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Singer Cat Stevens Demands Probe Into Deportation

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.
Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens
Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens
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.

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ANGRY CAT STEVENS VOWS TO RESUME SINGING 24.Sep.2004 13:26

Toe Tag

ANGRY CAT STEVENS VOWS TO RESUME SINGING

Broadcasts Threat on Al-Jazeera

Hours after being refused entry into the United States, 1970's recording artist Cat Stevens lashed out at the U.S. government today, vowing to resume his recording career "immediately" as the ultimate act of revenge.

Appearing on the Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera, a visibly angry Mr. Stevens threatened to attack the U.S. with the full force of his insipid folk-rock music.

Brandishing an acoustic guitar, the erstwhile pop star warned that "no one in America would be safe from my insidious melodies" before launching into a spirited rendition of the song "Peace Train."

A spokesman for the CIA said today that experts need more time to study the chilling video, but that it appears to be authentic: "We do not believe that anyone but the real Cat Stevens remembers the lyrics to 'Peace Train.'"

On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry blasted President Bush for the Cat Stevens incident, saying that the President's reckless actions had resuscitated an irritating singer's long-dormant recording career.

"When George Bush took office, Cat Stevens was not a problem," Mr. Kerry told a rally in Akron, Ohio. "Through a successful policy of containment, his music had mainly been limited to classic rock stations."

"But now, thanks to George Bush's misguided decision to provoke Cat Stevens, we may be subjected to renditions of not only 'Peace Train,' but also 'Morning Has Broken' and 'Moonshadow' for years and years to come," Mr. Kerry said.

; 24.Sep.2004 16:22

;

yeah peace train holy roller.....WAIT!....was that a religious reference????....CHECK HIS BAGGAGE!!!!

TOE TAG, YOU CRACK ME UP 24.Sep.2004 17:41

pix

Thanks!!! I put a high premium on laughter.

... 25.Sep.2004 13:25

this thing here

'U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Brian Doyle added that though he could not go into details, "the only real concern is Mr. Islam's last name. Any person so named is an automatic security concern for us." Mr. Doyle would give no explanation for what grounds a name alone would be a security concern, saying only that "the PATRIOT ACT is very specific about names."'