U.S. security officials yesterday diverted a Washington-bound United Airlines flight and detained Yusuf Islam, formerly known as the pop singer Cat Stevens, after discovering that he had been allowed to board the plane in London even though he was on the government's no-fly list.
Islam was questioned in Bangor, Maine, by Customs and Border Protection agents. Dennis Murphy, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Islam is scheduled to be deported today on a flight to Europe. "He is being detained on national security grounds," Murphy said. He declined to elaborate.
Islam was denied entry into Israel several years ago out of concerns that his charitable contributions had funded militant groups. He denied knowingly contributing to any such groups.
Homeland Security officials worked with the Federal Aviation Administration yesterday afternoon to order the United flight to land in Bangor, the closest major airport on the East Coast, after learning that Islam was on board the Boeing 747. Islam, whose name is listed as "Usef Islam," is on several government watch lists, including the no-fly list, according to sources familiar with the event.
While the flight was over the Atlantic, Customs and Border Protection agents were routinely comparing the passenger manifest against the watch lists and realized that Islam was on board, these sources said. Airline agents conduct similar checks before flights depart; it was not clear yesterday why Islam was not flagged before he boarded.
Transportation Security Administration spokesman Mark Hatfield said his agency made the decision to divert the flight. "We did not want that aircraft to enter the Northeast corridor airspace," which would have taken it over New York and into Washington, Hatfield said. "We got information that led us to make a decision, based on the fact there was a confirmed individual on board."
United Airlines declined to comment on the incident yesterday but said that its Flight 919 eventually continued to Dulles International Airport yesterday evening.
Islam recorded 12 albums before abandoning his singing career in the late 1980s after he converted to Islam. He drew criticism in the late 1980s after he publicly supported Ayatollah Khomeini's death edict against author Salman Rushdie. After the terrorist attacks in 2001, Islam said he would donate profits from his CD box set to families of the victims of the attacks.
Long may it continue
Madmax,for some reason I seem to get right up your nose(an english expresson).The world is a diverse place full of contradictions.We are different,different values and different beliefs,with one important exception.We both believe in one god.
Peace be upon you too
Peace (this is not an insult)
What do you mean by "people like myself?? ".
Who are people like myself??,chrisians??,infidels??,or just people who happen to have a different opinion to you madmax.
At least Im honest enough to use my real name and not hide behind a ridiculous characters name while preaching to all and sundry.
Well we are all entitled to our own opinion and freedom of speech,at least in my country we are!!!.
So carry on preaching madmax to whoever wants to listen to you,good name for a film that,"carry on preaching"although the "carry on"films where full of ridiculous characters and thats not you madmax,is it!!!
Actually, placing the FBI and the CIA at the disposal of various "political concerns" has seemingly done very little to protect Americans either in the homeland or anywhere else. At this point, the "return on investment" to be expected from the Department of Homeland Security would not seem especially promising, either.
dear brother yusuf islam.
im a verry big fan of you.
you make songs that touch the haert
dont you worry by a thing
thats why the call them americans hahahha
i hope youl comme some day to belgium beause i wanna hear your dars about islam
best regards your biggest fan of all
please send me back to [email protected]
asalaam alaikum warahmattulah wa barakatoe
your brother ahmed
What a shocker.
However it is important that terrorism is condemed in all its forms shapes and manifestations, whether by individuals, groups or states. You should not forget that muslims have been the biggest victims of terrorism in last few years commited by America and its allies, 30,000 Afghans and at least 11,000 innocent civillian iraqis have perished in the name of liberation and freedom.Their crime? they had nothing to do with taliban , osama bin laden or saddam hussain. has anybody condemnd this terrorism in the west. or are their lives not worth. only last week american bombers killed 5 children and two women in an air strike, I have seen the photos of dismembered bodies of these children. why is this not terrorism? how long we have to accept stupid excuse of collateral damage? already over 40,000 in last three years. If you want to judge muslims and Islam by act of few misguided individuals ,what conclusions do you think we muslims should draw from slaughter of over 40,000 civilians(nearly 13 times more than died on 9/11) vicitims of so called civilised world??? I think every honest and just person of whatever denomination must condenm terrorism in whatever shape and forms
I am sorry to hear this. Thouth Brother Yusuf Islam haven't been here in China, but he is already well known and respected among us young Chinese Muslims. How could the US government insult a peace-lover just because he is a Muslim with the word "Islam" in his name? Is this another Hate Crime committed on the part of the US Government?
May Allah's Peace on all of us all the time! Ameen
Also, I am not sure how punishing opponents of war protects us from acts of war. As you can see I am easily confused.
I am terribly sorry about all this you must be strssed may Allah make it easy for you.
en ik ben tegen die oorlog in irak,buch moet naar zijn eigen land kijken en daar de teroristen uitrooien want mijn eigen mensen zijn corupt,
van uit the netherland (holland)
all brohters ken contact me
There is another entity that fears truth. Satan. For what is the reason to fear a decent, peace-loving and honest man like Islam/Stevens.
All you can do to understand how peaceful this man is, just listen to his old songs. From "Peace Train" to "Morning Has Broken". He was an environmentalist before the word was coined. Listen to his "Where do the Children Play". and the many other beautiful songs he has written.
He had a clean conscience before he became a Muslim. With Islam he has become a truly pious man who never tires to help the helpless and promote the cause of Allah and work for peace. May Allah be pleased with him. Amen.
As for the idiot who states that America has the right to deny entry to anyone, then if you close your house to a decent man yet permit the thugs to enter, then misery be upon your friend and pity is your fate.
Just imagine if others closed their doors on Americans on account of them being American. Is this the sort of world you hope to promote? Americans already fear travelling to more than half the world. Is this what you like to see? They invaded Iraq illegally yet they fear walking the streets of Baghdad for fear of being killed, taken hostage, or beheaded. Is this sort of control by force ok to you?
Remember you reap what you sow. and don't be surprised to get tomatoes if you plant the seeds of tomatoe! It has nothing to do with Islam but everything to do with natural logic, that is God's creation.
Can we now please hear the Muslim world condemn as loudly and scream their outrage just as much about the plight of the survivng british hostage in danger of having his head slowly and barbarically hacked off.
I wont hold my breath because no matter how cruel,inhumane and barbaric some muslims are,other muslims will always try to excuse them and blame others for their unjstified actions.
Please show me in the Koran where it allows this type of behaviour,Islam is a tolerant and Great religion that has been hijacked by cruel,unjust men who dont even deserve to be called animals because animals dont torture each other.
Look how loudly the Chritian world condemned the Americans treatment of their prisoneres,well I dont remember any of them having their head slowly hacked off!!
I dont believe for a moment that the great Prophet ever preached that it is right to cruelly torture anyone.
I now wait for apoligists for these ISLAMIC terrorist (and I put it in capitals because as I have already said that all some muslims need to excuse this behaviour is the fact that it is carried by other muslims)to explain why it is right to torture and kill in the most cruel and inhumane way possible
The Islamic world needs take a long look at itself because with their inaction and mostly silence about Terrorism it seems that most muslims support it.
Once again I challenge any supporters of terrorism to show me where in the Koran it says torture and inhumanity are justified.If it does then Islam is not the Great religion I thought it was.
Can you please indicate what religion you practise if you comment.
I amn a Roman Catholic who believes in one God the Father.
I believe we are all created by the same one God and we all pray to the same one God.
May God preserve brother Yusuf Islam, raise his stature, and multiply his good deeds.
We are again privy to another classic case of idiocy from a bungling bureaucracy. Is this another intelligence failure? As in: cerebral malfunction. Sure, there are people who will support this latest act of Homeland Security. They put their trust in the President and Tom Ridge to keep them safe from terror. Folks: keep those eyes alert on the color charts!
The rest of us may want to place our trust in God. And keep our common sense intact!
There is good in this incident, inshaAllah. May it raise our awareness, and bring to light the contributions that brother Yusuf Islam has made to this ummah, and to humanity at large. Please look into the charitable foundations that he has established and give them your helping hands. Yusuf Islam was in the US last May to launch Small Kindness USA: http://yusufislam.org.uk/sk/activities_updates.htm
Get the word out: spread small kindnesses wherever you may be. May Allah increase our good deeds. May He strengthen those who strive for His sake.
Yusuf Islam along with Tariq Ramadan are all of us. A strike against them is a strike against the Ummah. However, as much as the enemies of Islam hate to admit it, they are powerless to stop the growth and spread of Islam, because it is Allah's work.
The future is with Islam, in spite of the difficulty faced by ordinary Muslims, the future belongs to us and all Gd fearing right-minded people. The West is a dying society. The aged and ederly populate the West, while the youth make up the majority in Muslim countries.
These policies of are targeted at Muslims to break our spirit and to arrest the religious drive for excellence that is inherent within Muslim America. Allah (swt) has promised victory to the beleivers. We must remain patient and steadfast. Victory is near.
Here is a common sense point. UK government is with USA in every front to punish Muslims. They both investigated everyone of their Muslim citizens inside their countries. If Brother Yousuf Islam was involved in any so called "terrorist" activity, they (UK) would have nabbed him by now. They didn't find him guilty of anything but a peace lover. Here in USA we Americans are affraid of true peace that's why we stopped him.
Everystruggle is indeed followed by goodtimes. Faith is stronger then Fear.
So, What is this halyballoo about disallowing him to come to US. Muslims, grow up. Don't assume conspiracies everywhere when there is none. Looks like Muslims have become just too damn paranoic.
Here is the real absurdity about Homeland Security. Why plane was diverted to Bangor, Maine is beyond my comprehension?; could the US government not deny him entry at Dulles Airport in Washington?. There are plenty of Immigration / Customs people there. If US government was afraid about Cat Stevens blowing up the plane over US, then why he did not blow it up over Maine, when everybody knew the plane was going to land in US three hours before arrival time at Dulles. Usual paranoia? Usual stupidity? Cost United Airlines lot of money for this unscheduled stop (and United is in bankruptcy).
May Allah reward this Muslim for his forebearance.
I strongly condemn this act of our Govt. in the name of Homeland Security.
This is very insulting to Yousuf Islam and millions of Muslims who love him as a decent and honest Muslim.
Shane on our Govt. who I believe is doing all this for political reasons.
A Buddhist monk wrote, "In order to rally people, governments need enemies ... if they do not have a real enemy they will invent one to mobilize us."
This seems to offer a good example.
What we need is not demeaning acts like these but we need a total change in Foreign policy which is based on the Jury system of USA and not on the whims and fancy of the House of Saud or the House of Bush.
Syed Shahnawaz Khan
The once loved "Cat Stevens" is the terrorist "Yusuf Islam"!
Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) has been denied entry into the United States because he is seen as a national security threat. Mark my words - someday Israeli peace activists shall be seen in the same way.
I was really shocked when I read the article on AOL this morning. Yusuf Islam of all people. Who knows, maybe I am on that list too; since it only takes your faith or nationality to be on the FBI V.I.P List.
I wonder if Brother Yusuf Islam knew that he was
on the no-fly list.