Ride On The Peace Train

Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens, a.k.a. Stephen Georgiou, has been denied entry into the United States on unspecified grounds, although he was apparently allowed in last May.

Officials had no details about why the peace activist might be considered a risk to the United States. Islam had visited New York in May to promote a DVD of his 1976 MajiKat tour.

Islam drew some negative attention in the late 1980s when he supported the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence against Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses." Recently, though, Islam has criticized terrorist acts, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the school seizure in Beslan, Russia, earlier this month that left more than 300 dead, nearly half of them children.

In a statement on his Web site, he wrote, "Crimes against innocent bystanders taken hostage in any circumstance have no foundation whatsoever in the life of Islam and the model example of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."
Here's the AP article. It's interesting to note that, although he was "criticized" for being on the wrong side of the exciting and titillating cause célèbre that was the fatwa against Rushdie, he apparently still rates music/social awards in the EU (see pic in AP link).

I wonder what he's said, or what's become known by the U.S. government, in the interim between now and past May.

Little Green Footballs has some interesting background stuff. Check it out. In fact, the prohibition yesterday of Islam's entry probably has everything to do with what you'll find at LGF, combined with the "percolation time" of American bureaucracy.