Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, denied entry to U.S.
Oct 19, 2004
British and American Muslims say they remain bewildered by U.S. authorities’ decision to refuse entry to the former singer Cat Stevens, a British citizen who became a Muslim in 1977 and is now known as Yusuf Islam.
Islam was flying from London’s Heathrow Airport to Dulles International Airport in Washington on September 21 when the flight was diverted to Bangor, Maine, where he was taken off the aircraft. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was reported in the British media as telling Secretary of State Colin Powell that the action “should not have been taken.”
The onetime performer was refused entry because he was recently put on a security watch list, ostensibly because authorities believe he has contributed funds to groups linked to terrorism, which he has denied.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).