I'm Being Followed by an Air Marshal…

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Air Marshal, Air Marshal.

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  1. …and I don’t like it one bit.

  2. …and if I ever lose my visa…

  3. Everyone jump upon the peace plane
    Come on now peace plane

    Now I’ve been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is
    Why must we go on hating, why can’t we live in bliss

    Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace plane
    Oh peace plane take this country, come take me home again

    Yeah.

  4. just in case you missed this excerpt from the BBC article.

    “Four years ago, Mr Islam was deported from Israel over allegations that he backed militant Muslims.”

  5. And of course, everything the Israelis do to Muslim people is perfectly reasonable.

  6. I’d note Mr. Islam was a vocal supporter of the murder of Slaman Rushdie. Given that, I’d be upset if he WEREN’T on the watch list.

  7. Even if you don’t think Stevens/Islam should be allowed into the country because of his views, diverting the plane in mid-flight is still grossly excessive.

  8. VH-1 did a bit on the Cat Stevens/Salman Rushdie thing a few years ago, and to say he supported killing Rushdie is not quite accurate.

    Apparently, he went on a UK TV show to talk about the matter (after, he says they rejected his advice to get an actual Koranic scholar.)

    He said that the Koran calls for death for heretics, just as the Old Testament does. But it also says Muslims are to obey the laws of the lands they live in so long as they are allowed to practice their religion, and therefore he didn’t see how any Western Muslim could carry out the fatwa.

    They next day the UK tabloids had headlines saying he supported killing Rushdie, and that charge has followed him ever since.

  9. I wonder what changed between now and May, when he WAS admitted to the US…? Hmmmm…It couldn’t be that the TSA, or whover was informed that he was on that plane, knew that throwing Cat Stevens off a plane would generate news, making it LOOK like they are doing something? I’m sure no thought was given to how the news of a Islamic Hippie being thrown off a plane would play in the Red States 2 months before the election….

  10. Well, come on, people. He probably acted suspiciously. Like, you know, getting up to go to the bathroom while dressed funny. People must have been terrified!

    Will somebody please think of the right wing columnists?

  11. joe, who stated or implied that “everything the Israelis do to Muslim people is perfectly reasonable?”

  12. where is the snarky comment saying “wow, I feel safe already?”

    I feel let down 🙂

  13. Despite his outwardly peaceful appearance, The former Cat Stevens belongs to a cult of Islam that fully endorsed the death sentence on Salman Rushdie. He was quoted as saying if he had the opportunity, he would carry out the death sentence himself.

  14. NoStar,
    The I suppose you support the deportation of Jimmy Swaggart? Cat Stevens only wants to kill one person, Swaggart wants to kill a whole group of people.

  15. ‘joe, who stated or implied that “everything the Israelis do to Muslim people is perfectly reasonable?”‘

    anon at 9:57

    NoStar, do you have a quote? Or are you half-remembering a lurid story that has since been disproven?

  16. NoStar, that’s not the issue.

    Was this guy a threat to homeland security? Should valuable federal resources be deployed to follow his every move? Has he ever demonstrated the capacity or motivation to commit a terrorist act against the USA?

    Or is the just an issue of federal agents not liking some things the guy has said?

  17. Nostar,

    This is what he actually said:

    Under Islamic Law, the ruling regarding blasphemy is quite clear; the person found guilty of it must be put to death. Only under certain circumstances can repentance be accepted.

    ……….
    However, that is not to say I am encouraging people to break the law or take it into their own hands: far from it. Under the Islamic Law, Muslims are bound to keep within the limits of the law of the country in which they live, providing that it does not restrict the freedom to worship and serve God and fulfil their basic religious duties (fard’ayn). One must not forget the ruling in Islam is also very clear about adultery, stealing and murder, but that doesn’t mean that British Muslims will go about lynching and stoning adulterers, theives and murderers. If we can’t get satisfaction within the present limits of the law, like a ban on this blasphemous book, ‘Satanic Verses’ which insults God and His prophets – including those prophets honoured by Christians, Jews as well as Muslims – this does not mean that we should step outside of the law to find redress. No. If Mrs. Thatcher and her Government are unwilling to listen to our pleas, if our demonstrations and peaceful lobbying don’t work, then perhaps the only alternative is for Muslims to get more involved in the political process of this country. It seems to be the only way left for us.

    The fundimental issue which has put the non-Muslim world at loggerheads with Islam, is not that of the book or attempts to ban it. Indeed it is encouraging that many non-Muslims, including the Archbishop of Canterbury endore the request of Muslims that the Blasphemy Law be extended to cover the Islamic faith. When Jim Allen’s play ‘Perdition’ was harassed out of existance by angry jews – some of whom burned an effigy of the writer – the British reaction was muted. The present attitude of the Government and press is obviously as a result of their opposition to the Islamic legal ruling that Rushdie should be executed and the fact that it has come from an Islamic country.

    The fact is that as far as the application of Islamic Law and the implementation of full Islamic way of life in Britain is concerned, Muslims realize that there is very little chance of that happening in the near future. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to improve the situation and presenting the Islamic viewpoint wherever and whenever possible. That is the duty of ever Muslim and that is what I did.

  18. Getting from “Israel did this specific thing to this specific person, justified or not” to “Everything Israel does to Muslim people is justified” takes a level of inductive reasoning that . . . I’m sorry, I can’t be polite about it: It’s retarded. Or it takes a retarded or a purposefully ignorant person to say it, in any case.

    IIRC, Stevens/Islam has been a major contributor to Hamas in the past. The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel. I think maybe I’d deport him too.

  19. joe,

    This is what “anon” said at 9:57:

    just in case you missed this excerpt from the BBC article.

    “Four years ago, Mr Islam was deported from Israel over allegations that he backed militant Muslims.”

    You think this amounts to saying “everything the Israelis do to Muslim people is perfectly reasonable?” Why?

  20. Jesus, lighten up people.

    Anon 9:57 (looks like a bible cite doesn’t it?) obviously meant to imply that Stevens deportation from Israel justifies treating him as a terrorist–and fucking up the day of everybody else on the plane. Joe made a snarky remark. Re-fucking-lax!

    Zorel, this is for you.

    Wow. I feel safer already!
    m

  21. Was that clear enough, Russell? I could put michael’s post into smaller words if you’d like.

  22. where is the snarky comment saying “wow, I feel safe already?”

    It’s on a different thread. Has been for ages. 😉

    No official reason has been given for the adding of Islam’s name to a US watch list. Speculation centres on his recent public criticism of the US-led war in Iraq, including a rerecording of one of his most famous songs, Peace Train. (The New York Times)

    I mean. With a name like “Islam”, what did he expect?

    (Is posting on Hit and Run considered “public” criticism? If it is…)

    sincerely yours,

    Raymond Bornagain Christian

    ps –

    A scandal broke out in 1989 when Yusuf was asked by a radio presenter to give his opinion on Salman Rushdie’s controversial book “Satanic Verses.” Although he stated that he thought the book to be blasphemous to the Islamic faith, he also declared that he did not condone the views of Ayatollah Khomeini, who had called for the death sentence for Rushdie. However, Yusuf Islam was misrepresented in the press and his music was subsequently blacklisted by a number of radio stations. (www.thebiographychannel.co.uk)

    I remember hearing about those comments. I believe several bishops said much the same thing… about blasphemy, I mean. Oh, a whole bunch of famous people refused to condemn the fatwa.

    Here‘s an interesting link I just found.

    pps – (What are the words to “Halls of Montezuma”? I may have to visit the US sometime, and I don’t know anyone in Maine. Or in Guantanamo, for that matter.)

  23. Michael:

    “Anon 9:57 (looks like a bible cite doesn’t it?) obviously meant to imply that Stevens deportation from Israel justifies treating him as a terrorist–and fucking up the day of everybody else on the plane.”

    That is not what I implied. What I implied is that I have a feeling that the US anti-terrorism policies (more specifically the decision to deport Stevens) are set by Likudists.

  24. Was that clear enough, joe? I could put anon’s post in smaller words if you’d like.

  25. This is absolutely ridiculous. Yusuf Islam is no threat to our security. When our government does something like this, they should be held legally accountable. The problem is that our government makes us look like idiots. We need to scold our government and communicate to the rest of the world that most of us do not countenance our government’s stupidity.

  26. Phil:

    “The Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel. I think maybe I’d deport him too.”

    It has long been Israeli government policy to make the formation of a Palestinian state impossible. Until about a year and a half ago, Palestinians were jailed (administrative detention) as “dangerous persons” for persuasively advocating a Palestinian state. Many jailed under this designation are academics and intellectuals, and some have been incarcerated for years. This is why when there is a prisoner exchange; the Israeli government is willing to give up hundreds of prisoners.

    Now do I think that that their racist, anti-free enterprise, Prime Minister should be banned from our country? Certainly not. I do think that our government should stop giving their government billions of our tax dollars every year.

  27. Oh, I see… Yusuf wasn’t quite sure whether or not it’s ok to murder a novelist because you don’t like his book. It’s a very complicated moral issue, you see.

  28. And as far as Yusuf being a threat, if he’s really given money to terrorist groups, that sounds like an excellent reason to keep him out of the country.

  29. Steve,

    Did you read n’s statements or not? Because its fairly apparent that you didn’t.

  30. No, I read ’em, and now I read them again. I can’t find anything that indicates he doesn’t approve of killing Rushdie, just that he wouldn’t do it himself, and that it’s not likely to happen in Britian.

    But that’s beside the point. Thinking murder is an appropriate form of literary criticism does make Yusuf as asshole, but it’s not why he was kicked out of the country. Here’s why (from an AP story):

    “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.”

    Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s guilty of those things. But they’re pretty serious allegations, and if we have some evidence that he funded terrorists, I don’t see why he should be allowed into the country.

  31. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s guilty of those things.

    Of course, we’ll just assume he is guilty and interrupt a flight rather than just arresting him upon arrival.

  32. Steve,

    Our government gives our money to the Israeli, Egyptian, and Uzbekistan governments, all of which murder and otherwise persecutes innocent civilians (the definition of terrorism). The leaders of these governments are terrorists as well. We don’t know if Yusuf Islam’s money reached terrorists or, if it did, if he intended or knew that it would. We do know for sure that our tax money reaches these governments, which commit terrorism.

  33. Steve,

    Actually, he doesn’t state anything of the kind; you happen to be jumping to conclusions about his statement that simply aren’t supported by the text itself.

  34. Rick,

    That’s a complete non sequiter (sp?). We’re talking about Yusuf Islam and whether it was OK to deny him entry to the country. Our support of dictators in Bumfuckistan has absolutely no bearing on that question.

    I actually agree with sarnath that diverting a flight was an overreaction. That’s something we should do if there’s an actual terrorist on the plane, who might want to blow it up. Yusuf is an alleged terrorist financer, so he’s not a “ticking time bomb,” so to speak.

    I don’t know that Yusuf is guilty. But we don’t have a “beyond reasonable doubt” standard for letting foreigners travel to the U.S.

  35. Jason Bourne, what text? All text/statements by Mr. Islam, or just the one(s) where he “clarified” his position? The whole thing is pre-internet (essentially), so it is that much harder for us PJ wearers to research. Maybe a nexislexis user could dig up some old stuff?

  36. I think the following link was originally an op-ed in the NY Times or maybe The Guardian but can’t seem to access the original. It seems Salman Rushdie has a somewhat different opinion of Cat Stevens than his defenders here.

    “Yesterday’s hotheads (among them Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens) are improbably repackaging themselves as today’s pussycats.”

    I’m shocked !

    http://www.liberalsindia.com/freedomfirst/ff451-10.html

    And according to this article ->
    http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/s/sa/salman_rushdie.html

    Even popular musician Yusuf Islam, (a.k.a. Cat Stevens) infamously stated his agreement with the fatwa, later changing its tone to agree with the fatwa, but say:

    “…that is not to say I am encouraging people to break the law or take it into their own hands: far from it. Under the Islamic Law, Muslims are bound to keep within the limits of the law of the country in which they live. – [1]

  37. Anybody notice that we’re talking about a political dissident, roughly speaking, and not a terrorist? And anybody notice we’re in the process of appointing a politician as head of the CIA?

    We won WWII primarily by using political dissident physicists from Germany, Poland, Russia and Italy. I’m not suggesting that Cat Stevens offers anything close to that type of contribution but the exclusionary policies we’re putting in place will eventually eliminate the possibility of an Einstein coming to our country.

  38. Gadfly, your hypothetical case is probably already happening. There have been several news items over the last year to the effect that the percentage of foreigners attending American universities is in decline because of the increasingly onerous visa requirements.

  39. I don’t want no god on my lawn
    Just a flower I can help along

    Oh, that was before he converted from hippy-dippy songmeister to fundamentalist nutjob? Too bad. His own people could stone him for apostasy if he’d written that afterwards.

    If he was funding dodgy organizations, I’ve got no problem keeping him out. They should never have let him get on the plane in the first place, though.

    Kevin

  40. bigbigslacker,

    The text provided to us by n, which steve admits that he based his conclusion upon.

  41. Dear Mo, Joe & n,

    What I remember and now can’t find is a quote from the leader of the London Islamic commune (that Yusef Islam was a member of) stating his and the commune’s support of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

    I also remember seeing on TV, Yusef Islam being asked about his commune leader’s statement and Islam failing to distance himself from those statements at that time.

    His later statement does not disagree with the fatwa. The subtext is clearly that Islam would carry out the fatwa if he had contact with Rusdie in a Moslem country.

    “…that is not to say I am encouraging people to break the law or take it into their own hands: far from it. Under the Islamic Law, Muslims are bound to keep within the limits of the law of the country in which they live.” – [1]

    Peace & Love,

    NoStar

  42. Did I ever tell you of the time I was harassed by a sky marshal after I had disembarked from the decrepit, propeller-driven flight from Cinci to Milwaukee early of a morn? (I remember I did tell you, but you’ve forgetten.)
    This was back in the early ’70’s, when hijackings to Cuba was in vogue.
    My transgression was saying, as I was boarding, to a fellow passenger, “Hi, Jack,” then chuckling just a teeny bit.
    Today, I never laugh at my own attempts at humor.

    There was Nixon’s paranoia working for the taxpayer.

    What did you think of my story, you pesky fly?

  43. Steve and NoStar claim that Yusaf Islam only opposed killing Rushdie in England, and supported killing him in a Muslim country. Why, they even take an editted section of the quote as evidence.

    What do you suppose this part of Islam’s quote means?

    “If we can’t get satisfaction within the present limits of the law, like a ban on this blasphemous book, ‘Satanic Verses’ which insults God and His prophets – including those prophets honoured by Christians, Jews as well as Muslims – this does not mean that we should step outside of the law to find redress. No. If Mrs. Thatcher and her Government are unwilling to listen to our pleas, if our demonstrations and peaceful lobbying don’t work, then perhaps the only alternative is for Muslims to get more involved in the political process of this country. It seems to be the only way left for us.

    The fundimental issue which has put the non-Muslim world at loggerheads with Islam, is not that of the book or attempts to ban it. Indeed it is encouraging that many non-Muslims, including the Archbishop of Canterbury endore the request of Muslims that the Blasphemy Law be extended to cover the Islamic faith.”

    Yusaf Islam supports blasphemy laws. It doesn’t put him on my Christmas card list, but nowhere does he endorse killing blasphemers.

  44. Ruthless,

    The meds didn’t really work that good back then, did they?

  45. I want to know more about this guy’s stances before I draw any conclusions.

    [I’ll pause now for wailing, gnashing of teeth, etc.]

    From what I’ve seen posted in this thread, he basically says “Well, there is something in the Koran that would allow killing Rushdie, and I won’t argue against the Koran. But the Koran also says to obey the law, and the law provides plenty of other remedies anyway, so clearly it would be against the Koran for a British Muslim to kill Rushdie.” (paraphrase)

    Hmm, where might a similar argument structure be found?

    Well, such a style of argument might be used in some other group of rigidly ideological people who tend to disregard heretics. Maybe somebody wants to argue against some position that he regards as clearly insane but technically consistent with a rigid interpretation of ideology. So, he starts by saying “Well, obviously there’s a principled argument to be made against [insert really awful idea here].” He’s just tossed a bone to the ideologues to keep them from excommunicating him.

    But then he goes on to say “Still, when you look at the bigger picture, it’s clear that there are other reasons, both practical and principled, to oppose [insert really awful idea here]. And those other arguments clearly carry the day when you look at the big picture.”

    Gee, that sounds like the style I sometimes use when arguing with purist libertarians.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that this guy was actually trying to advance a sane position while tip-toeing around ideologues. And I certainly don’t agree with his calls for censorship. Nor would I rule out the possibility that he has been funding terrorist groups.

    But I want to know a little more before I conclude that he has no real objection to killing Rushdie.

  46. CORRECTION:

    So, he starts by saying “Well, obviously there’s a principled argument to be made in favor of [insert really awful idea here].”

  47. joe wrote –
    “but nowhere does he endorse killing blasphemers”

    Only if the BBC qualifies as “nowhere”.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/11_4_our_islamic.html

    “In the first week of the fatwa against Rushdie and his book, I appeared on a television panel. Among the Muslim panelists, all of whom favored condemning the book, were two zealots: the same Kalim Siddiqui; and Yusuf Islam, the Muslim convert pop singer of Greek Cypriot origin formerly known as Cat Stevens. The moderator asked if, in my role as a commissioning editor of Channel 4 UK, I would contemplate turning The Satanic Verses into a film. I said that I would judge the cinematic merits of the script, and that no other consideration would rule it out. Kalim Siddiqui and Yusuf Islam snarled, warning that the sentence of death on Rushdie would extend to all those who forwarded his book in any way.”

    thoreau,

    I’m guessing Stevens shot his mouth off at the time and is now parsing his way past the consequences.
    Though a better case could be made against him for the crappy music.

  48. Even if Stevens didn’t distance himself from the Rushdie fatwa, so fucking what?

    Ann Coulter advocated the killing of all muslim men and what happened to her? she became the darling of the right-wing.

  49. As with the actual bible, you can hear what you want if you pick the right cite…

    Obviously, we must read Anon 9:57 in the light of Anon 12:55 and Anon 12:10…

    Apologies, Anon, for my misreading, and esp. for using the stupid mindreading words “obviously meant to imply.”

    …though in my defense, a) the “Likud is making US security policy” angle was hardly obvious from the first post; and b) mostly I was just reacting to Russell & co.’s annoying literal-mindedness and tin ear for sarcasm.

    anyhow, it’s obvious to me that if Stevens was a real threat, the thing to do is not let him get on the plane in the first place. What happened seems to have accomplished little but wasting money and fucking up a bunch of people’s travel plans.

    m

  50. should some one be a really serious threat for the Govt to keep him out? what about ‘merely’ undesirable characters? do we (our govt) have the right to keep the trash out (this guy may/may not be trash – this is a general Q)?

    Also, this “diverted 600 miles” nonsense is silly! Flights from Europe normally come to the east coast over New England. So, it is more like they landed at one of the first stops in US.

  51. Can we kick Ann Coulter out of the country? I’m pretty sure that she’s advocated killing some innocent people. Didn’t she say something about how the airplanes on 9/11 should have hit the NY Times instead?

    And as long as we’re booking her flight, I want to expel any DJ who plays Creed! They’re so overplayed, that when Kabul was liberated and the Afghans got to hear music on the radio for the first time in 5 years, after less than 24 hours they were already talking about reinstating the ban on radio music.

    Or, at least, that’s what Jon Stewart reported 😉

  52. Apparently Cat Stevens re-recorded “Peace Train” recently and from the sales of that donated money to 9/11 charities. He may have given money to Hamas in 1988. As I understand it, Cat Stevens had a nervous breakdown shortly before his conversion, and his conversion was influenced by some of the more radical folks in Britain. However, his work in Bosnia softened his ideas, and that’s one of the reasons why he started recording music again (indeed, that very fact alone points to a movement away from the more radical influences in his life).

  53. should some one be a really serious threat for the Govt to keep him out? what about ‘merely’ undesirable characters? do we (our govt) have the right to keep the trash out (this guy may/may not be trash – this is a general Q)?

    At varous times in (recent) history, other kinds of trash:

    The 1990 Immigration Act removed homosexuality as a ground for exclusion from immigrating to the United States.

    and

    Exclusion is the prevention from entry of someone actually outside the United States or who is treated as being outside the United States for purposes of certain provisions of immigration law. The Immigration and Nationality Act was amended in 1965 to specifically exclude from receiving a visa and from admission into the United States “[a]liens afflicted with . . . sexual deviation . . .” (INA Sec. 212(a)(4)). This was considered to include homosexuals.

    In practice, however, this was rarely enforced. In fact, around 1979, the U.S. Public Health Service (the source for regulations involving health issues) said it would no longer certify homosexuality as a disease, thus ending the practice of denying visas to homosexuals who are not otherwise excludable on health, criminal, security, or other grounds. Revisions in the 1990 Immigration Act formalized the change. Center for Immigration Studies

    And wasn’t an AIDS activist once refused entry into the US to participate in a conference on AIDS, on the grounds that he was HIV+?

  54. Steve:

    Rick,

    “That’s a complete non sequiter (sp?). We’re talking about Yusuf Islam and whether it was OK to deny him entry to the country. Our support of dictators in Bumfuckistan has absolutely no bearing on that question.”

    My point is that if you’re considering support for keeping Yusuf Islam out of the country because some of his funds might have been used for terrorism, you should be outraged that you are forced to support the Israeli, Egyptian and Uzbekistan governments, all of which murder and otherwise terrorize innocent civilians.

  55. Zorel (handle from Marlon Brando’s worst role ever?) writes:

    Also, this “diverted 600 miles” nonsense is silly! Flights from Europe normally come to the east coast over New England. So, it is more like they landed at one of the first stops in US.

    Again–I’m trying to make the libertarian argument here–tell that to the poor scleps on the plane with business/pleasure plans in DC.

    If he had caused a disruption on board or in any other way givin them a decent reason to screw around, I’m pretty sure they would have gotten that fact out there quickly.

    Once more: if he’s a genuine threat to the flight (he ain’t, but if he is), don’t let him get on the plane. If it’s just an immigration issue, there’s no reason not to wait & detain him at Dulles (or BWI)…
    m

  56. So SM, rather than having anything that demonstrates Yusef’s support for killing Rushdie, or which contradicts his statement that he opposes such an act, you offer a quote from a third party who thinks Yusef supports killing Rushdie. I note that neither you, nor your source, actually provide a quote to back up the assertion that this is what Yusef said.

  57. michael:

    “..though in my defense, a) the “Likud is making US security policy” angle was hardly obvious from the first post; ”

    I didn’t say “US security policy” I said “US anti-terrorism policy”.
    Any way, what I said might not have been obvious in my original post, but it isn’t far fetched:

    From http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/09/23/stevens.back.britain/index.html

    “Ridge said the intelligence that put the singer’s name on the [no-fly] list came from outside the United States, but he would not reveal the source.”

    First the Israelis deport him, years later he is denied entry in the US based on foreign intelligence.

  58. I think the heart of the matter is we don’t know the criteria the TSA uses to get on the no fly list. It’s pretty clear that known terrorists should be on it. When they get to the “support terrorists” criteria, though, there is room for all kinds of mischief. If some of the hacks had their way, John Kerry, Jane Fonda and George Soros would be on the list, too. And now we have a hack running the CIA.

    This should be hashed out in the sunlight. Somebody should publish the rules in detail and have the stones to defend them. This secrecy stuff is getting out of hand.

  59. “should some one be a really serious threat for the Govt to keep him out?”

    Yes. People who merely hold repugnant political opinions about us should we welcomed with open arms, and allowed to the learn what the country is really like, so that they can take their new understanding back home to their peers.

    I’ve read that KGB spooks working in the United States were among the strongest proponents of economic and social reform. Well, I read it here, but still…

  60. zorel, in light of your claim that diverting the plane to Bangor was the equivalent of making a “first stop” on the trip, have you ever actually flown on a plane? They generally aren’t like buses, which stop at multiple points along their route; it is a rare commercial jet flight that makes more than one stop. Diverting the jet represented a multi-hour delay to the other passengers and cost the airline thousands of dollars in added fuel, crew time, landing fees, assistance to passengers who had to rebooked to other flights after missing their scheduled ones, etc. Unless they had serious evidence suggesting that Stevens was actually going to take out the plane, there was no reason to divert it even if he was on a “watch list”. Snagging him as he got of the plane in Dulles would have been sufficient. This either represented an hysterical overreaction on the part of the TSA or was a calculated publicity ploy.

  61. Brando played Superman’s Daddy, Jor-El. Zor-El was SuperGIRL’s Pop, Kal-El’s uncle.

    If Islam/Stevens raised funds for a terrorist group, yes, I’d refuse him entry. Mere intemperate statements shouldn’t bar one from getting a visa. I’d hope that, should he ever apply to immigrate to the U.S., a stricter standard would be used.

    Kevin

  62. “I note that neither you, nor your source, actually provide a quote to back up the assertion that this is what Yusef said”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/667bkgnr.asp

    What Yusef said –
    “Salman Rushdie, indeed any writer who abuses the prophet or indeed any prophet under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death,” he said at the time” etc

    I can well guess what your next debating gambit will be, but its more fun to wait and see.

  63. Seems that the real story here is the utter ineffectiveness of the so called “no fly list.” I should think that passengers would be checked against said list before BOARDING THE GODDAMN FLIGHT! Or is it the TSA’s “No Fly to Your Destination List.”

    …Which all seems to suggest that this diversion is some sort of stunt. If fucking CAT STEVENS is on the no fly list, why didn’t anybody at the airline catch it before the plane took off?

    Also, for the righties who agree with this, what is there to stop A.G. Hillary Clinton putting various right-wingers on the list? No, seriously, are there any checks on the system?

  64. Also, for the righties who agree with this, what is there to stop A.G. Hillary Clinton putting various right-wingers on the list? No, seriously, are there any checks on the system?

    First they came for me, but none of you are named David Nelson, so you said nothing.

  65. what is there to stop A.G. Hillary Clinton

    Surely you mean POTUS Hillary Clinton.

    What Yusef said –
    “Salman Rushdie, indeed any writer who abuses the prophet or indeed any prophet under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death,” he said at the time” etc

    Well, it is. (I’ll take his word on it.)

    What raymond said –
    “Carla Faye Tucker, indeed any woman who commits first degree murder under Texas law, the sentence for that is actually death,” he said at the time” etc

    Shame on raymond

  66. For those of you who would like to see some of the less politically-correct comments Yusuf made regarding Rushdie go to this NYTimes link:
    http://partners.nytimes.com/books/99/04/18/specials/rushdie-cat.html

  67. Thanks for the article, David. His statement – as well as the statements of several British prelates, French prelates, French intellectuals – is absolutely indefensible.

    I just wonder. Is this the first time since 1989 that he’s been on a plane? To the US?

  68. Raymond:

    No.

    Islam is upset at being included on the list. After all, it was just in May that he spoke with officials from the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives “to talk about philanthropic work,” a spokesman said.

    m

  69. He said that the Koran calls for death for heretics, just as the Old Testament does. But it also says Muslims are to obey the laws of the lands they live in so long as they are allowed to practice their religion, and therefore he didn’t see how any Western Muslim could carry out the fatwa. They next day the UK tabloids had headlines saying he supported killing Rushdie, and that charge has followed him ever since.

    Did he take the opportunity to say that the part of the Qur’an calling for death for heretics was appalling and wrong? If not, then he obviously agrees with it, even if he also feels that Muslims are to obey the laws of the lands they live in. In otherwords, he could’ve condemned Islamic intolerance toward “unbelievers” and “heretics” but did not.

  70. David, thanks for that link.

    He [Yusuf Islam] also said that if Mr. Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, “I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like. I’d try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is,” said Mr. Islam, who watched a preview of the program today and said in an interview that he stood by his comments.

    Mr. “Peace” Train? Hardly. Yusuf Islam was clearly showing his true colors there.

    Although I have a problem with the fundamentalists in all monotheistic religions, there’s a clear difference between Christianity and Islam. Christians got over their obsession with killing “heretics” and “blasphemers” a long time ago. Muslims still have not.

  71. I presume this thread is dead. But I can’t stop myself.

    Did he take the opportunity to say that the part of the Qur’an calling for death for heretics was appalling and wrong? If not, then he obviously agrees with it,

    The Koran is the coeternal word of God. It is perfect.

    Any Muslim who said that part of it was “appalling and wrong” would be a blasphemer and an apostate.

    Christians got over their obsession with killing “heretics” and “blasphemers” a long time ago. Muslims still have not.

    Which is why Falwell recently made his comment about killing homosexuals. Which explains Fred Phelps. So apparently not all Christians have got over it. And not all Muslims haven’t got over it.

    Permit me to make one comment about gross generalisations on a board reflecting individual responsibility:

    They are really really dumb.

  72. The Koran is the coeternal word of God. It is perfect. Any Muslim who said that part of it [the part calling for death for heretics] was “appalling and wrong” would be a blasphemer and an apostate.

    So, in otherwords, Yusuf Islam would agree that, ideally, Salman Rushdie should have been — and should still be — killed for his “heresy.”

    >Christians got over their obsession with killing “heretics” and “blasphemers” a long time ago. Muslims still have not.

    Which is why Falwell recently made his comment about killing homosexuals. Which explains Fred Phelps. So apparently not all Christians have got over it. And not all Muslims haven’t got over it.

    I believe that’s Jimmy Swaggart you’re thinking of, not Jerry Falwell. Fred Phelps has a despicable, and most un-Christ-like, attitude towards gays and lesbians but I’m not aware of him saying that “heretics” and “blasphemers” should be killed. Nor am I aware of Falwell, Robertson, Swaggart or any other fundamentalist Christian suggesting that. I’m not aware of any Christian leader who has — in modern times anyway — suggested that an author who wrote a book “blaspheming” Jesus should be killed according to Biblical law, as Ayatollah Khomeini did vis-a-vis Rushdie and Islamic law. I believe there were many Muslims who agreed Khomeini.

    Permit me to make one comment about gross generalisations on a board reflecting individual responsibility: They are really really dumb.

    So you feel there are absolutely no gross general differences between Islamic extremists and Christian extremists in today’s world? You think it’s dumb to even suggest that? Is that what you’re saying?

  73. So, in otherwords, Yusuf Islam would agree that, ideally, Salman Rushdie should have been — and should still be — killed for his “heresy.”

    I have to (should, but I’m not going to) go back and reread the Koran to see where/if that is said. I don’t remember if it is, or if all this killing stuff is in haditha or in “learned men”‘s opinions. / You shouldn’t have added the parenthetical bit in my statement. By “part” I meant “any part”.

    I don’t know what Yusuf Islam would agree to. Apparently, he has said a Muslim must follow the law of the land he lives in.

    There are Christians who take the Bible literally. These Christians want creationism taught in public schools. I imagine that they “would agree that, ideally,” stoning is an effective way of dealing with social problems. Until the “end time”, they will have to be content with lethal injection.

    I believe that’s Jimmy Swaggart you’re thinking of, not Jerry Falwell.

    That’s funny, because just the other day I corrected someone here who confused Falwell with Phelps.

    I can be forgive, though, since “Christians do this” and “Muslims do that” and Falwell and Swaggart are both Christians so, what the heck…

    Is that what you’re saying?

    No. I’m saying that your statement that “there’s a clear difference between Christianity and Islam. Christians got over their obsession with killing “heretics” and “blasphemers” a long time ago. Muslims still have not” is a gross generalisation.

    I know lots of Muslims. None of them wants to kill anyone.

    I know lots of Christians. Some of them are convinced I’m going to burn in hell for all eternity. (And these are people who like me!)

    Note: My previous post is not specifically about Stevens/Islam, it’s about gross generalisations and what the Koran is for Muslims.

    I’m certainly not defending him for his initial statements about “Satanic Verses”. I’d never defend any statement justifying the execution of any human being. Whether it comes from the mouth of a former pop star, of a Texas governor, or of a sitting president.

    What the heck. If I ran the country I live in, I wouldn’t let _Bush_ in!

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