Deportation from US was crazy, says 'shocked' Islam
Friday 24 September 2004
Yusuf Islam, formerly the pop singer known as Cat Stevens, arrived back in Britain yesterday, saying he was "totally shocked" at his deportation from the United States.
Mr Islam, a Muslim convert, said he was taking legal advice after US officials turned him away from the country on Tuesday, saying he posed a threat to national security. He had been travelling to Washington when his flight was diverted 600 miles away to Maine, where he was questioned by the FBI and ordered to leave the country.
"Half of me wants to smile, half of me wants to growl," said the former singer, who converted to Islam in the 1970s. "It's crazy and everybody knows me from my charitable work and now there has to be explanations, but I'm glad to be home." Mr Islam described as "very kind" the intervention of the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who protested to the US government about the incident.
Mr Straw told the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, on Wednesday that the decision to remove Mr Islam from the country "should not have been taken". US officials said that Mr Islam was detained after it was found that his name was on a "security watch" list.
The Department of Homeland Security said he was on the list "because of concerns about activities that could potentially be related to terrorism".
Mr Islam, who denied funding terrorists, issued a statement after the 11 September attacks, saying: "No right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action."
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the US Council on American-Islamic Relations, said: "When internationally respected Islamic personalities like Yusuf Islam ... are denied entry to the United States, it sends the disturbing message that even moderate ... Muslims will be treated like terrorists."
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...