Yusuf Islam Awarded Libel Damages
Yusuf Islam, the musician formerly known as Cat Stevens, said he had won substantial damages from two British newspapers which alleged he supported terrorism.Yusuf Islam, the musician formerly known as Cat Stevens, said he had won substantial damages from two British newspapers which alleged he supported terrorism. "I am delighted by the settlement which helps vindicate my character and good name," he said after the settlement with The Sun and the Sunday Times.
The singer, who changed his name after converting to Islam in the 1970s, was traveling last September on a flight from London to Washington when it was diverted to Bangor, Maine. He was then deported from the United States.
The U.S. Homeland Security Department said he was deported after his name turned up on U.S. "no fly" lists because of activities they said could be potentially linked to terrorism. The two newspapers suggested U.S. authorities had been right to refuse Islam entry to the country.
After winning the libel damages, Islam said, "It seems to me the easiest thing in the world these days to make scurrilous accusations against Muslims, and in my case it directly impacts on my relief work and damages my reputation as an artist. The harm done is often difficult to repair."
The 57-year-old singer intends to contribute the undisclosed damages to aid projects for orphans hit by the tsunami in South East Asia. He visited Indonesia in January and is set to release a charity single titled Indian Ocean later this month.
"At least the money gained through taking legal recourse to clear my name is going to good causes -- but I could do without the headache quite frankly," he said.
Islam said he had not been given a satisfactory explanation by U.S. authorities of the reasons for his deportation. "Six months after the fiasco of my deportation from the USA, my formal requests for clarification from the authorities there are seemingly being ignored," he said.
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