Cat Stevens: "I Am a Victim of an Unjust and Arbitrary System"

September 28, 2004

Source: Angeles Times

On September 28, 2004 the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed piece by Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) on the subject of his denial of entry into the U.S. After describing his detention and questioning by U.S. FBI agents, Islam writes, "God almighty! Is this the same planet I'd taken off from? I was devastated. The unbelievable thing is that only two months earlier, I had been having meetings in Washington with top officials from the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to talk about my charity work... Had I changed that much? No. Actually, it's the indiscriminate procedure of profiling that's changed. I am a victim of an unjust and arbitrary system, hastily imposed, that serves only to belittle America's image as a defender of the civil liberties that so many dearly struggled and died for over the centuries."