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Morning Griping With the Ghost of Robespierre Hanging Over My Left Shoulder

Homeland Security deported Cat Stevens, now known as Yusef Islam. And people are trying to justify it.

Come on, guys. It's Cat Stevens. Get a grip.

He once gave money to a Palestinian charity, which Israel (who are, of course, notoriously fair, even-handed, and calm about anything related to Palestine) claim indirectly funded Hamas.* Nothing has ever been proved about links to terrorism, no charges have ever been filed, and the guy's statement about terrorism--I quote:

In a statement on his Web site, he wrote, "Crimes against innocent bystanders taken hostage in any circumstance have no foundation whatsoever in the life of Islam and the model example of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Islam issued a statement saying: "No right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: The Quran equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity."

Stop that man! He sounds like a killer!

Most, of course, only know of his rather more famous radical stance, many moons ago, about Salmon Rushdie's death sentence, (He was for it, but said that he was a peaceful person and could never do it himself) which he backed off on repeatedly afterwards. (Naturally the retractions and apologies don't get the press. Much less fun.) Now, I'll be the first to say that was a stupid, misguided religious notion. It was. Grade A religious idiocy, right there. But shit, if we got to deport people for having stupid misguided religious notions, I have a whole bushel of evangelical Christians I want dumped before I even look over in the direction of Cat Stevens. Hell, I could denude most of the Bible Belt before the name "Yusef Islam" even showed up on MY list.

So...let's review. Cat Stevens. Never linked to violence. Never linked to blowing anything up. May have given money to a charity that may have been related to bad things somewhere, but never proved to have been knowingly supporting terrorism, never charged with any terrorist crimes. Does not know how to fly a plane. Proclaimed pacifist. Has, in fact, spoken out against terrorism as being un-Islamic. Once said an admittedly stupid religious thing, later retracted, about one guy. All this was years ago. Wrote "Peace Train." Also years ago.

Obviously someone we need to stop at ALL COSTS!

This makes me mad enough to spit. Homeland Security is supposed to protect us from people with bombs, not people with unpopular religious views.

Shit, I've given money to Greenpeace, which some people have claimed is linked to ecoterrorism, AND I routinely express the desire that the entire Bush administration be eaten by weasels. Deport me! I am dangerous!

Some days I think we should just rename it "The Committee For Public Safety" and get it over with. This is not the way I want America to work. I want us stopping terrorists, not folk singers, and I'd really, really like it if people could tell the difference.

I'd quote Franklin now about liberty and security and getting neither, but y'all are smart and know that one already.

*Evidentally so does the Body Shop. I'm starting to wonder if there's any way to donate money to a Palestinian charity that Israel doesn't interpret as supporting terrorism. I don't approve of violence, obviously, but only a serious xenophobe would try to claim that ALL Palestinians are terrorists and giving money to any of them for adequate housing is a knife in Israel's heart. Really. If I wanted to send money to, oh, say, get people educated and give 'em hobbies so that they don't get desperate enough to BECOME suicide bombers, is there even a way to do that without Israel throwing a hissy fit about it?

>>Shit, I've given money to Greenpeace, which some people have claimed is linked to ecoterrorism, AND I routinely express the desire that the entire Bush administration be eaten by weasels.

Now that is just unacceptable. Cruel, even.

I mean, really. What did the poor little weasels do to deserve such a horrific fate?


How about, "Eaten by Lawyers" ?

He had that song "The First Cut Is The Deepest"

Obviously it was because he was singing about cutting, and it was an airplane... and obviously that means he was going to hijack it with the airline provided fork. Or something.

Homeland Security is obviously protecting us from burned-out folk singers. You see, if Yusef Islam were allowed back into the United States, he might be tempted to sing again. And if he sang again, he might have all the problems that caused him to burn out from singing again. And if he burned out again, he might...

...uhmm... start up new charities for the poor of the world again?

Okay. Even in my weird-out otterish explanation, I can't come up with a strong reason to keep Cat Stevens out of the US.

"The Committee For State Security Against Cat Stevens"

I always liked these ultra right wing christian evalgelists who would sit on their show, magnum gun in hand, and demand the killing of all homosexuals.

I'd say those folks are a security risk too. :)

Re: "The Committee For State Security Against Cat Stevens"

And at least some of them are, y'know, actively killing American citizens. Or their listeners or similar-minded people are.

*head desk, head desk, head desk* I feel better now.

I will start recruiting weasels immediately.

Well, it's all very easy to explain, due to the fact that terrorists can't be white. Likewise, unless somebody white and fairly well off dies, it's not a terrorist act. Islam is clearly a terrorist religion, therefore we need to deport all the Islamic people.

The KKK and other neo-nazi groups are just exercising their freedom of speech, it doesn't matter that these speeches have lead to the deaths of innocent people in the past, present, and probably will in the future. Also, they don't terrorise white people, so it's okay. Oh yeah, and they say they're Christians, so they must be on "our" side.

Obviously, if we just deport everyone who practices Islam and supports the Palestinians' right to be treated like human being instead of rabid, slavering animals, we'll be safer.

Don't you feel safer?

* beings. Comments need edit functions.

He does have rather backwards views on women, of course, but that does not a terrorist make. My jury's still out on whether recording Moonshadow does a terrorist make.

Dude, if having backwards views on women were a deportable offense, we could reduce the U.S. population by at least a third, and make me a far happier person in the bargain...

Two notes:

First, apparently he changed his name *to* Yusuf Islam, not from it.
Second, eating the US Government? Yuck. Get a wood chipper, or at least some insider trading convictions and a cell with Bubba.

Um, yeah, he changed his name to, not from. (Did I say otherwise somewhere and need to correct it?)

Would it help if I used rabid weasels? I'm trying to be flexible about accomodating the needs of the weasel community...

That's it. I will now summon my forces of evil sparkliness and begin the daunting task of musical cleansing. It's just not fair that only ONE folk singer was deported...

It's all just so STUPID. I must reanimate Liberace and have him run for political office. It'd make just about as much sense as everything else at this point.

I would say that my ratio of getting called out of airport boarding lines 'randomly' for a thorough luggage examination and pat-down and questionning is around 60%. For awhile I chalked this up to coincidence until I heard rumors that registered members of the Green Party -- of which I am one -- are flagged by Homeland Security. Hrrm...

"Shit, I've given money to Greenpeace, which some people have claimed is linked to ecoterrorism, AND I routinely express the desire that the entire Bush administration be eaten by weasels. Deport me! I am dangerous!"

Keep expressing views like that and you'll be sure to make the list. After all, you're a well-known and influential artist, a public figure. Big Brother can't have you keep spreading the seeds of sedition for long.

Cat Stevens is just a bigger blip on the radar. For now.

*laugh* Fear my fuzzy animals of sedition! They're coming for yooooou!

If we are going to start deporting people based on the music they make, then John Ashcroft should be sent to the Moon. Anyone here heard "Let the Eagle Soar?" Yeesh.

I wonder if they'll be deporting the two evangelical Christian Texans who were planning to attack some Southern cities with cyanide. The trouble would be finding a country that would take 'em.

Many naive, blissful years ago I loved my country. Sure, there were problems with it, but my oh my wasn't it just the greatest country in the world?!! I think that was back in the Reagan days, by the way...

The older I get the less I love my country, and the more determined I am to try and make a difference for my son. We say we stand for something and then, when it suits some political agenda, we turn our backs and pretend we didn't just crap on our own tenents. We (a generalization, mind you) are such a nation of hypocrits. I have enough integrity to say I am a small part of that hypocrisy... I'm in the military, yet don't believe in some of the offensives we have taken in recent years. I am all for liberating a country from a tyrannical government, but come on... all the world is seeing right now is our militant involvement, not any of the humanitarian aid we give. I think we can't get any credit from the world community because of stupid acts like this one with Cat Stevens and all the other stupid moves we make.

The best I can hope to do is try to vote for the lesser of evils and hope my country comes out okay in the end. I look around our political climate and think, "No wonder other countries are surpassing us in so many ways besides military. We don't put our full efforts into anything besides being global police. Pretty soon we're uncultured police. Then we're uncultured, stupid police. Then we're uncultured, stupid, and greedy police... oh okay, I see the trend."

This thing with Cat Stevens is just a symptom of a system-wide disease.

Oops! That was a rant. Sorry about that...

*goes back to lurking* =)

No worries, we all get a rant now and again.

Another moment of head-shaking idiocy from "The Administration That Couldn't Shoot Straight". *sigh*

Just to exacerbate the irony... has an airliner ever been diverted and a passenger taken off who actually was somehow seriously linked to terrorists? This is like escalating police action against drug-dealers and then only arresting people who are in possession of Pez. If we had a system that caught scores of real bad guys and once in a while also swept up someone innocent, you could almost justify all the expense and effort.

If Pez is criminal, only criminals will have Pez!