The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92621 Message #1773113
Posted By: Greg B
30-Jun-06 - 07:11 PM
Thread Name: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
I'd certainly be jealous of Cat Stevens talent. And perhaps
of his looks, in the day. Taken together, he probably collected
more crumpet than a fleet of E-Types.
I'm not envious at all of his descent into the harried world of
a drugged-out tubercular pop-star in the grip of labels, producers,
and managers. That had to really stink. Probably played hell with
the muse, as well.
As to the Rushdie thing, it's worthwhile to see what he said about
it in 2003: http://catstevens.com/articles/00236/index.html
I find it quite telling, the way he dances around the issue. In
particular, the following:
"After confirming that Islamic Law considers Blasphemy without repentance as a capital offence, I stated clearly, "Under the Islamic law, Muslims are bound to keep within the limits of the law of the country in which they live, providing that it does not restrict the freedom to worship and serve God and fulfil their basic religious duties (Fard 'Ayn). One must not forget the ruling in Islam is also very clear about adultery, stealing and murder, but that doesn't mean that British Muslims will go about lynching and stoning adulterers, thieves and murders. If we can't get satisfaction within the present limits of the law, like a ban on this blasphemous book, 'Satanic Verses' which insults God and His Prophets – including those Prophets honoured by Christians, Jews as well as Muslims – this does not mean that we should step outside of the law to find redress. No. If Mrs Thatcher and her Government are unwilling to listen to our pleas, if our demonstrations and peaceful lobbying does not work, then perhaps the only alternative is for Muslims to get more involved in the political process of this country. It seems to be the only way left for us."
Get more involved in the political process...why?
"...the present limits of the law..." is a telling
prelude to this. Present limits.
Let's change the law, shall we? Maybe go back to
drawing and quartering?
There seems a clear intent to make Islamic law (clearly not
ruling out silencing those like Rushdie either by force of
law or physical force) the law of the land or the world.
This, to me, is unacceptable. The descent into the idea that
theocracy makes any sense in a free society (and that anything
but a free society is to be called civilized) is just unacceptable
to me. I hope it is to others.
This whole notion of the theocratic state is, to me, a clear and
present danger as an undercurrent of Islam from its foundation until
the present day.
What I don't see from Yusef Islam is a repudiation of the idea that
'blasphemy' (as defined by Islamic authorities) ought NOT be a
capitol crime. Along with adultery, apostasy, theft, and indeed
murder. The idea that civilized society has risen above those
kinds of interpretation of the Koran, the Bible, and other
documents held sacred by great religions.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the passengers on Yusef Islam's
new 'Peace Train' may be dissenting theologians, accused blasphemers,
drawers of irreverant cartoons, adulterers, and other people who
offend Islamic 'law.' And that that 'Peace Train' is on its way
to a camp, complete with execution and disposal facilities. And
that the infidels' transportation there will allow good Muslims
to live in their version of 'peace.'
You may think that I'm flirting with the classic mid-20th-century
Fascist analogy and its associated hyperbole and over-use.
I am not.
I fear that world vision, because I'd be on that train, along with
most of the people here.
But that vision is also what gave guys like Mohammed Atta
license in their conscience to fly airplanes into buildings.
This is what guys like Yusef Islam don't quite 'get.'
And to me, it's clear from what he's written.
It also appears to me from his recent interview that he may
be revising that point of view.
Let's hope so.