So, Muslim convert Yusuf Islam (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) was denied entry to America and the world thinks a human rights atrocity has been committed. Boo-hoo. As I’ve said many times before, there is no right to enter this country. It is a privilege.
The entitlement goons at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, of course, think otherwise and have scheduled a press conference later this morning to protest Stevens’ exclusion:
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/21/04) – On Wednesday, September 22, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a noon news conference in Washington, D.C., in reaction to today’s exclusion from the United States of Yusuf Islam, an internationally-known Muslim activist and educator.Islam, the former pop singer Cat Stevens, was removed from a plane bound for Washington from London Tuesday when his name showed up on a U.S. watch list. The plane was diverted to Maine’s Bangor International Airport. A department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman said Islam was denied admission to the United States “on national security grounds.” Islam, who recently spoke out against the massacre of more than 300 people in a Russian school, will be returned to England on Wednesday.SEE: “The Former Cat Stevens Gets Plane Diverted”http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-4506026,00.html”When internationally-respected Islamic personalities like Yusuf Islam and Professor Tariq Ramadan are denied entry to the United States, it sends the disturbing message that even moderate and mainstream Muslims will now betreated like terrorists,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.DHS officials recently revoked the visa of Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic scholar who was due to begin teaching at the University of Notre Dame.SEE: “Muslim Scholar Barred from US Preaches Tolerance”http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0921/p16s02-bogn.html
Sigh. CAIR glosses over our “national security concerns” about Yusuf Islam, as if he has been doing nothing but innocently singing “Morning Has Broken” on his travels since his conversion. But Yusuf Islam’s history with militant Islam goes back 15 years. Here’s a clip from the Financial Times, January 1989:
Cat Stevens, the pop singer, is up in court in the Gaza Strip, at least in absentia.Stevens is a convert to Islam and knowadays prefers to be known as Yusuf al-Islam. During a visit to Jerusalem last year, he was highly critical of Israel’s handling of the unrest in the occupied territories. It was alleged in an Israeli military court in the Gaza Strip this week that he had gone much further and given about 4,000 Pounds (pds) to the fundamentalist Islamic movement, Hamas.Hamas is bitterly opposed to the current peace moves of Yassir Arafat, the PLO chief, and wants to replace Israel with an Islamic state.
In 1991, Yusuf Islam led protests against America and the Gulf War in Bradford, England and demanded immediate withdrawal of our troops.
According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, who testified before Congress in 1996 about the militant group Islamic Association for Palestine:
IAP is presently headquartered in a nondescript strip shopping mall in Richardson, Texas. IAP has set up an elaborate publications and video operation to promote Hamas, in both Arabic and English. While the Arabic brazenly supports Hamas, IAP’s English-language publications and videos — clearly intended for non-Muslim Western audiences– are relatively tame, refraining, for the most part, from advocating terrorism and hatred against Jews and Christians.But not entirely. One IAP publication, called “America’s Greatest Enemy: The Jew and an Unholy Alliance,” has been routinely distributed at Islamist conventions. Another IAP brochure, authored by Yusef Islam, formerly known as the singer Cat Stevens before he converted to Islam, contains plain old anti-Semitism: “The Jews seem neither to respect God nor his creation. Their own holy books contain the curse of God brought upon them by their prophets on account of their disobedience to Him and mischief in the earth. We have seen the disrespect for religion displayed by those who consider themselves to be ‘God’s chosen people.’ … There will be no justice until all the land is given back to its rightful owners … Only Islam can bring peace back to the Holy Land…” From his home in Great Britain, Islam/Stevens has also raised tens of thousands of dollars for Hamas, in cooperation with the British fundraising arm of Hamas, known as the Relief Fund for Lebanon and Palestine.
In July 2000, Stevens was kicked out of Israel. According to the AP:
The man who gained fame as pop star Cat Stevens was denied entry into Israel and deported hours after arriving, officials said Thursday — reportedly because he gave money to a militant Islamic group during his last visit.Defense Ministry officials refused to comment on Yusuf Islam’s case other than to say that the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence agency, had ordered the man who wrote such songs as “Peace Train” and “Wild World” barred from the country.Islam, 51, who changed his name after becoming a Muslim in the late 1970s, last visited Israel in 1988. The government claims that during that trip he delivered tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas, a militant Islamic group, the Maariv daily reported…
More than three years after 9/11, we have barely begun to stand up for ourselves and our sovereignty and our ability to control who enters our soil. Finally, we have said no to two public figures with a pattern of endorsing anti-American, anti-Semitic, pro-Islamist sentiments and causes.
Let them not be the last.
Update: Debbie Schlussel is on it.