LONDON (Reuters) - Yusuf Islam, the singer-song writer formerly known as Cat Stevens, Friday demanded an inquiry into why the United States labeled him a security risk and deported him.
Islam, known for the hit songs "Moonshadow" and "Peace Train," was en route to the U.S. Tuesday when his commercial flight was rerouted on orders from U.S. security officials. He was ordered back to Britain.
U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle said Islam had been denied entry because of "activities that could be potentially linked to terrorism."
The 57-year-old singer said Friday he wanted to clear his name and ensure nothing similar happened again.
"I was not given (and still haven't been given) any explanation as to what it is I am accused of, or why I am now deemed an apparent security threat," he said in a statement.
"We have now initiated a legal process to try to find out exactly what is going on, and to take all necessary steps to undo the very serious, and wholly unfounded, injustice which I suffered," he added.
The deportation angered Muslims in Britain and the United States. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw raised the issue with Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) in person at the United Nations (news - web sites). Islam said he was "a man of peace," adding: "It is simply outrageous for the U.S. authorities to suggest otherwise."
As Stevens, he had a series of hits spanning from the mid-1960s to late-1970s, including "Here Comes My Baby" and "Wild World." Born Steven Demeter Georgiou, he changed his name to Cat Stevens when he entered the music business.
Islam changed his name again in the 1970s after converting to the Muslim faith and largely dropping out of the music business.