Cat Stevens Update: Denied for Links to Potential Terrorists?

Bump and Update: Cat Stevens was deported today.

A leading Muslim group has called upon President Bush to explain the deportation.

At a news conference here Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said, “Yusuf Islam is perhaps one of the most widely-known and respected personalities in the Muslim world. He has a long history of promoting peace and reconciliation and condemning terrorism....Treating mainstream and moderate Muslims like Yusuf Islam as if they are criminals or terrorists, without bringing charges or allowing for due process, sends the message to the Islamic world that even those who seek peace and condemn terror are not fit to enter the United States. We call on the Bush administration to explain why Yusuf Islam was barred from coming to this country and whether other internationally-respected Muslim travellers or scholars will face such treatment in the future.”

Update to last night's post on the U.S. denying entry to musician and peace activist Cat Stevens, (Yusuf Islam) -- The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

[A] government official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Islam was placed on a watch list after multiple intelligence sources in recent weeks indicated the peace activist may have associations with potential terrorists.

A second government official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.S. authorities think donations from Islam may have ended up helping to fund blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Hamas, a Palestinian militant group considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel.

In July 2000, Islam was deported hours after arriving in Jerusalem. A local paper reported then that the government claimed he had delivered tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas during a visit in 1988. Islam denied ever knowingly supporting Islamic terrorists.

Does this sound like someone who is aiding terrorists?

Islam has made a number of trips to the United States in recent years, including one in May for a charity event and to promote a DVD of his 1976 MajiKat tour. He donated half the royalties from his most recent boxed set to the Sept. 11 Fund to help victims of the attacks.

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