Kilmeade: "If your name is Yusuf Islam," airport security better "have a good close look"September 22, 2004 3:21 PM EDT ››› AVI ZOLLMAN
On the September 22 broadcast of FOX News Channel's FOX & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested that singer/songwriter Yusuf Islam's name alone should have alerted airport security to give him "a good close look." Kilmeade was referring to the United Airlines flight that was diverted when it was discovered that passenger Islam -- formerly called Cat Stevens, who changed his name when he converted to Islam in 1977 -- was on a government no-fly list.
Kilmeade's guest, Chicago-based syndicated radio host (and regular FOX & Friends contributor) Eric "Mancow" Muller -- who describes himself as "a conservative libertarian kind of guy," -- compared the singer's Muslim name to "American Killer" and "Hijacker" and said: "[W]hen you change 'Cat Stevens' to 'Yusuf Islam,' it is going to be a little tougher to fly around." Kilmeade responded, "He [Islam] got in the air. That's the scary thing. People on United [Airlines] got him on board."
Later in the program, Kilmeade explicitly ignored complaints from co-host E.D. Hill that he was advocating profiling:
KILMEADE: How did he get on board if he's on one [a government no-fly list]? See, I don't ... If your name is Yusuf Islam, you better have a good close look at him.
HILL: No, that's not true, because that is that profiling. You can't say every person with a Muslim name just as you can't say every person with an Italian name in New York you should look for contacts to the Mafia, right? What's the difference? What's the difference?
KILMEADE: But let me just say, if the IRA [Irish Republican Army] had declared war on America, you better believe they would be patting me down left and right before I went on United [Airlines], because I stand to be Irish. So they declare war on us.