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Cat Stevens aka Islam

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Bill Hahn//\\ 14 Jul 00 - 07:33 PM
bbelle 14 Jul 00 - 07:36 PM
bflat 14 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM
bflat 14 Jul 00 - 07:42 PM
Murray MacLeod 14 Jul 00 - 08:00 PM
Sorcha 14 Jul 00 - 08:09 PM
Dee45 14 Jul 00 - 08:14 PM
DougR 14 Jul 00 - 08:26 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 14 Jul 00 - 08:52 PM
Clinton Hammond2 14 Jul 00 - 09:01 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Jul 00 - 09:13 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 14 Jul 00 - 09:23 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jul 00 - 09:29 PM
catspaw49 14 Jul 00 - 09:39 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Jul 00 - 09:58 PM
Gypsy 14 Jul 00 - 10:38 PM
Mrrzy 14 Jul 00 - 11:01 PM
bob jr 14 Jul 00 - 11:56 PM
Big Mick 15 Jul 00 - 12:00 AM
Jim the Bart 15 Jul 00 - 01:37 AM
Callie 15 Jul 00 - 02:29 AM
Lepus Rex 15 Jul 00 - 04:13 AM
uncle bill 15 Jul 00 - 04:43 AM
sledge 15 Jul 00 - 06:07 AM
zander (inactive) 15 Jul 00 - 06:29 AM
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Big Mick 15 Jul 00 - 12:35 PM
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Subject: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 07:33 PM

Perhaps some of you have seen the news item about his being detained at the airport in Israel and then being refused entrance to the nation.

He claims he was held "prisoner" in a small area without bathroom facilities. The government said they held him in a departure lounge till they could get him on a plane out of the country.

It seems that on list trip he --perhaps--illegally gave funds to the Hamas group.

THe moral dilemna for me is does one still involve oneself with the early Cat Stevens and his songs of peace and love---or go along with his current thinking that seems to totally negate his earlier philosophy?

Up to this point I felt I could seperate the two entities. Now I cannot seem to do that.

Your thoughts are certainly welcome on this subject.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: bbelle
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 07:36 PM

Yes, Bill, I read the article and thought the same thing ... "can I separate ...."

But, since I'm Jewish, I will do the forum and all its members a good deed and not contribute any further my feelings on the subject.

moonchild


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: bflat
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 07:38 PM


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: bflat
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 07:42 PM

Bill Something goofy happen above as I never submitted my message. I regret learning of these leanings by Cat Stevens. I believe you should not encourage the music of anyone who aligns himself with an organiztion such as Hamas. To thine own self be true.

bflat


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 08:00 PM

Could I make a plea here that before this degenerates into a political slanging match, could those who feel like contributing an anti-Islam knee-jerk reaction to this thread please take time out to study in detail the history of the State of Israel, with particular reference to the atrocities committed on the native Palestinians by the early settlers. Then perhaps we can all go back to singing "Moonshadow" with a clearer conscience.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 08:09 PM

This is another one where I think I will reserve judgemnt. Another very old, very long ethinic/political dispute with rights and wrongs on both sides. No black/white, just shades of gray. Unfortunately, in this sort of thing, there is no absolute TRUTH. Hamas may not be "good", but some of the ShinBet stuff is not "good" either. A country does what it has to do to survive, and that goes for the Palestinian countries as well as Israel.

Sorcha, whoknowsmoreaboutthisthanjustreadingExodus
(but nobody knows everything)


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Dee45
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 08:14 PM

This thread is flame bait waiting to happen.
Let Clinton, Yasser and Mr. Barak discuss the politics at Camp David, and leave us to the musical issues.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: DougR
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 08:26 PM

It seems to me some folks are too quick to discard someone's art simply because they do not agree with his or her political persuasion. Stephen Foster probably was in favor of slavery, as perhaps the majority of the population was in his day, but that is no longer the case. I still think Stephen Foster wrote some very pretty songs. On another thread someone questioned whether or not Amazing Grace should be performed any more because the composer at one time was a ship's captain and transported slaves. This political correctness thing is getting to ba a pain in the ass I think. Just my opinion, of course.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 08:52 PM

Flaming was not my intent in this matter. A soul searching query was.

Years back, thinking of Jane Fonda, Holly Near, D. Sutherland vis a vis Viet Nam I argued to seperate the artist from his/her political actions. Hence my dilemna here. I agreed with the former, and do not agree with---his chosen name--Islam. His (The artist formerly known as Cat S.) name-=-not the religion. Let us not make a mistake there.

Stephen Foster should not be forgotten---but, rather, be explained in the context of history. I don't think Stevens is that historically signifigant. Amazing Grace is a whole different issue.

Amazing Grace and its history is something I am quite well versed in. The author, with all his faults, made his apology for his earlier shortcomings as a human being through that song and his involvement in his chosen religion.

Political Correctness is, I feel, not the issue. Conscience is. History can decide---Stephen Foster/ Amazing Grace/ and all such things are part of history. The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is not yet part of history. He is a current being consumed with his politics and not his art. Do you think he was there to perform Morning Has Broken?

If he is rememembered in history as is Foster/Amazing Grace authorship/ ML King/ We Shall Overcome/etc; I will be delighted----and surprised.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 09:01 PM

I don't want no god on my lawn
Just a flower that I can help along

and

Everyone jump up on the Peace train

say it all no?

I'll be singing Moonshadow until the day I die, and if Cat, Islam, stupidhead, or whatever he want's to be called doesn't like it, he can get stuffed!

I don't give a tinkers cuss for his current political affiliations... I love some of the music he wrote...


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 09:13 PM

I absolutely LOVE the music of Cat Stephens. He did wonderous things with simple chords and melodies. A unique artist. If he's chosen to fall in with the fairy tale of man-made religion, what the hell? He still was a great musician.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 09:23 PM

Rick is right in the technical sense. That is my point. I loved his music too. But words and politics enter music.

Think of the Civil Rights movement and music/Labor and Music/ and so on. If we follow that to its logical conclusion I think we will have to come to the conclusion that Mr. Islam has sharted a course that would negate his earlier writings. So why play and listen to songs that no longer are meaningful to the author and sell them as the author's thoughts?

At the beginning of this I was truly wondering about my feelings in this---and after reading the replies (except for a few light hearted ones) I think I have resolved my dilemna.

So, for the insights I thank you all

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 09:29 PM

Well, I guess I can understand the concern of the Israeli authorities. They take their airport and border security seriously, and for good reason. I was in that airport in November. It's a very nice, interesting airport, but you realize very quickly there that the authorities mean business. The detention was unfortunate, but it seems to have been done with good reason.
On the other hand, I do not think we Westerners understand Islam and the situation of the Palestinians well enough to pass judgment. I cannot believe that the Islamic peoples are the demons we Westerners make them out to be. I think we need to approach the situation calmly, and with an openness to the concerns of both sides.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 09:39 PM

That's nice Bill, but it doesn't stop the thread.

Pick any field of endeavor. Find me the top people throughout the history of the field. At the very least, 25% will have something about them that you may strongly disagree with. Most of us take what we want and leave the rest (please don't finish that line). Certtainly there are cases where we each want to make a statement of "keep a clear conscience" and that is only natural, at least to the "folkie" mentality. Sorrowfully, we must also survive in the world so we buy Fords although old Henry was a pretty despicable character.

A song writer changes over time as we all do. Its a part of the growth process. Sometimes they go in directions we dislike, others in ways we admire. The songs stand on their own merit and we stand on our own principles. We are not supporting the man, the company, the practices of business........we are singing a song, which gawd knows is subject to as many different interpretations as there are people listening.

Spaw (don't eat veal, but I got an old Ford)


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 09:58 PM

Actually Bill, you've just made a great point. How DO we feel about writers who've changed their positions over the years? Does it make us not want to listen to their old music, if we differ politically with where they are now?

Or what if WE've changed our position but were in agreement when we first heard that artist's music?

For example, I learned all the old Clancy Bros. IRA songs, but after seeing a few dead bodies on TV, I just couldn't sing the songs anymore...and I had trouble listening to them, because they seemed so "hearty and.....well....innocent. It's not a "one side or the other" thing, just that it's hard to sing "Johnson's Motor Car" when you know how many folks on both sides (and especially in the middle) have died.

As to old Cat, he's chosen to become a fundamentalist, so hatred of Israel is just "part of doing business". An Orthodox Jew is going to be in the same situation regarding Palestine. Whether it's there or Ireland, or countries in Africa, "guns and God" are the tools everyone uses. I'd replace 'em with Marx.

Groucho, that is.

Rick (who's obviously going straight to hell)


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Gypsy
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 10:38 PM

Well, if you start confusing the politics with the art, there will be alot of songs that won't be sung, poetry unread, and movies unwatched. Just because you like someones art doesn't mean that you have to endorse their philosophy. Oh yeah, as an aside, lest we forget, Cat didn't write Morning has Broken. Remember, it's a church hymn from way back.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 11:01 PM

Well, my father being killed by Islamic fundamentalist Syrian-trained Ayatollah Khomeini-following Lebanese has really nothing to do with the fact that I have, and still do, positively ADORED Cat Stevens' music. Am I a good human, a bad daughter, or what? Maybe just a reasonable person with musical tastes who still misses Daddy?


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: bob jr
Date: 14 Jul 00 - 11:56 PM

anyway cat stevens music sucked after he became an islamis whatever so just ignore that stuff and listen to his earlier stuff except wild world which seems msygonistic to me


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 12:00 AM

I'm still pissed that in the man's quest to find God, he ceased to use the marvellous gift God had given him. The Tea For The Tillerman album got me through my time in that one place with some of my sanity left. I don't give a shit what he does now. His work as Cat Stevens was superb. I still sit and play Father and Son to help me get my head straight.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 01:37 AM

Spaw has got it. People change but art is timeless. Those songs stand up very well, perhaps better than the artist. and I say "perhaps" because I won't sit here in judgement of the man. That conflict is much too complex to paint the participants, supporters, fellow-travelers etc. in primary colors.

I also like "If I had a Rocket Launcher", by Bruce Cockburn although some consider it inflammatory art. So it goes.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Callie
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 02:29 AM

I love Cat Stevens' music. However, I heard him in an interview support the "kill Salman Rushdie" campaign. He is allowing his religious beliefs cloud his sanity. What about freedom of speech? Freedom of expression? Rushdie, on of the finest minds of our time is still in hiding after all these years. What has that to do with loving god and humanity?

Cat Stevens is gone. The songs remain.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 04:13 AM

Ok, Callie, first of all, no you didn't hear that. Yusuf Islam did not make a statement supporting the "kill Salman Rushdie campaign." What he did was answer a question about the whole Salman Rushdie controversy with a statement that, under Islamic Law, 'blasphemy' is punishable by death. This statement was twisted by an anti-Islamic press into a statement suporting the murder of Rushdie, which it was not.

Second, as for the current situation with Yusuf Islam being denied entry to Israel, he denies supporting "terrorist" groups, and says that he only supports humanitarian organizations. I'm not going to argue what is terrorism and what is not, but I see no reason to believe that Yusuf Islam is lying.

Third, how many of you who can't seperate Cat Stevens from Yusuf Islam are willing to enjoy pro-IRA entertainers, musical or otherwise? And do you think there is a difference? If Cat Stevens had become a fundamentalist Christian or a Zionist Jew, and the accusations were that he donated money to anti-Islamic groups (What's Pat Robertson's organization called again?), do you think that your reactions would be the same?

I think he's a decent guy who's name has been largely destroyed by the slanderous accusations in the press, by people who's image of a Muslim is of some wild-eyed bedouin with dynamite strapped to his camel. Seriously, don't believe everything you read.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: uncle bill
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 04:43 AM

cat stevens was great in his time. unfortunatly he was lost to the "reborns". Organized religion has polluted all political thought for centuries. We shud transcend the guilt,greed and hypocracy (sp?) and look and music as a chronicle of history. Sometimes its better to sit back and laugh . Personally, I like to read the Tao but I wouldnt knock on anyones door and ask them to read it with me. Bill H. , I think you're right except for calling the evil female she-dog Jane Fonda an artist. respectfully, "flaming" faswilli2


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: sledge
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:07 AM

If Yusef Islam was going to pass funds to any terror group he is hardly going to admit it, is he??


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:29 AM

It may interest all those who will carry on regardless singing Cat Stephens songs to know that despite his religious conversion he still draws the royaltie's from his songs, at least some of which went to support the terrorist campaign [ fatwah ] to kill the author Salman Rushdie. Cat Stephens was a Cypriot raised in England where he was blessed with freedom of speech, something he sought to deny Salman Rushdie by trying to have him killed. As someone once said " I may disagree with everything you say but I will defend to the death you right to say it ". So I will not be a hippocrite and give money to or support this closet terrorist. Peace and Love, Dave


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:31 AM

No, I don't suppse he would admit it, sledge. But Yusef Islam isn't famous for his lies, unlike the Israeli government.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:33 AM

Oops, I mean 'Yusuf.'


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:43 AM

Oh, zander? Yusuf Islam tried to have Salman Rushdie killed? And he used his royalties to put a bounty on Rushdie's head? Where did you get this info? And I'm sure you know that 'fatwa' doesn't translate as 'terrorist campaign', but a legal statement in Islam.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: sledge
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:46 AM

The Israeli Government are no angels is must be said, but they have a commitment to their citizens to protect them from having bombs placed in their markets and buses and if it means offending a few people, then Israeli's aren't going to be too worried about that, they never have been.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 08:35 AM

Aw come on Lepus, can you name ANY Government in the world that doesn't lie whenever it suits their purpose?

Glad to know you love Tea For The Tillerman as much as I do, Mick. Just superb. I always got a kick out of his paintings as well.

They're flogging his "Greatest Hits" on TV these days, so I guess the entertainment industry execs aren't letting a little anti-Israel sentiment get in the way of potential record sales.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Gary T
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 09:04 AM

My understanding is that Yusuf walked away from, if not renounced, Cat and Cat's music. He may as well be a separate person. One way to look at is that Cat has "died". He just left his body around for Yusuf to use. So while you're liking Cat's songs and trying to distance yourself from Yusuf, Yusuf is liking his holy mission and trying to distance himself from Cat's music. I wouldn't feel bad about hearing/singing Cat's stuff.

Aparently, however, Yusuf is not so committed to his new persona as to walk away from the royalties generated by Cat, and I think it's prudent to question what use those monies are put to. This is a moot point for me, as I never liked Cat's stuff well enough to spend a dime on it, but I find Yusuf to be disturbing enough to where I wouldn't want to contribute to his income.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 12:03 PM

Rex, I saw the same interview that Callie did, and I assure you that he was supporting the conservative Islamic price on Rushdie's head.

"Morning has Broken" isn't all that old; the words were written by Eleanor Farjeon, who died in, I think, 1957. (She converted to Roman Catholicism in her old age, btw.)

I'm another fan of "Tea for the Tillerman," and I did buy the compilation with the theme song from "Harold and Maude," because I just hadto have it, tho' I hated myself. The royalties do go to mindless fundamentalism, which I despise in all forms.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Christopher Neylan
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 12:31 PM

Firstly let's be clear the fact that he converted to Islam is not the issue it's what he's saying and doing that is questionable. The question that arises in my mind after reading all the posts requires us to pull back a bit.

"Does a song (or any piece of art for that matter) have a life of it's own after it is created.

I have some songs I have written that I hate the melody, but I can't seem to change it. That's just the way the song goes. One of the main features of what we call "art" is the openness to interpretation. Which kinda means it doesn't really matter what the writer thought and meant it's what we get from it. And if this is true then what the writer thinks 20-30 years later certainly shouldn't matter.

More specifically now, the folk/pop group 10,000 Maniacs had recorded Peace Train on one of there albums, after Yusuf Islam's condemnation of Salman Rushdie, they pondered whether to pull it from further pressings of the album. (This is hearsay of course) But I read they decided to leave it on because the words and meaning of the song still rings true. Maybe we should all sing it and dedicate it to Yusuf Islam in hope he might take something from it.

Well that's it for me,

Chris Neylan (first time mudcatter)


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 12:35 PM

Thanks for your first post, Chris. It is great to have you here. And you obviously think your way through things pretty well. Welcome. Do yourself a favor and go back to the Forum Home and read through the Teal colored thread at the top. It will give you a good bit of information that will help you integrate into this (for the most part) lovable bunch of music nuts.

All the Best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Peter T.
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 01:35 PM

I have given up on these kinds of threads -- they seem to draw people who like to refer to others as "evil female she-dogs" out of the woodwork -- but just to note that the gentleman has recently unrepudiated his earlier songs.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 01:46 PM

First of we should be very clear that being anti-Islamic as asuch is just another form of sectarianism.

If you're talking about Christians, you've got people ranging from St Francis and Martin Luther King to Torquemada and Ian Paisley. You're talking about a whole range of different ways of seeing the world and treating other people. And we know enough about this to recognise what is going on when some sick version of Christianity is presented as being the while thing.

If you're talking about Jews, the same kind of things apply. And we've learnt to recognise where anti-semitism can lead. (That doesn't mean that some of the terrible things which have been done to Palestinians and Lebanese people should just be brushed aside. But that's basically nothing to do with religion.)

But the kind of anti-semitism that direct its attention to Arabs, and the kind of religious prejudice that would put the whole religion of Islam in the dustbin - that somehow seems to be tolerated and privileged by a lot of people.

There are some very nasty things done in the name of Islam. Mostly to co-religionists. You can say the same of Christianity. And there are some very good things as well, in both cases/

So if you don't like things that Yusuf Islam says or does, that's fair enough, so long as you get the facts right. But don't slip into anti-semitism (anti-Arab version).

And if we start stopping singing songs because the writers have some dodgy opinions, we have to say good bye to a whole lot of good Country music, just for a start.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 06:40 PM

McGrath, that is one of the most intelligent postings I have read on the Forum. Says it all.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 08:52 PM

Yusuf Islam took part in a concert last year for UNICEF (or one of those UNI somethings), and sang 'Father and Son', 'Peace Train', amd 'Morning Has Broken'.

He seemed to enjoy it too.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: SDShad
Date: 15 Jul 00 - 10:07 PM

Actually, Chris, only the first release of that 10,000 Maniacs album ("In My Tribe") included "Peace Train;" all subsequent releases had it removed. Darned fine album, with or without the song. I've seen copies of it both ways, but many more of them without than with.

I have to admit, I'm a little suspicious of all this. Yusuf Islam was traveling to Jerusalem with a VH1 "Behind the Music" film crew, for goodness sake. Hardly a mission threatening to Israeli national security. And as for the claims of financial support to Hamas, well, once a claim is made it's awfully hard to prove a negative, but I do know that great deal of his money goes to support the Islamia School, a Muslim school in London which he founded. The school was recently visited by Prince Charles, and is said to be of very high quality. True, its program includes religious instruction, but the same is true of some very excellent Catholic high schools I know of in the U.S. How much is left over for possible accused terrorist support? I've no idea, but funding for Hamas doesn't seem consistent with what I've read of Mr. Islam's current views on things.

Me I still love the guy's music. True, as Yusuf Islam he has embraced a very fundamentalist, taking-the-Quran-a-wee-bit-too-literally approach to Islam, one which I'm not at all comfortable with. He's embraced some causes and said some things that I don't like at all. But still, there's that school, and he has recently recorded music and done concerts for relief in Bosnia, and that's laudable regardless of the guy's religious beliefs.

And all too often, he seems to be the target of a reflexive anti-Muslim sentiment that's equally indulged on both the Right and the Left, and one which I find quite troubling. I'm not a Muslim, but I've found too many valuable lessons about love and kindness in the Quran, and in the words of Sufi mystics such as Hallaj, Rumi, and Hafez to go along with that sort of intolerance.

Me, I'm against religious intolerance even against the intolerant.

Another Chris


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Callie
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 05:13 AM

Lepus: I heard him talk about supporting the death penalty for Salman Rushdie.

I don't care to which religion people adhere themselves to. It's how you act towards others that counts.

This is not an anti-Islamic sentiment, it is merely advocating for the right of freedom of speech, and also for fostering an intelligent and free literary culture.

Callie


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 07:56 PM

I second you on the Sufi mystics, GUEST Chris. Especially Rumi.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 08:00 PM

Rumi


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: GUEST,mkustra430
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 10:03 PM

GAWD,,,,, give it up already !! If artists had their music shunned for their personal thoughts,way of life and/or beliefs.. no matter how bizzare...we would have a lot of silence around the world... Hate who you want. Buy and listen to what you love in music....If CAT himself kills someone/thing to make the music... I will stop buying.. but I would never stop listening to the sheer brilliance of his sound and writings.


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 11:43 PM

Folk songs throughout history have expressed sentiments and told stories. Some have been great, and some have been crap. None of them have been clear indicators of their writers true selves, any more than newspapers are clear indicators of historical events.

All we know of Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam is what we have seen through various distorted lenses. Our imaginations (as idealistic folkies) have completed the rest of the picture for us.

Idealists tend to make the best song writers. They are also more likely to see the value of religion.

What we have here is a conflict of misconceptions, not least those of the very idealistic "Yusuf".

Perhaps somebody should write a song about it.

"It's a wide world!"


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: bob jr
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 12:20 AM

countries have the right to not allow any number of performers into thier lands for various reasons up here in canada the goverment has refused entry to louis farakhan on any number of occasions because they deem his anti-semeitc sentiments to fall outside of acceptable speech (or if you prefer inside the boundaries of what is considered a "hate crime" up here) questionable behaviour leaves many performers stuck at our border (or in the case of someone like gil scott heron arrested at it) so if the former cat stevens wants to run with a fundamentalist crowd he cant expect israel to welcome him with loving arms wether he sings peace train or is looking for salman rushdie


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 12:45 AM

Tea for the Tillerman,Teaser and the Firecat,Catch Bull at Four...these were all gentle albums filled with memorable melodies and innocent sentiments. They were neither incisive or philosophical, but they were like children's poems set to music. I think they expressed what Cat was at that time, and they spoke to all of us on that level: we were actually fairly young and innocent. The music still carries that flavor for me, and the songs are songs I can share with my daughter on that level.

Oh very young what will you leave us this time?
There'll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to be a better place
Will you carry the words of Love with you?
Will you ride the great white bird into Heaven?
And though you want to last forever
You know you never will
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 04:59 AM

Callie: Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on what was said and meant by Yusuf Islam (goes for MAG, too). One thing, though: I was reading back to my fisrt entry on this thread, and I'd like to apologise for my 'tone' when I addressed you earlier. I got angry at a few previous entries, and by the time I read yours, I was in a pretty bad mood. So I'm sorry for acting like a jerk. You certainly didn't deserve to be 'snapped' at, if you can call something written that. Though that zander guy deserved it, hehe... This is one thread I REALLY should have avoided;) Thanks.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Callie
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 10:22 AM

Lepus: no hard feelings on my side. It's a discussion, not a punch up! Stuff like this generates deep feelings.

I'm usually on the alert for anti-Islamic sentiments as I have worked with young Islamic people in local communities in the past.

best wishes Callie


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 11:07 AM

IMHO it is important, in discussions like this, not to speak too broadly. It is also advisable to revisit our statements before posting to make sure they address the point (or points) without unnecessry emotional colorings. It is so easy to misrepresent ourselves when we speak from emotion and to sink ideas that may have intellectual merit through language that is inflammatory (intentionally or not) or that is imprecise.

I think that the press may have been guilty of overstatement and misrepresentation in handling the conversion of Yusuf Islam, his life since and subsequent statements. Remember that even "live interviews" can be shot and edited in a way that distorts the statements and views of the one being interviewed, for the sake of a news story. And Cat Stevens advocating murder strikes me as a story of the "Man bites dog" variety. I am left with the feeling that I can't really trust anything that I have read or heard about what he thinks, who he supports, or what he avows. I don't know what is in the mind and heart of Yusuf Islam now. But I know that what was in the heart of Cat Stevens when those wonderful songs were written spoke to my heart rather directly. Unless he has "de-evolved" (which some people seem to do with age and through negative experiences), I can't imagine him advocating the murder of anyone. And I guess I won't know for sure unless I can sit across from him and hear it from him directly.

May the Peace Train stop at all of our houses soon
Doubting Thomas a/k/a Bart


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Subject: RE: Cat Stevens aka Islam
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 04:02 PM

Not that I have much to say about this, but Richard Thompson-ever so respected and admired converted to Islam a few years back. I don't, as far as I can remember ever hearing him give support to, or being claimed to support terrorists or other Islamic pronounciations. Many people go from one religion to another-not me I am a pagan, the oldest religion, but that does not of nescessity change the person or that which he/she will become. cheers. Eric


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