was a man committed to Islam, there's a real problem. Yet we are dealing with a non-citizen who is seeking entry into the United States. The government has every right to deny him that. And to call Yusuf "Cat Stevens" Islam a "peace activist" just because he calls himself one is to deny some very significant facts about him.

The AP story that broke this (http://www.sltrib.com/nationworld/ci_2418562) notes "Islam drew some negative attention in the 1980s when he supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence against Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses." Hardly a "peace activist" there.

Rolling Stone reports (http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/5922705?rnd=1095862190805&has-player=true) he's been denied entry into Israel due to contributions to Hamas.

And abracadabra: a follow-up by the AP (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/09/22/national1236EDT0584.DTL) shows that " U.S. authorities think donations from Islam may have ended up helping to fund blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel."

Peace Activist?

Plus this has nothing to do with the PATRIOT Act (caps because it's an acronym, not because I'm shouting it). Despite what some think, it is not the right of any noncitizen to come to the United States. A nation has the right to regulate its borders, and keep potential threats out of it, even the United States.