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The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens

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Tig 01 Jul 06 - 08:03 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 06 - 07:01 PM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Jul 06 - 05:16 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 06 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Jon correcting a clone -;) 01 Jul 06 - 05:10 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 06 - 05:05 PM
Greg B 01 Jul 06 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,the real me 01 Jul 06 - 03:30 PM
lesblank 01 Jul 06 - 03:22 PM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 03:08 PM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Jul 06 - 02:53 PM
Peter T. 01 Jul 06 - 02:51 PM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Jul 06 - 12:40 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 06 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,the real me 01 Jul 06 - 11:45 AM
Peter T. 01 Jul 06 - 11:00 AM
Fiona 01 Jul 06 - 10:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Jul 06 - 09:56 AM
The Shambles 01 Jul 06 - 09:55 AM
Fiona 01 Jul 06 - 09:54 AM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 09:50 AM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 09:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 01 Jul 06 - 09:38 AM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 09:31 AM
Fiona 01 Jul 06 - 09:24 AM
Fiona 01 Jul 06 - 09:21 AM
The Borchester Echo 01 Jul 06 - 09:14 AM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 09:03 AM
GUEST 01 Jul 06 - 08:51 AM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Jul 06 - 08:37 AM
Little Hawk 01 Jul 06 - 08:34 AM
GUEST 01 Jul 06 - 08:20 AM
Little Hawk 01 Jul 06 - 08:09 AM
Les from Hull 01 Jul 06 - 08:04 AM
GUEST 01 Jul 06 - 07:26 AM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 06:07 AM
Lizzie Cornish 01 Jul 06 - 05:58 AM
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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Tig
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 08:03 PM

He was a failed pop singer who turned his brain off and found another way to be a big fish.

The Badger


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 07:01 PM

Jon, I don't know either. I'm just glad the media isn't following ME around! (I know...not in this space-time continuum.)


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 06:24 PM

I will use Yusuf's own words to answer your questions Greg. THIS is what he actually says, not 'seems to be saying', taken from that article on his site.

From Greg:
"He sems to be saying, 'Well Islamic law says Rushdie's subject to death for his blasphemy, but since the state as it presently exists says thats a no-no, then I'll not advocate his murder.'

From Yusuf Islam:
"What I actually tried to do at the lecture in Kingston, and subsequently during other interviews, was to quote 'from the book' what Islam says about the legal consequences for someone who commits blasphemy within the context of Islamic law where it is adopted and applied......"

From Greg:
"That's a far cry from: "Killing people in the name of God is
wrong."

From Yusuf:
"I never ever sanctioned people taking the law in their own hands or overstepping the laws of the Britain which is what the Fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini proposed. The truth is I never once stated support for the 'Fatwa'"

From Greg:
"He takes it further, as in the very next breath he seems to suggestthat 1) Interfering with the publication of Rushdie's work is a duty (i.e., freedom of speech isn't fundamental as a human right)

From Yusuf:
"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."

From Greg:
"and 2) the inability to exact retribution against Rushdie is
something which Muslims should address politically."

From Yusuf:
"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."

______________________________________________________________________

Right then, I hope I've extracted the correct parts Greg. To me it depends entirely on what you are 'searching' for within Yusuf's words. As I stated above, people 'see' what they want to see, in anything. That goes as much for me, as it does for you, or for anyone else...including Yusuf Islam.

At no time has he ever advocated the 'killing' of *anyone*. At no time has he ever advocated *any* Muslim taking the law into their own hands. At no time has he advocated *any* Muslim to go into politics to 'exact revenge' on Rushdie.

What he seem to say, to me at least, is that he merely stated what the Koran said and he also stated that there were parts in the Bible and other Holy Books which said similar things. He did NOT say whether he agreed or disagreed with any of them. You have chosen to take that as an admission of support from him. It is no such thing, it is merely that he did not express himself in the way you WANTED him to, but then...you are not him.

He also did NOT say what he was quoted as saying in the press article, which has undoubtedly caused him great distress over the years. Strange how we don't hear of the person who did this to him though isn't it? Strange how no-one has once asked how someone could do that to someone else, knowing what the consequences would be for Yusuf! Strange that one...but...not surprising, to me at least.

With regard to freedom of speech etc...yes..it is a very important thing, but I presume that for some people there is no line ever to be drawn in freedom of speech. For me, I'm afraid that sometimes there is. Take for instance all the terrible, in my view, paedophilic children's magazines that are around now, filled with the most deeply worrying things for our young people to read.

As a Mum of youngsters I've been into shops and asked the owners why they are selling them. I've taken these magazines down, opened them up and shown them just what they are selling! Given a choice, I'd have every single one of those rotten rags removed from sale to youngsters and I'd have the people who are printing them fully looked into.....and WHY? Because I care passionately about all the terrible things that surround so many of our young people at present. To me it is terribly wrong. Does that make me a wicked person? I certainly hope not!

Would I ever consider going into politics to try and get the law changed? With MY brain!!??? ;0)

But yes, perhaps, if I was more intelligent and I wasn't home-educating my younger child, maybe...although to be surrounded by such corrupt, self-centred, apathetic, controlling and spineless twits as seem to fill our Government at present, would deeply frustrate and anger me! (and I should point out that I'm a home-educator purely because my son could no longer cope with the bullying and the stress within school, as happened to my daughter beforehand.) But I wouldn't be in there to 'exact retribution' merely to try and get something changed, which I believed in passionately.

Salman Rushdie had his freedom taken away from him for many years, because he chose, knowingly, to walk a dangerous path. But that was his decision entirely. Many will say that the path should never have been 'dangerous' in the first place, but...it was and he knew it. It was his decision. And upon him rained much hatred. That, imo, was wrong.

However, he came over here and was protected for many years by Scotland Yard Officers.

Yusuf Islam NEVER EVER said what he was quoted as saying. And yet he has been villified for it. Just as with Salman, hatred pouring down upon him, but from a different set of people. None of it was his decision. He had his 'voice' removed. That, imo, was again, wrong.

Yusuf has been given no protection whatsoever.

Salman Rushdie has continued to live his glitzy life-style I believe. (I may be wrong about 'glitzy' there) Yusuf Islam has simply got on with his simple, but intelligent life.

Tell me Greg.....If Salman had had a FATWA issued against him when he had NEVER EVER written such a book, would that be OK then?

Yusuf NEVER said what he was quoted as saying...EVER! And yet, look what has happened to him....and it is STILL happening, as can be witnessed in this thread. And so to quote your own words: "DON'T *YOU* SEE THE PROBLEM WITH THAT?"

And lastly, once again from you:

"Don't you see a fundamental hypocrisy in reclaiming the Cat Stevens
song 'Peace Train' for Yusef Islam in one breath while advocating
the sort of theocracy that kills people for what they say on the
other?"

But he never did Greg. You and others have assumed that is what he meant.

He is now working hard to spread peace, to open Islam up to the world and the world up to Islam. He wants them to see that it is about Peace, NOT about Hate. He is trying to grab it back from the fundamentalists and give it back to the very people it belongs to. He wants to change the very 'teachings of hate' that drove those men to fly those planes into the Twin Towers in the first place!

THAT is what he is about....Changing it all..from within!

To me ALL and ANY religion should be about peace. LIFE should be about peace. Let's just hope that Yusuf's words of peace are not drowned out by words of hate.

And heck! I don't know WHY I am fighting so hard for this man, but I am...and I will!


Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 05:16 PM

Jeri, that appears to be the New York Times article Wikipedia (OK 1 day out) was refferring to. I'm still not sure if the report was correct though.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 05:13 PM

Less than a minute*.... damn!

*Between when Jon posted and I fixed it.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon correcting a clone -;)
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 05:10 PM

Jon, I found thisarticle? book excert? cached on Google. On the surface, it looks like he really said those things. I'd want to know what's missing, though. I'd want to see the show for context. He may have really meant what he said back in 1989. Good find, though. I wonder if anyone in the UK saw the show.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 05:05 PM

Me, I think you might have missed MY sarcasm. As for me missing yours, it wasn't relevant. The Bible, in fact, doesn't give some ridiculous (in this day and age) punishments. I was using one you gave as an example, not necessarily arguing with you, and nobody in their right mind or who wasn't looking for some misquote to attribute to you would believe that's what you meant.

Jon, I found this article? book excert? cached on Google. On the surface, it looks like he really said those things. I'd want to know what's missing, though. I'd want to see the show for context. He may have really meant what he said back in 1989. Good find, though. I wonder if anyone in the UK saw the show.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Greg B
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 04:28 PM

Lizzie...

You seem reluctant to address the material which I quoted (in
part) and which you subsequently quoted. You continue offering
apologias for it, when in fact it is of great concern.

To me, a direct read of his own writings (not what he said,
what he WROTE and what he KEEPS on his own web site) are
decidedly equivocal. It's hard to miss...

He sems to be saying, 'Well Islamic law says Rushdie's subject
to death for his blasphemy, but since the state as it presently
exists says thats a no-no, then I'll not advocate his murder.'

That's a far cry from: "Killing people in the name of God is
wrong."

He takes it further, as in the very next breath he seems to suggest
that 1) Interfering with the publication of Rushdie's work is a
duty (i.e., freedom of speech isn't fundamental as a human right)
and 2) the inability to exact retribution against Rushdie is
something which Muslims should address politically.

So I ask you Lizzie:

DON'T YOU SEE THE PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Don't you see a fundamental hypocrisy in reclaiming the Cat Stevens
song 'Peace Train' for Yusef Islam in one breath while advocating
the sort of theocracy that kills people for what they say on the
other?

Look, I don't hate Cat or Yusef. What I want is for Yusef to
reclaim the part of Cat that affirmed the goodness in all people,
even Salmon Rushdie, and wishes to be on the same 'Peace Train'
with him.

I see a glimmer that Yusef may be seeing how this sort of
fundamentalist interpretation may lead certain of his Muslim
brethren to determine that the people in the twin towers were
not, in fact 'innocent' and thus not included in the 'innocent
people' from his 2003 quote.

Perhaps that glimmer will be kindled by the music that softened
his heart in the first place.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,the real me
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 03:30 PM

Jeri -

"If the question had been about what Yusuf Islam believed as opposed to what he thought was 'Islam's view', then yes, he should have said he didn't believe Rushdie shouldn't be murdered."

And I'm sure he has had ample opportunity to say that, and I suspect that he would have, had he been sure he believed it. Surely he was aware that the Rushdie issue was a source of great public animosity, and, asked about it, would want to make it clear that he disapproved in principle of the proposed murder, if he did. The man is not a fool, is he?

"You ('GUEST,the real me') gave a perfect opportunity for a Christian parallel. If someone asked you what the bible says should happen to someone who curses his mother and father, and you replied, "He should die," is this not simiar to what happened to YI?"

Not really. Until I read this thread, if that question had been asked me, I would have said, "I really don't know". And why don't I know? Because I have never in my life heard a minister, priest or rabbi calling for the death of someone who cursed his parents, or calling for the death of anyone else for the matter (okay, I know that's going to get some response). However, if I had that knowledge, and were asked about it in the context of some heated public controversy like the one around the Rushdie fatwa, I imagine I would say something like, "There is a verse in the Bible that says death is the penalty, but no reasonable Christian or Jew takes that seriously today, and I certainly don't think this person should be killed." If I didn't give that clear an answer, I would make such a statement after I had had time to think over what I had said.

"Shock/horror: GUEST,the real me said that anyone who swears at his mom should be killed. What horrible person would think such a thing!?"

Am I missing something here, or did you not notice the "sarcasm ahead" alert? Unlike Mr Islam, I will make a simple statement of my position: I do not believe anyone should be killed for cursing his parents. (Or did you mean to illustrate how people's words get twisted and used against them? If so, then I believe I have just demonstrated what the suitable response is: make your position clear).

"People are working too hard to find reasons to hate Yusuf Islam."

I'm not. I've got nothing against the guy, and I've enjoyed some of his music. I just think some of his comments quoted in this thread are pretty weasly.

"At least YI is intelligently discussing the issue with people."

Obviously I don't agree that he is discussing it intelligently.

"I don't have to agree with him to learn something from listening to him."

Yup, I do agree with you there, and I think that's a productive approach to any artist or thinker.

Now, I'm in the middle of moving, so I probably won't have time to carry on this discussion; my apologies - on the other hand, the last word is yours, if you want it!


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: lesblank
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 03:22 PM

Bang AWAY, Lizzie !! Maybe it'll knock some sense into that highly confused and misinformed head of yours !! Cat Stevens died when yusuf was hatched and we'll never see or hear from him again and it really is a shame !!


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 03:08 PM

Oh hell!

From Me: "...then Heavens Alone knows who poor Yusuf Islam has felt over the years!!!!..."



NOOO! I didn't mean to say WHO I meant to say HOW! I truly have no wish to know who Yusuf has felt! Apologies....way too much steam coming out of my ears......

Time to go to the beach again....or better still....I'm going to put on my 'Best of Cat Stevens' CD....and dance!


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 03:03 PM

Blimey!!!!

Do you guys think of every single word you ever say before it comes out?????????

This is like some sort of witch hunt!!!!!!

THINK about ALL the things he has done since! Does NONE of that mean ANYTHING to you??????????

And.....he DIDN'T say what was reported IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!

Ye Gods And Little Fishes!!!!! Aaaarrrggghhhhhhhhhh!!!


I mean SURELY Mother Theresa must have said something in her life that could have been misconstrued or twisted....and if THAT had been reported by some prat of a journalist, would you have judged her soley on that....and not on the whole of the rest of her life!!!!


ARRRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!

I am now off to throw plates at the wall....and then bang my head hard against it, in total disbelief and utter frustration!!!!!!

And if *this* thread, in cyberspace, far, far away....has made *ME* feel like this....then Heavens Alone knows who poor Yusuf Islam has felt over the years!!!!


AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!



WHERE is Little Hawk? I *need* him!!!


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 02:53 PM

As far as I know Wilkipedia has pages submitted by any Tom, Dick, or Harry and therefore I always take it with a huge pinch of salt.

In terms of "relative reliability" I think it is typicaly more reliable than the majority of information I might pick up by reading this type of Mudcat thread.

As we have seen in this thread alone, there are many who would willingly say terrible things about this man with no conscience or thought about the truth or how it would make him feel.

My own feeling from this thread is that most comments, good and bad, have been made from fixed positions that nothing would sway.

I really don't know what to think about YI but I was hoping someone might be able to anwser my questions.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 02:51 PM

I am fond of Cat Stevens, but what he said is important. If anyone gets to say anything in public (this was a Press Release, after all, so he had time to think about it) and mean something else, then discussion is pointless.   Why should he be given a free ride?

He was confused, and probably still is. That doesn't make him any less an interesting singer. John Lennon said all manner of dopy things. Angelina Jolie has a message from the UN Declaration of Human Rights tatooed on her ass, but she is a pretty good actress.


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 02:45 PM

As far as I know Wilkipedia has pages submitted by any Tom, Dick, or Harry and therefore I always take it with a huge pinch of salt, unless it is something that can be verified elsewhere.

As we have seen in this thread alone, there are many who would willingly say terrible things about this man with no conscience or thought about the truth or how it would make him feel.

From being a young person, Yusuf has always been searching, looking for *something*, trying to puzzle it out, working out the whole picture. I feel he is far too intelligent, caring and articulate to have ever uttered those words above.

But throughout this whole thread, not one *single* word has made my faith in this man waver. Not one *single* word has dented my belief in him, where he is going and where he has the strength and power to take others. There is only **ONE** person in the world who knows exactly what he said and, most importantly, what he *meant*....and *that* is Yusuf Islam.

But people are free to twist and spin and many get much joy from doing that. But whilst they are twisting and spinning to their hearts delight, Yusuf is 'out there' working hard to bring peace, to open doors and minds, to build bridges. He is using his song-writing talent and 'wisdom' to make people think, to open their eyes...and that can only be a good thing.


"Some of the best lessons we ever learn, we learn from our mistakes and failures. The error of the past is the success and wisdom of the future." - Tyron Edwards, 1861-1941, Theologian

I should imagine that Yusuf learned much from that episode, and that it has given him an even deeper, inner strength, than he had before it happened.


Lizzie


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 12:40 PM

I don't remember this Rushdie/Ysuf Islam business. A couple of questions from reading the Wikipedia entry.
The New York Times reported on May 23, 1989 that Islam was to be on a British television program the following week, and was quoted as saying:

    [If Rushdie turned up at my doorstep looking for help,] I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like. I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is.
Was this statement (or a similar statement) ever made by YI? It is quite different to explaining what a text says.

Islam's most recent clarification of the issue is stated in a 2003 article on CatStevens.com
I presume this is the article Lizzie has quoted but what of his earlier clarifications - what did they say?

Overall, I suspect the root of it is likely to be bad/trouble making media and perhaps misunderstanding but I don't feel quite as convinced as I'd like.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 12:12 PM

If the question had been about what Yusuf Islam believed as opposed to what he thought was 'Islam's view', then yes, he should have said he didn't believe Rushdie shouldn't be murdered.

You ('GUEST,the real me') gave a perfect opportunity for a Christian parallel. If someone asked you what the bible says should happen to someone who curses his mother and father, and you replied, "He should die," is this not simiar to what happened to YI? Shock/horror: GUEST,the real me said that anyone who swears at his mom should be killed. What horrible person would think such a thing!?

People are working too hard to find reasons to hate Yusuf Islam. This is the same guy who wrote the somgs. As someone who doesn't follow any religion, zealots of any stripe can come off as scary to me. At least YI is intelligently discussing the issue with people. I don't have to agree with him to learn something from listening to him.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,the real me
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 11:45 AM

Mr Islam's quoted explanation of the Rushdie business is more interesting for what it doesn't say than for what it does. Things might have gone easier for him if he had come out with a simple statement such as, "Rushdie should NOT be murdered". Apparently he was unable in conscience to say that, and instead gave a vague explanation of the subtleties of Islamic law, and then went on to try to make Christians & Jews feel guilty for (warning: sarcasm ahead) demanding the stoning of those "who lie with animals" and the death of anyone "who curses his father and his mother".

I have no problem believing that the press distorted his position, but it seems to me that his explanations and rationalizations leave his position questionable to those of us who feel that blasphemers should not necessarily be executed, even in Islamic theocracies.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 11:00 AM

Actually, it is quite interesting to see how Stevens deals in his stumbling way with this difficult issue.   He is faced with the problem that all religious communities have when crucial tenets of their faith are not allowed by Western law. Western law deliberately refuses to let religious law have precedence, because of the religious wars of the 15-17th centuries.   There is little doubt that the Satanic Verses are blasphemous, Rushdie pretty deliberately set out to make the book blasphemous by picking on one of the "untidy" little threads in what was supposed to be an infallible book. The question then becomes: what do you do about it? In the West, we have separated out church and state, i.e. the churches have become fairly feeble (though the way things are going, one cannot be sure), and people are no longer burned at the stake for blasphemy -- but that was not so long ago in history.   If Christianity or Islam or any religion were back in charge of a state, then we can be pretty sure that blasphemy would be a death sentence.

The press release is interesting. To repeat it:

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."

He notes that Islam is clear about stoning adulterers. Is he in favour of this? Does he consider this part of Islam? Do Christians consider all the dreadful rules in Deuteronomy and Leviticus to be part of Christianity? So the question boils down to the subservience of Islam (serve God) to the local laws of the land.   If you are a follower of Islam, this must be seen as only a temporary subservience, just as the same is true for other religions. They are putting up with secular law until the whole world belongs to X, and then! But what if Islam becomes the law of the land? (Stevens gives the answer that people need to go into the political process, but to do what? Make Islam the law of the land? Or simply stop Rushdie?)

His more recent response to this is that one cannot take the interpretation of the Koran into one's own hands. Which is actually somewhat radical in much of Islam. It raises all sorts of other questions about who gets to say what the Koran means. But this is not a solution to the dilemma -- he is essentially stuck.    He cannot bring himself to say that religious law is wrong, nor can he say that it is unimportant, which is what Western law currently says.

It seems to me that, contrary to what he says, his statement only clarified the dilemma. A dilemma which (cf. Danish cartoons), does not seem to be going away.

Theologically, the answer is to stop taking religious speech as always concrete, and to see it as historically based. But that is a big problem for lots of people.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 10:01 AM

Aye well I can't be doing with fundamentalists of any ilk, be they of religion, politics or (gulp) traditional music......

fx


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:56 AM

In the words of another great poet of an earlier time -

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools
Or see the things you've give your life to broken
And stoop to buld them up with worn out tools.

Good thread and good points, Lizzie.

I must admit I have been a bit cheeky and done a copycat thread to see if we get as much interesting argument abount another pop idol / religious icon. Different religion though! Want to join me there as well?

Cheers

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:55 AM

All but our critics are fallible.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:54 AM

Oh dear I should have known better than to do this, I was referring to the interview he gave at the time of the fatwa on Rushdie. He was hoodwinked and pressed by the journo interviewing him, but I remember watching it he said something like he wouldn't spit in Rushdies dinner if he saw him in a restaurant but agreed with the belief that 'blasphemers deserve to die'.

At the time I was living in an area with a high Muslim population as well as working for some very posh Muslim folk and it was the subject of much debate. I'm sure Yusaf would agree with their saying 'Nothing is perfect but Allah'.

countess, Brondesbury Park ain't half as posh or prosperous as it used to be!

fx


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:50 AM

And I think, as Diane has illustrated above.....therein lies the problem.

Yusuf said nothing of what Fiona mentioned, but she has CHOSEN to interpret it in completely the wrong way! And that says everything I think!

People will see what they WANT to see! Even if that so often means NEVER seeing the truth, which is staring them right in the eye!

And FAR from being an 'advert' for a school or anything else, I found it interesting and uplifting to follow one man's spiritual journey and to hear what he had to say.

I've a great deal of respect for him. It must be immensely hard to be a man of peace and to have such hatred put upon your shoulders by those who seek notoriety through his fame.

To be innocent, whilst around you gather those who scream "Guilty!" is extremely difficult to live with. But...live with it he has..and imo, he has risen far above it all. Along the way gaining the respect, not only of his fellow Muslims, but of people from all backgrounds and other religions as well....and that takes a lot of hard work and a deep dedication and faith.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:40 AM

From a man who, according to Fiona and a few others above....wants people to die.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

"Out on the edge of darkness
there rides a peace train,
'O Peace Train take this country, come take me home again...'

March 2003

________________________________

With the drums of War echoing across the globe, it seems the vibrations have shaken everybody. Yusuf Islam has also been moved to align himself with millions of people across the planet calling for peace. Yusuf has just finished recording two songs, Peace Train and Angel of War. The two tracks are being made available to Radio Stations around the world and Peace Train will also be available for download here on this site.

"It's certainly not a return to Cat Stevens, but an underline of the message needed right now", said Yusuf during his recent journey to Johannesburg, South Africa where he recorded the tracks. Like many, his wish is to contribute whatever possible to help avert a forthcoming humanitarian crisis, the likes of which we have seen too many times before. "The words of the songs", as he says, "speak for themselves".



As a singer who sprang from a generation of highly idealistic free spirits between the 60's and 70's, I like to think the songs I wrote somehow held up an altruistic mirror to our planet's time and era. Though times have changed, it's a nice surprise to see that youthful feeling of anti-war sentiment returning once more to the cobbled main streets of Europe.

Peace Train is a song I wrote, the message of which continues to breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions of human beings and there is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again.

Thirty years later, as Yusuf Islam, I have more right and more reason to reclaim this anthem of my evolutionary Cat Stevens period, that's why I rerecorded it. As a member of humanity and as a Muslim, this is my contribution to the call for a peaceful solution to the dangerous path some world leaders today seem to be taking.



The present battle we see for global dominance, I believe, is nothing more than a clash of egos. So with Angel of War, I decided to revisit my legacy of music again and remould another old track, to reflect my thoughts and concerns about the questions to be asked of war today.

What many people don't understand is that there will always be an enemy: the egotistical soul within. The nature of Man is already prone to earthly lusts such as 'greed' and 'envy'. Together with 'pride', the three primal vices have plagued the human being since his first appearance on the bloodstained pages of Time.

Another Bosnia is not what the world needs; the devastation and suffering seen of recent history is ample evidence to support the view of every conscientious objector - of which I am one.

Let the words of the songs speak for themselves.

Peace be with you

Yusuf Islam"




And here is the link:
http://www.yusufislam.org.uk/articlepeacetrain.htm


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:38 AM

Actually, in the drippy hippy Greek's defence, all he said was 'Islamic law states . . . blah blah blah . . . ' Though it might have been a Good Thing had he also added that he didn't actually think fellow drippy hippy (at the time) Rushdie should be murdered, however tedious Satanic Verses is. What surprised me most was that Alan Yentob should have wasted so much time on making such a dreary film aimed seemingly at advertising an elite, exclusive, sectarian school in Brondesbury Park (a posh, predominantly Jewish, area of North London). A prima facie case for separation of church (allied to whichever deity of choice) and state, if ever there was one.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:31 AM

>>>Since this thread is about the 'wisdom' of the man I'd say he wasn't very wise to say folk who blasphemed 'deserved to die' on National TV.<<<


????????


!!!!!!!

Oh dearie me....


I'll leave that one for Little Hawk to answer I think.

He'll do it far better than I...and also, he won't be 'wound up' by a poster who follows me round from board to board.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:24 AM

Sorry it took me so long to read I posted before last few messages went up, not having a go at anyone, just my 2d worth

fx


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:21 AM

Well that's half an hour of my life I won't get back again!

Since this thread is about the 'wisdom' of the man I'd say he wasn't very wise to say folk who blasphemed 'deserved to die' on National TV. As a new convert he should have said he would have to speak to his teachers or something, as a former pop star he knew well the power of the media and it's more than a little disingenuous to say he was misinterpreted. Maybe as well as the Koran he should have read the bit of the Rubiyat about the 'moving finger writes and having writ moves on, nor all thy tears, nor all thy piety and wit, wash out a word of it'. It was a daft thing to say and he had no excuse.

I don't much care for his ideas on segregated schools. I think we should have less segregation not more. Again I think to say his schools are top of the league tables in Brent is disingenuous, these schools are highly selective and though thy they must have provision for children with special educational needs, they don't actually HAVE any special needs children. I can assure you the Muslim children of Brent are a normal mix, so some of them do have statements.

Many local muslims were not in favour of this school, the kids in Brent go to ordinary schools (some nominally 'faith' schools eg CofE) where the teaching of religion is 'off-site' and carried out in the temples, churches, mosques &c which IMO is as it sould be.

In one nominally C of E school in Harlesden that I know of, the Divali play is followed by the play about Hannukah and the Nativity play has the best Three Wise Men you've ever seen.

The Wise men come from the East complete with dancing girls in a caravan, some of the dancing girls are step-dancing, wearing tabards stiff with Celtic knotwork embroidery and some of them are dancing Bollywood style in their best saris or shalwar kameez because the most important thing at a school play is to get the value from the dress your granny bought you and to look nice in the pictures. The poor Jehovahs Witness kids have to go to the library because they're nt allowed to see it.

IMO that's how it should be, not faiths building a fence around their own. The far scarier Nation of Islam is usign this precedent to try to get their schools funded, this wasn't a good ruling to fund the Islamia Schools, you really need to look at the bigger picture.

I liked Cat Stevens music, 'Tea for the Tillerman' is a part of my life but that doesn't mean I think Yusaf Islam 'wise', quite the reverse.

fx


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:14 AM

A paper where truth, open(N)ess, balance and justice would be seen to prevail

Ah yes. Just like Times Newspapers before News International got hold of them.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 09:03 AM

I'd like to subscribe to The Little Hawk Daily News please.

A paper where truth, openess, balance and justice would be seen to prevail.


:0)


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 08:51 AM

I'm not angry Little Hawk though it sounds like you are. And it's NOT just one story, that's the point. There was a lot of talk of it in the media at the time from different sources. If his first reply didn't get heard widely enough he had plenty of opportunity to repeat it. He could have called a press conference if he'd wanted to. Don't try to tell me no one would have come.

I don't feel puffed up or righteous, just a bit cynical.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 08:37 AM

"One God Lording over all people"

I am always worried when loonies insist that it is THEIR opinion, and ONLY their opinion I must accept...

With so many loonies each insisting that ONLY THEIR interpretation is correct, any wonder some people turn into atheists?

The Gourd!
The Sandal!
The Gourd!
The Sandal!
The Gourd!
The Sandal!
The Gourd!
The Sandal!
The Gourd!
The Sandal!
The Gourd!
The Sandal!

...


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 08:34 AM

A story, a scoop, is written by ONE journalist. If it then becomes a successful scoop, it is repeated in a parrot-like fashion forever afterward by not one, but thousands of news outlets all over the world. The more outrageous or attention-getting the story is, the more it gets repeated...as long as the public still has any interest in it.

Yusuf's reply the next day, explaining his remarks in context, and pointing out that he most definitely was NOT in support of anyone going and killing Salman Rushdie got printed in ONE local newspaper. One.

And that shows you right there how fair and responsible a scandal-seeking press is. They don't give a damn about destroying anyone's life when they smell a good story. And they never have given a damn about it. That is public knowledge, Guest. That is why reporters are about as beloved as are lawyers, and if you weren't so blinded by your own need to justify your own prejudice against one man in this matter, you would see it plainly. You don't want to see it. You'd rather just stay righteously angry forever at a harmless person because it makes you feel all puffed up and righteous.

Ho hum. Your anger in this matter is misplaced, and it's a waste of bandwidth.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 08:20 AM

Les - Sometimes, sure. But ALL of them ALWAYS? Not to mention TV & radio. I can remember the reports at the time, as they happened.   

Little Hawk - I don't think the press is ALWAYS anything. Lots of lives get chewed over, as you say. But accurate reporting does exist alongside it, and quotes are not always distorted.

I am balancing what I heard then against what I read now, and I have my doubts. But this is never going to be resolved one way or the other because it's a question of what you believe. And I just don't believe him.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 08:09 AM

So, you think the press is always fair, objective, and doesn't joyfully chew people's lives to pieces for a good story?

Heh! Try being famous yourself for awhile and see...

Eric - Yeah, he's still collecting the royalties! Just the same as you or anybody else would if in his position. ;-) He's not bloody stupid.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Les from Hull
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 08:04 AM

So GUEST, newspapers never copy from each other?


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 07:26 AM

Yes we've all seen the retrospect whitewash PR job. I remember his stand on the persecution of Rushdie. Come on, do you really think every single newspaper & magazine & radio station got together in a conspiracy to misquote him? ALL of them? Yeah right.

He was a pop star, and pop stars sell papers. If a celebrity really wants to say something there's always some reporter who will print it. The media is a big place and I don't buy that anyone was muzzling him. I also don't buy the 'one single statement that was repeated' excuse. He's just singing a different tune these days & wants to rewrite history.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 06:07 AM

You may also like to read this, where Yusuf utterly condemns terrorism:


____________________________________________________________________

Yusuf Islam Expresses 'Heartfelt Horror' Over Terrorist Attacks

Singer formerly known as Cat Stevens says no right-thinking Muslim would condone such an act.
   



Yusuf Islam
VH1   


Islamic singer Yusuf Islam, who enjoyed several pop hits under the name Cat Stevens before becoming a Muslim, has condemned the recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

"I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the


indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States," Islam wrote on his official Web site.

A Universal Music spokesperson confirmed the comments were written by the singer, who drew the ire of many in the late '80s by reportedly supporting the Ayatollah Khomeini's proclamation of a death sentence for novelist Salman Rushdie.

In his statement, Islam emphasized that the terrorists' actions contradict the peaceful teachings of Islam. "No right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action," he wrote. "The Quran equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity."

Islam said his thoughts are with the victims and their families, and he stressed that most Muslims share his views.

His comments are especially poignant considering the backlash Islam encountered when the British press reported that he supported Rushdie's death sentence, handed down by the Iranian leader because the author's novel "The Satanic Verses" allegedly blasphemed the Quran. Some classic rock stations refused to play his music and 10,000 Maniacs pulled a cover of the singer's "Peace Train" from pressings of their 1987 album, In My Tribe.

In interviews last year to promote the re-release of his catalog, Islam said he was misquoted by the English media and did not support Khomeini. The singer made headlines again in July 2000 when he was detained and deported from Israel while at an airport in Jerusalem. It was the second time he had been denied admittance to the country since 1990. Two years prior, the Israeli government had accused him of donating tens of thousands of dollars to Islamic terrorist group Hamas.

Before becoming a Muslim in 1977 and changing his name, Stevens enjoyed a successful pop career, releasing 11 albums and scoring such hits as "Moon Shadow," "Wild World" and "Peace Train."

Following a 17-year hiatus from the music biz, he returned in 1995 and has since released three albums of Islam-themed pop, The Life of the Last Prophet (1995), Prayers of the Last Prophet (1999) and the children's record A Is for Allah (2000). He has sold more than 40 million albums, though few of those are from his Yusuf Islam era.

This report is from MTV News

_____________________________________________________________________

Here is where it came from:
http://www.vh1.com/thewire/content/news/1448948.jhtml

And here you can read several more articles about Yusuf, taken from his official site:

http://www.yusufislam.org.uk/index2.shtml


I hope this clears things up...but..I have a feeling it will make no difference whatsoever to the likes of some of the people above.


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 05:58 AM

Eric, I hope Yusuf continues to get many royalties from his music, for I'm sure he uses his money to help many people.

For all those above who presume to know exactly what Yusuf meant about Salman Rushdie, perhaps it would be wiser to read Yusuf's own words about it all here:

______________________________________________________________________



Articles: Yusuf Islam Talks about the Satanic Verses Controversy Previous - Next
Yusuf Islam Talks about the Satanic Verses Controversy
By Yusuf Islam
CatStevens.Com
March 12th, 2003

Firstly, it is very difficult to educate people in the midst of a political battlefield of smoke and antagonization, which is what I believe represented the atmosphere between the West and Iran back in the early 1990's when I simply attempted to answer a question presented to me during a lecture.

Sadly, 14 years later and right up to today, some people still try to connect me to this issue, whereas I had nothing really to do with it; I was tricked and foolishly fell for the trap.

My view today with regard to respect for treaties and international law has obviously developed since those early days of 'fire and brimstone'; the keeping of the peace and respect for the sacred is to me at the heart of Islam's and other Religion's prohibition against Blasphemy. But there are deep legalistic questions connected to this subject of which there can be many views, this is not necessarily the subject of this particular essay.

So…back in February 1989 I was delivering a talk about my journey to Islam at Kingston University in London, when somebody (probably a disguised journalist) mischievously posed a question about Islam's view on apostates and blasphemers. As a student who had studied the issue for the first time, I simply did my best by answering direct from legal texts which I had read.

Instead of reporting my response in context, which I naively expected, suddenly the headline in next day's paper read "Cat Says Kill Rushdie!" Well, needless to say, all hell then broke loose and my political education had really begun. Thank God the newspaper responsible, Today, has since folded and is now out of circulation; unfortunately the monstrous myth it created still survives.

What I actually tried to do at the lecture in Kingston, and subsequently during other interviews, was to quote 'from the book' what Islam says about the legal consequences for someone who commits blasphemy within the context of Islamic law where it is adopted and applied, I never ever sanctioned people taking the law in their own hands or overstepping the laws of the Britain which is what the Fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini proposed. The truth is I never once stated support for the 'Fatwa'

I was simply a new Muslim who had stated something which I considered quite plain and obvious and if you were to ask a bible student you know what the Ten Commandments were you would expect him to repeat them honestly, you wouldn't blame him for doing so; the Bible is full of similar headlines if you're looking for them.

On reflection, the Satanic Verses question was another glaring case of journalistic malice, a chance for someone to distort and damage another person's character or faith – in this case, me and Islam.

Today the myth that I supported the edict of Ayatollah Khomeini on Salman Rushdie still perpetuates. Even when music journalists review a record of mine occasionally, a few can't help regurgitating the same old story as if I have done nothing else of worth in my fifty odd years on earth!

As for my actual statements, forget it! They would never make news. Following the fake headline printed on 23rd February 1989, I immediately sent out an official Press Release explaining my true position – one of abiding by the law and letting the legal process deal with such offences – was wholly ignored, and was only printed in a local paper in Willesden, North London.

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."

I would also like to quote a letter I sent to the Viking, the publishers, on 8th October, five months prior to that lecture after I had been sent a preview of the Text of Satanic Verses, "I wish to express my deepest outrage at the insensitivity of Penguin Books in Publishing Salman Rushdie's book, 'Satanic Verses', This book is clearly blasphemous in nature and so deeply offensive to the Muslim Community…I urge you to give the contents of this letter your most urgent attention and take a responsible decision."

It is not my intention to say things did not become heated later during the debate, certainly there were times when I felt it necessary to speak out, emphasising the need to respect Muslim beliefs which must have sounded abrasive to liberal ears and which must have confirmed to them their image of me and my 'apparent' position; however, as can be seen from the foregoing, the true reality of my actual statements is light years away from the myth which has been projected.

One of the benefits - if we can consider it as such - is the motivation the whole issue gave in driving me back into the studio again. It was obvious to me that the subject of Islam was never going to be represented fairly by non-Muslim journalists and authors; it was really up to us, to help people understand some of the treasures this faith has to offer humanity, hidden as it has been by the smoke of political controversy over the years, particularly since the Iranian Revolution..

In the text of a Press Release during the launch of my first album, The Life Of The Last Prophet (Album), made after 17 years of absence from the Studio, in 1995, it read:

"The Satanic Verses was Salman Rushdie's view of the Prophet of Islam; The Life Of The Last Prophet (s) is mine! Rushdie's book, by his own confession, is based on fiction - mine is based on facts! Therefore people are free; they now have a choice, so let them listen and see who they are more inclined to believe. That is all I wish to say on that matter."

On VH1's Cat Stevens (Bio): Behind the Music documentary aired in October 200, again I was asked about the controversy. Below is a transcript of the response:

Narrator: BY THE MID 1980'S POP STAR CAT STEVENS HAD VANISHED INTO THE SHADOWS. NOW Yusuf Islam (Bio) EMERGED INTO THE LIGHT. HE WORKED TIRELESSLY FOR MUSLIM CAUSES AROUND THE WORLD. AND BY THE END OF THE DECADE HE HAD FOUND HIS VOICE AGAIN... AS A SPOKESMAN FOR THE ISLAMIC COMMUNITY. THEN IN FEBRUARY 1989 HE WAS DRAWN INTO A CONTROVERSY WHICH - FOR A TIME - WOULD ECLIPSE A DECADE OF GOOD DEEDS. WHEN BRITISH AUTHOR SALMAN RUSHDIE WAS ABOUT TO PUBLISH HIS NOVEL 'SATANIC VERSES', IT CAUSED AN OUTRAGE IN MUSLIM COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD. THEY ALLEGED THAT THE AUTHOR COMMITTED BLASPHEMY BY INSULTING GOD AND HIS PROPHETS.

Yusuf: I was contacted by someone saying there's a book coming out (er) and will you join a petition to write to the publishers, and that's what we did you know it was very simple.

Narrator: THE PETITION TO STOP THE BOOK'S DISTRIBUTION FAILED. THEN, THE ALREADY VOLATILE SITUATION WAS IGNITED. IRAN'S ISLAMIC LEADER, THE AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI ISSUED A JUDGEMENT - OR A FATWAH - CALLING FOR THE DEATH OF SALMAN RUSHDIE.

Yusuf: I found myself somehow being pushed up to the front of the vanguard of this kind of struggle (um) and being asked to comment.

Yusuf (TV clip): Our aim is an ideal society....

Narrator: WITHIN DAYS OF THE CONTROVERSY ERUPTING, YUSUF ISLAM FOUND HIMSELF IN THE HOTSEAT... PRESSED TO EXPLAIN THE QUR'AN'S POSITION ON BLASPHEMY. YUSUF - A RECENT CONVERT - SAID THAT THE QUR'AN - LIKE THE BIBLE - TEACHES THAT THE PENALTY FOR BLASPHEMY IS DEATH.

Yusuf: I'd done enough studying at that point to be able to actually sort of more or less quote you know (er) chapter and verse the commentary of religious texts based on the Qur'an (um) of which there are different opinions, I said, "…well yes it says this…" Next day, you know, the headline read, 'Cat says kill Rushdie'. I was horrified!

Narrator: BUT YUSUF SAYS THE NEWSPAPERS HAD IT WRONG.... HE NEVER ENDORSED THE FATWAH ON RUSHDIE'S LIFE.

Yusuf: I was simply a new Muslim who had stated something which I thought was quite simple and if you were to ask a bible student you know what the Ten Commandments were you would expect him to read that, you wouldn't blame him for that.

Narrator: APPALLED BY THE MEDIA'S INTERPRETATION OF HIS COMMENTS, YUSUF IMMEDIATELY RELEASED A STATEMENT TO CLARIFY HIS POSITION. IT READ,

"That is not to say I am encouraging people to break the law or take it into their own hands: far from it."

Narrator: IT WENT ON TO SAY:

"Under Islamic Law, Muslims are bound to keep with in 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 fulfill their basic religious duties."

Yusuf: In other words you can't take a rule in Islam even it is right from the Qur'an or the sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and suddenly apply it yourself. You know, I think I was a little bit naïve many times (um) perhaps I should have (er) thought a little bit more before answering (er) but then again you know I was expecting people to have good intentions but it's not like that.

Narrator: THE MEDIA, HOWEVER, IGNORED HIS ATTEMPTS TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

I know this may not put an end to certain questions and doubts in some people's minds about the subject, but my hope is that it will provide a clearer insight for others who may now be able to see the level of distortion which took place during the early days of this sordid controversy, and God Guides to the Truth.

----

1 My knowledge and study of the interpretation and application of laws to suit the circumstances and times, has enabled me to understand the importance of the 'illah - the causes - of certain legislative injunctions and other principles, without knowledge of which, a scholar of Shari'ah may not sufficiently equipped to make judgements.

2 In Exodus 20:7 the Third Commandment openly states, "You shall not take the name of The Lord in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless". It also says in Leviticus 24:16, "And he who blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregations shall surely stone him." Again, quoting Matthew, it says, 12. 31-32, he is reported to have said, "Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven." In addition regarding other crimes it says in Leviticus 20: 14, "And if a man take a wife and her mother he shall be burnt with fire"; also in Leviticus 20: 15, "if a man lies with a beast, he shall surely be put to death," and in Exodus 21: 17, "Anyone who curses his father and mother must be put to death."

_____________________________________________________________________

And here is the link to that article to prove where it came from:

http://catstevens.com/articles/00236/index.html


Here once more is the link from Message 1 to the video in which Yusuf is talking to Alan Yentob:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-688991723998377475


At 35 minutes in to that video he talks about religious lessons being too exclusive, too ritualistic, and how he wants it to be a celebration of life. THAT is why he started his schools, to teach inclusivity and tolerance.

At 37 minutes in you will hear how highly regarded he is within the Muslim Community, even more so than many of the Imams and the Scholars...and you will hear him say this:

"We need inspired leadership to guide us back to the elevated path of wisdom and away from the temporal politics of ignorance."

At 38 minutes he talks about Salman Rushdie. You will also hear him say that the day after he had these words put into his mouth, which he never said...he released a statement stating exactly what he *had* said...and you can even read it. That statement was NEVER printed by the paper that did this to him.

At just over 41 minutes in, you can hear part of his song, from a Charity CD released to raise money, for the terrible situation which had arisen in Bosnia.

"Oh they've killed all the little ones, while their faces still smiled. With the gun and the fury, they erased their young lives. No longer to laugh, no longer to be a child. Oh they've killed all the little ones while their faces still smiled. Now they're burying the little ones and they're making their graves deep. So the world cannot see. That tonight we may sleep"


In my opinion, this peaceful, compassionate and gentle man is being deeply maligned on this thread. It's not right....and I'll stand and defend him as best I can.



Lizzie


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 02:49 AM

Cat/Yusuf is still a good enough infidel to be collecting the royalties from his pop career.

eric


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 02:04 AM

Religion=good folk doing bad things


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 01:27 AM

Wow, thanks, GUEST, 12:29! A fatwa is mentioned, but the article doesn't explain what exactly a fatwa is. You seem to be quite knowledgeable about the subject, so could you shed some light? :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,12:29
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 01:06 AM

Ask Salman Rushdie

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/26/newsid_2542000/2542


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 12:50 AM

A fatwa being what, again, GUEST? Really, I want to know. :)


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 12:29 AM

Muttley - Take another look at the Koran. They CAN kill in the name of their Prophet and go to paradise as a reward. It's one of the things, no THE thing, that makes that religion frightening to non-Muslims. What premise do you think a Fatwah is based on and gets its power from?


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Muttley
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 12:16 AM

But if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and
above all CLAIMS TO BE A DUCK...

....... Then we must presume to have a creature of the genus Anatidae on our hands.

Reality check: Stevens wrote some great music - he also wrote some absolute rubbish - same as every other musician who has ever lived (with maybe the exception of Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms - and a couple of others - and even in THEIR day some of their music was looked at askance). Personally, I really like "Matthew and Son" and "Father and Son"

On the subject of "is he or isn't he" - HE claims to be a believer in Islam therefore he is: Much as the Christian faith would prefer NOT to have to acknowledge the patent absurdities of Mormonism and Jehovah's Mitness - they are stii Christian sects - thus Islam is also forced to acknowledge the Ahmadi sect as one of its own.

The bottom line is that Stevens (or Yusuf Islam if you prefer it) was and is high profile in that faith and was / is in a position to pronounce on radicalism and human rights abuses and practices within the Islamic world AND HASN'T.

As for "Man of Peace": he BACKED calls for the fatwah on Salman Rushdie and has reiterated and endorsed other "Jihad" calls over the years - NOT the position of a "Man of Peace".

And PLEASE do NOT compare the likes of a has-been 'pop music hack' with the likes of immortals such as Martin Luther King. Cat Stevens wouldn't even be in a league fit to stand in line to polish Pastor King's shoes!

And before anybody has a go at me for "Islam Bashing", think again, I have many Islamic mates - of differing outlook (Shi'ite / Sunni & Ahmadi) and I have fdiscussed this and other issues with them and have even stood with a couple of them in the face of discrimination / prejudice. I am also a practicing non-denominational Christian and I despise militant radicalism in ALL faiths whether they be Christian, Islam, Judaism, Ba'hai, Buddhist, Sikh, Calathumpianism or bloody Rock-worship.

NONE of it has a place. After all, the three major faiths on the planet today ALL proclaim tolerance and compassion at heir core - it's only the radical 'loonies' on ALL sides who claim the right to kill others in the name of God - nowhere in the Q'ran, Bible or Torah does God say "Thou shalt go out and kill everyone who does not believe the same as you".

Amen, Shalom and S'alaam

Muttley


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 09:44 PM

Yeah, I don't get this worshipful thing either.

As Cat Stevens, he made wonderful music that spoke to many of us at the time. In fact "Father and Son" was almost an anthem for me in its time, and it still speaks to me on a different level all these years later.
The "Tea for Tillerman" album was my liferaft during the turbulence of going to war and the aftermath of that. I can probably still sing most of these songs without much hesitation. I can remember the power I felt in the singing of the backup gospel group on the title track.

When he dropped out of the scene I remember being so disappointed, and mostly for selfish reasons. I simply loved his writing.

As to his writings and explanations as Yusuf Islam, I have continued being disappointed. He strikes me as a man who wants to mitigate the decisions he has made. Like GregB, I was, and am, alarmed and disappointed by what is left unsaid in his explanations.

I will probably give a listen to his new recording, but for me, Cat Stevens doesn't exist anymore. We will see how I feel about Yusuf Islam.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 09:43 PM

That is the defining characteristic of young adulthood, isn't it? ;-) (aside from good looks...)


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Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Effsee
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 09:17 PM

Hootenanny,..."My opinion of him then was that he was an egotistical little prick, just like so many in the pop music business."
What age would he have been then?
Didn't we all "know it all" at that age?


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