Monday, September 27, 2004

The mind boggles!

According to todays Dompost,Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) was barred from entering the USA because there was "some other Youssuf Islam" on a no-fly terrorist name list. Now Islam may not be quite as common a surname as Mahommed but it's still pretty common. Is every Yusuf (however spelt) Islam in the world to be denied entry to the USA because one person of that name is allegedly a terrorist? Or should middle initials be compulsory?

Would the Americans attempt to keep out all Fred Smiths if that name had appeared on the list? Or is Smith "not a terrorist name".

Or is this part of a cunning plan? Surely out of all the John Kerrys in the world there must have been at least one or two in the IRA.

The Dompost article was sourced from Time. The original article seems to be ambiguous as to whether the listing was really meant to be Cat Stevens (albeit spelt differently) or someone else. I still don't understand how a 19,000 name list can fail to hit an awful lot of people who just happen to have the same name as a "terrorist suspect". Names like Mahommed, Ali, Ibrahim are very common in Islamic countries and names like "Mahommed Ibrahim" must be so common they're almost bound to be on the list and will affect hundreds of innocent travellers if they are.

It appears reality has already trumped my speculation about other names on the list (OK Edward Kennedy not John Kerry but..)


Blogger Jacob said...

Yusuf Islam was banned from entering the US, not because his name sounded like somebody else but because of what he's done.

He's not the same cute n cuddly guy who sung songs about peace. After his conversion to a puritanical strain of islam he's done such things as call for the death of salman rushdie, associate with terrorist organizations and allegedly give money to terrorist groups.

27 September 2004 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Greyshade said...

According to today's Dominion Post it was all a mistake and the name on the list was someone else. I can't find an online reference to the story though.

27 September 2004 at 4:28 PM  
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