American officials diverted a transatlantic flight 600 miles in the belief that the presence of Yusuf Islam, the charity worker and pop star formerly known as Cat Stevens, posed an imminent threat to national security, it emerged yesterday.
He was placed on the list because of concerns about activities that could potentially be related to terrorism,” said a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.
— The Guardian, Sept 23, 2004 (UK)
At first blush this looks like just more ham-fisted handiwork of bumbling, wannabe tyrants John Ashcroft and his bar-tanned sidekick Tom Ridge.
The Patriot Act and most of its manifestations under the current administration are dangerously arbitrary and discriminatory, poorly thought out, and a lousy way to protect the lives, safety and rights of Americans at home or work.
Cat Stevens has reportedly repudiated the 911 attack and other high-visibility terrorist acts. The news also widely reports that Stevens, on the other hand, in 1989 endorsed the Islamic call for the execution warrant on Salman Rushdie because his book “Satanic Verses” had been deemed an insult to Islam by Ayatollah Khomeini and the high muckey-mucks of the Islam world.
Free speech? No way. No one has a right to advocate murdering another because of their exercise of their free speech.
In researching, I see reports Stevens denied advocating the murder of anybody, which is what Khomeini’s edict did, which is what Stevens endorsed.
Bumbing idiots or not, I think Tom Ridge and his band of patriotic vigilantes got the right man for once. Keep this “Yusaf Islam” jerk out of our country.
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