Cat Stevens. Man of Peace or Airborne Terrorist? I guess it depends on what list he’s on…

The Gorbachev Foundation lauds the “Peace Train” singer.

Yusuf Islam was awarded the “Man for Peace” award in Rome at the opening of a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize laureates. He last made headlines in September, when he turned up on Washington’s no-fly list for having suspected ties to terrorists — a claim he has strongly denied.

“Perhaps it’s part of the irony that sometimes you have to go through a test in order to achieve a prize,” he told reporters. “So maybe that’s a symbol. Today I’m receiving a prize for peace, which is actually, I would say, a bit more descriptive of my ideas and my aims in life.”

The British musician was expelled from the United States in September after authorities diverted his London-to-Washington flight to Maine to remove him, saying he was suspected of ties to terrorism.

Islam said he was a victim of an “unjust and arbitrary system,” and that he has denounced terrorism. He also pointed out that just a few months beforehand, he had met with officials of the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to talk about philanthropy.

Our government looks ridiculous and yet again, incompetent. So they diverted the whole flight after it’s airborne. If he was on the suspect list, how did he end up on the plane to begin with?

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding