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The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens

29 Jun 06 - 05:13 PM (#1772260)
Subject: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

I've brought a thread of mine over from the Radio 2 board...hope this is OK:


I have always loved the music of Yusuf Islam. Many of his songs are as relevant today, for my children in their world, as they were for my generation way back when.

This gentle, wise man who withdrew from the music world so long ago, at the height of his fame, is now back with us all! He has a new CD due to be released shortly, no name as yet though. I can't wait to hear what he has to say in his new songs.

Here is his official website:

http://www.yusufislam.org.uk/yi2/index.html

I recently watched the Alan Yentob interview that he did with Yusuf, wonderful! You can watch it on the link below, or if it is not allowed by the Mods, just google 'Alan Yentob Yusuf Islam Interview' and you will find it easily. I very much hope the Mods will allow this link to stay, as Yusuf and Alan have important things to say that should be heard:

Yusuf Islam and Alan Yentob interivew:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-688991723998377475


I've always felt that Yusuf has an important part to play in the future peace of this world, a wise and peace-loving man. A man of great intelligence and who cares deeply about all people, as you will see in the interview. I hope that we in this country give him the acknowledgement and respect he so deserves for many reasons, apart from his music.

He tells Alan Yentob that he doesn't wish to become involved in politics because he feels that his message is in his songs. I agree with his view on that totally...and I very much hope that the BBC will be playing Yusuf Islam on every one of their programmes during the day when his new CD is released.

It was Phil Ochs who said:

"One good song with a message can bring a point more deeply to more people than a thousand rallies."

Where Do The Children Play
Wild World
Ruby Love
Old School Yard
Sad Lisa
Father And Son
Oh Very Young

So many great songs....and the one I love best of all....PEACE TRAIN:

Yusuf Islam and Alan Yentob interivew:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-688991723998377475


So...what are you memories of Cat?

And your hopes for Yusuf?


Lizzie :0)


29 Jun 06 - 05:15 PM (#1772261)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

Sorry, excuse the bit about 'the Mods'..that was a BBC R2 reference which I should have removed. Max's Mudcat Mods are beautiful! xx :0)


30 Jun 06 - 02:46 AM (#1772477)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: pavane

I do sometimes have difficulty in working out what the songs are actually ABOUT though. Some of the lyrics don't seem to make much sense (to me, anyway) if you look carefully.


30 Jun 06 - 06:03 AM (#1772567)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Folk Form # 1

A man of Peace! Oh come on. Retire at the height of his fame! No he did not. He was on a downward slope for several years and he knew it. I hate his fey insipid songs, but worst of all, I hate his religion. Think of Cat Stevens's support for the fatwah against Rushdie or the silence of the majority of Muslims on the subject. Think of the bombings in Spain and London, not to mention the countless suicide bombers in Israel. Think of the murder of Theo van Gogh. Think of the stoning to death of adulterous in Muslim countries-or the public executions. Think how Muslims managed to intimidate this country into not showing those Belgium cartoons. Think how the left wing in this country derides the religious right and yet gives support to Muslims in this country, who often have an equally reactionary agenda.


30 Jun 06 - 06:06 AM (#1772570)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Paco Rabanne

Well said Mr Penguin. I do love his earlier albums, but 'Numbers' and 'izitso' were dire.


30 Jun 06 - 06:16 AM (#1772576)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: John O'L

Yes, I too have a Mona Bone Jakon, and neither will it be lonely for long...

...or will it?


30 Jun 06 - 06:32 AM (#1772588)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

There's one of his hits you forgot to mention - "I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun".


30 Jun 06 - 06:38 AM (#1772592)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Get Real

Peace Train, wait a minute, I got religion!
Where was I
Kill Infidels, Kill Rushdie.
If that's what reading the koran does for you then you can blow it out your arse.
Cat Stephens sucks big time.


30 Jun 06 - 06:59 AM (#1772604)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

If some of the people above, whose souls seem to be filled with hate, would take the trouble to watch the video, you would hear Yusuf explaining what the press did and how they twisted things.

I have to say, that in all the things I've seen written on messageboards so far....and I've had many a *deeply* unpleasant thing written about me...some of the comments above have saddened and upset me more than anything else.

I am utterly ashamed and totally appalled on your behalf.

And it just confirms to me how Yusuf's message of peace and turning this world away from hate, such as the above words show....has to be taken even more seriously!

Sheesh!!



Lizzie


30 Jun 06 - 07:14 AM (#1772612)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

Cat Stevens is *not* a Muslim. He's a follower of the Ahmadiyya sect, which bears the same relationship to Islam as Mormonism does to Christianity. In the UK at least, the Ahmadis have typically taken extreme right-wing positions far at variance with mainstream Muslim opinion.


30 Jun 06 - 07:37 AM (#1772625)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

"Moonshadow"


30 Jun 06 - 07:52 AM (#1772631)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Shambles

Whatever - he and everyone else is welcome to their views.

I don't know how it happened and I am sure it would not happen today - but at my primary school we had an American teacher for a term or so. I realise now - that he was a visiting memnber of the Morman faith but all the stuff he used to tell us about his religion just went over our heads and sounded just like another fairy story. The story of the founding of Salt Lake City sounded like an episode of ITV's Wagon Train.

However, the rest of what this exotic young teacher brought to our West London lives and taught to us - I found to be a lot more value. He did not know much local geograpy but as a result of just this short time - I found out a lot about the USA and its geograpy in particular. I can't say that I can remember much else being taught to me at school being so interesting.

I supose what I am saying is that a lot can be leaned from well-intentioned charismatic people - whatever their faith may be.


30 Jun 06 - 07:56 AM (#1772635)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave Hanson

I saw that episode of Wagon Train.

eric


30 Jun 06 - 08:03 AM (#1772641)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Borchester Echo

So did I. The trailer belonging to the Family Of Colour made its own circle away from the much bigger Caucasian one when the wagon train got surrounded by the Native Americans. Or was that Blazing Saddles?


30 Jun 06 - 08:20 AM (#1772661)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: jojofolkagogo

Hello, nice thread... (well it could be !)

The epic story of the introduction of the mormon faith at Utah just happens to be TRUE ....

but I have to say, as is usual, the media (the silver screen) just LOVE to glorify things just a tad .... which makes for slushy movies, sad and joyous, etc - something to write home about and talk about, it is all part of the hype to get you to go see ...

but it DID happen ...

Getting back to Cat Stevens - well, the hateful post by Penguin Egg, I think just needs to be ignored - it certainly is a shame that some people feel such hate - everyone has a right to their own views of course - but generally I think the point is that Cat is a man of CHARISMA, which I think Jesus was, people listened to him, he had something concrete to say, and he (Cat) says it beautifully is some of his songs.

If/when anyone tries to promote peace they tend to get a slogging, look at MLK, JFK, etc - history shows that MEN just love to hate and fight generally, I think its in their genes. (just watch boys at play ...they always push each other around, bump, hit, scratch, berate, all the time - just WATCH !)...

I have THREE albums of Cats - Mona Bone, and I cant remember the other two, but AL THREE had some wonderful songs on them, I really MUST get them out again and have a listen, its been some time ...

thanks for the reminder ...
Jo-Jo


30 Jun 06 - 10:24 AM (#1772757)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Anglo

Charles Manson was another man of CHARISMA. There were a few more as well...


30 Jun 06 - 10:37 AM (#1772768)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri

Cat/Yusuf has, the times I've heard him SPEAK FOR HIMSELF, also been a man of wisdom and peace. When others have spoken for him, he's more like a stereotypical rabid wannabe killer. I'd rather listen to him.


30 Jun 06 - 12:38 PM (#1772848)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Greg B

Most of that interview was old hat...done to death by the
biography channel and A&E and VH1. Some of it I found to
be a bit affected...the opening visits to his old home in
SOHO...come on, don't tell us he's not been back in 40
years, he spends a good deal of time in London!

I grew up with his music. It was quite literally a part
of my spiritual formation coming of age in Catholic
school in the 1970's. And I like it; Stevens had a voice
that sounded like a smile.

His music was accessible...your average guitarist or pianist
could play it, and much of it could be sung by the average
singer.

It seems everyone approved: us, our parents, priests, nuns,
we all could listen to it and like it. It even started
conversations. Like folk music.

It's too bad that the pop star life and the singer-songwriter
were so at odds. Would he have chucked it all if he'd been
in the embrace of the folk music community rather than hanging
with Hendrix and making himself ill?

I'm glad he's recording again, and seems to have gone moderate.

At the same time, I find a disquieting tendency to continue
to re-invent himself. There is no question that he was a
fundamentalist during the majority of his post-conversion
period. From his manner of dress to his rejection of music
largely and instrumental music entirely, it was quite obvious.

And he was clearly on the side of 'bring about an Islamic world
under Islamic law' as opposed to 'live and let live.'

I find his clarification of his position on the fatwah against
Rushdie inadequate and unsatisfactory. Anything short of 'killing
people for religious reasons is wrong' was inadequate, and
remains so. You can't sing 'Peace Train' on one hand and,
as a high profile Islamic leader wash your hands of Rusdhdie's
situation.

On one hand, he seems to be starting to understand that
fundamentalism has its problems, not the least of which is
that it leads to extremism.

On the other hand, I wonder how much of his coming out of
musical retirement may have much to do with temporal needs.
First, there was a 'greatest hits' reissue. Now, he has again
picked up the guitar, that tool of the infidel that spewed
forth six-digit checks for years. And the explanation is
'well, I've since learned that the guitar was introduced
to the Spanish from Muslims.'

This kind of thing is supposed to be new news?

My hope is that he is sincere. That he is beginning to
realize that the inevitable result of fundamentalism
(of any kind) is terrible clashes and human suffering.

When I was halfway through the documentary, I was reflecting
on his taking of the name Yusef...Joseph. I was thinking "gee,
wasn't that about the time when 'The Amazing Technicolor
Dream Coat' was a big hit? I wonder if it was that Joseph
whose name he took?" Then, sure enough, he confirmed that
it was the Jewish patriarch Joseph who inspired him...the
one who was bought and sold.

I hope that Yusef is figuring out that Joseph was a
Jew who is a patriarch of Jews, Christians, and Muslims,
and is perhap taking the time to consider what that means.

Above all, I hope that he will be the one to say to his
brothers in Islam "stop this. We have to stop this business
of trying to establish theocracy." Someone has to, but nobody
is. Which is what leads to angry comments like penguin's above,
I think.


30 Jun 06 - 12:52 PM (#1772854)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

: Above all, I hope that he will be the one to say to his brothers in Islam

He doesn't have any. He's an Ahmadi. He is not regarded as a Muslim by anybody except other Ahmadis.


: "stop this. We have to stop this business of trying to establish theocracy." Someone has to,
: but nobody is.

Apart from something like 25 million Alevis in Turkey *alone* whose politics is explicitly anti-theocratic and has been for the last couple of centuries?

Theocracy is a minority position everywhere in the Muslim world. It just happens to be backed by a few powerful reactionaries with money, in the same way that Christian and Hindu fundamentalism are.


30 Jun 06 - 12:58 PM (#1772857)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Shambles

Charles Manson was another man of CHARISMA. There were a few more as well...

Perhaps he and others would not be described as well-intentioned.

Everyone has the right to their views. And no matter how persuasive - the individulal airing them may be - as long as no one is being forced to accept them and the choice to accept them or not remains theirs - that is the way it should be?


30 Jun 06 - 01:05 PM (#1772859)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Yes, I'd rather listen to him too...he has something worthwhile to say.

The video is a very interesting tale of one man's personal journey. He seems like an extremely nice person to me, well intentioned in every respect. I was not a particularly big Cat Stevens fan back in the 70's...I respected his musicianship, which was excellent, but his songs didn't really appeal to my taste much. Musically they were great, but it was just a style I wasn't into, that's all. It seemed too "pop" to me...or maybe it seemed too "sensitive" or something... ;-) I preferred Bob Dylan by a mile.

However, in retrospect, I have to say that Cat Stevens was a hell of a good musician and performer, still no doubt is a hell of a good musician, and appears to be a very good man too.

People who are so busy hating all Muslims that they can't talk coherently about it are as ignorant as the Islamic Jihadists whom they fear. They deserve each other, and let's hope they find each other and leave reasonable people like Yusuf Islam and most of the rest of us alone in peace.

I've known lots of Muslims. Most of them, as Yusuf says, are just people who want to live in peace. Like the rest of us.

Of course, if you don't bother to watch the video, you'll never really know what he says about anything, will you? And you can just plant some words of hate in his mouth the you made up yourself and pretend he is the fanatic you think he is in that case.

There are good people in all religions.


30 Jun 06 - 01:17 PM (#1772865)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri

From his own website:
The very first lesson that I learnt from the Qur'an, was the message of unity and peace. This was not that dark, foreign religion which I had expected. First it was talking about belief in One God Lording over all people, creatures and events in this matchless Universe - talking about us as Adamic in nature; children of humanity from the same Parents, Adam and Eve, belonging to one family.


I wonder how many who have made up their minds about him, did so based on misinterpretations and rumors. That whole thing he never said, yet persists in being passed on, about Salmon Rushdie comes to mind.


30 Jun 06 - 01:19 PM (#1772867)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Greg B

"He is not regarded as a Muslim by anybody except other Ahmadis."

That's up there on the dumbness scale with those who say
'Catholics aren't Christians' or 'Mormans aren't Christians.'

Of course we have plenty of Muslims who claim one another
aren't. Lets see--the Sunnis say the Shiites aren't and
vice-versa.

And of course the Orthodox Jews claim that at least
some conservative and reformed Jews aren't...

Yes, Ahmadi is a bit of a fringe. That's well known.

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


30 Jun 06 - 01:23 PM (#1772871)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

By the way, he appears to have gone through three distinct stages:

1. Carnaby street pop singer...young idol...quintessentially British 60's pop star...which is when he recorded "I'm Gonna Get Me a Gun", and it was NO indication of someone who intends one day to support terrorism. You look at him in those days, and what is really clear is just the youthful exuberance and the innocence. Not a harmful person in any respect.

2. 70's folksinger with the classic halo of dark hair, the great acoustic guitar playing, and the introspective songs. He became an absolutely huge star in the early to mid-70's....became quite reclusive after '73...and moved to Brazil for 6 years to get away from the attention of fans and media. He HIMSELF voluntarily bowed out of the whole "star" thing and all that goes with it, as is bloody obvious if you watch the video and listen to his story with any attention.

3. Gradual conversion to Islam.   In a process that did not happen suddenly, but took several years, he first became distinctly aware of God as a power in his life...and sought through numerous religions traditions (Christianity, Taoism, Buddhish, Islam)...eventually finding that Islam spoke to him the strongest. By 1979 he had turned fully to Islam and had decided to stop performing music altogether.



***

The "monster" that some of you who have posted here see in your own fearful minds when you speak viciously about this obviously kindhearted and totally harmless man is merely this: the monster of your own fear and zenophobia reflected back on you. It is a monster born of ignorance.

He had the wisdom to have it ALL (fame, fortune, women, drugs, money, success, adulation, all the fruits of the world) right there in the palm of his hand...and to realize it doesn't solve anything...and to walk away from it by his own free will.

How many of you would have that much wisdom...given the chance? How many of you are talented enough or focused enough to even make use of the chance in the first place?

One in a thousand, I'd bet. Maybe one in 10,000. Pisses you off, doesn't it? That might account for the extraordinary bile you choose to hurl at this innocent man for the "crime" of deciding to become a Muslim.


30 Jun 06 - 01:50 PM (#1772887)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Folk Form # 1

Oh dear, I do seem to have offended people, don't I? Well, first of all, the press did not misrepresent him as you can tell by his feeble defence of his actions. He did support the fatwah against Rushdie. He had plenty of time in that documentary to defend Rushdie's right to speak his mind without fear and to condemn the fatwah without equivocation. He did neither.

I cannot understand why everyone talks about Stevens being a man of peace. His commitment is to Islam, which is not the same thing. Someone compared him to JFK- "a man of peace." Ha! JFK got into office as a hawk, helped escalate the arms race, tried to assassinate Castro, and declared war on Vietnam, which had done nothing against the USA at all. All in all, a good comparison.

Why does Little hawk think that others and I are jealous of him? Where is his evidence? Maybe we simply strongly disagree with him and are saying so.

Incidentally, I have noticed that none of my criticism of Islam has being addressed, which is telling in itself. By the way, I am not full of bile, just anger-anger at the way Muslims often behave, and Cat Stevens especially.


30 Jun 06 - 02:05 PM (#1772899)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Shambles

Perhaps we can just ensure that all people have the right to say what they will - then we can judge for ourselves whether this is wisdom or not.

Attempts to prevent people from saying what they will and attempts to prevent others from hearing it - is certainly not showing much wisdom.


30 Jun 06 - 02:14 PM (#1772905)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Number 6

Matthew and Son ... You can't be late
a cup of cold coffee and a piece of cake.

I always have liked that line. Now that is words of wisdom.

sIx


30 Jun 06 - 02:29 PM (#1772912)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,number 6

Good points on JFK Penguin Egg ... he was also reponsible for the assination er execution of Ngo Dinh Diem ... by seretly giving assurances to the AVRN generals the U.S. would not interfere with they're overthrow of Diem's govertment and his subsequent execution, thus allowing the open road to U.S. influence .... a road that led to it's own demise. JFK conspiracy stories are always interesting.

Anyway ... I apologize for the thread drift ... now everyone can get back to they're choice of bashing Cat Stevens or praising him as a prophet of peace and enlightenment.

sIx


30 Jun 06 - 03:00 PM (#1772937)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

You're quite right about JFK, Penguing Egg.

Why do I think you're jealous of Cat Stevens? Well, I don't KNOW that you are, but I suspect you might be, that's all. It's a possibility. Many people are secretely jealous of stars and famous people...they may not admit it to themselves...they may not even be conscious of it...but from where stems the particular venom they direct toward the famous when the famous fail to please them?

Probably from jealousy, I'd say.

Anyway, maybe you're not jealous of him, maybe you are, it remains theoretical.

Islam does not equate to violence. You seem to think it does. That's a stupid assumption. It's as stupid as believing that Christianity or atheism equate to violence.

If you think any of them do...you're just expressing a blind prejudice. You cannot tar a whole faith with the actions of a few extremist members of that faith (unless you're a fanatic, that is).

I personally know plenty of Muslims here in Canada. Not one of them supports terrorism. Not one of them. Matter of fact, they are all very much opposed to it. Not one of them supported the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie either.

You can always find a few fanatics in any religion. So what? You can find murderous people among atheists too.


30 Jun 06 - 03:15 PM (#1772950)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

6 - Who says he's a prophet? I say he's a fine musician and a nice, likeable man.


30 Jun 06 - 03:34 PM (#1772965)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,number 6

I guess I exaggerated somewhat on the leaning of the Cat Stevens pro side.

Personally I never cared for his music, except as pre mentioned with the Matthew and Son excerpt. As to him being a 'likeable' guy ... well, I never met him, so I can't say, but I do have a distaste of his stand on his support the fatwah against Salman Rushdie ... I mean wouldn't any non-violent humane loving passenger on the Peace Train also feel an aversion towards him.

sIx


30 Jun 06 - 03:54 PM (#1772971)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Goose Gander

JFK never "declared war on Vietnam" any more than GW Bush declared war on Iraq. But you are right, neither can be called a 'man of peace'. As for Cat Stevens, of course it is ridiculous to view him as the personification of Islam and condemn him for everything from suicide bombers to mob violence, but I do think he should have spoken out against the Rushdie fatwa (not that he was responsible for it, or could have ended it).


30 Jun 06 - 03:58 PM (#1772973)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

: "He is not regarded as a Muslim by anybody except other Ahmadis."
: That's up there on the dumbness scale with those who say
: 'Catholics aren't Christians' or 'Mormans aren't Christians.'

I don't know anybody but a Mormon who would regard Mormons as Christian.

And I don't know any Catholic or Protestant who would regard someone on the other side of that divide as not being Christian.

The two situations are basically different. Mormonism adds another prophetic revelation mediated by an angel to Christianity, in the same way that Islam did.


: Lets see--the Sunnis say the Shiites aren't and vice-versa.

They don't. Neither way. It's a doctrinal disagreement as with the Prod/Mick schism; they recognize different *human* authorities, not different supernatural ones.

The Rushdie affair is the least of the Ahmadis' reactionary influence in the UK. They have consistently campaigned for separate and inferior education for girls - mainstream Muslim opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of normal state education for both sexes. In their campaign they've made a point of seeking out allies from the most repressive tendencies in Christianity.


30 Jun 06 - 04:14 PM (#1772982)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

"I don't know anybody but a Mormon who would regard Mormons as Christian."

Heh! Spectacular example of religious prejudice in action. Look, if someone says he's a Christian, it's nobody else's business to say he's not. Same goes for anyone who says he's a Muslim.

As for whether his way of being a Christian or a Muslim suits you, well, that's another matter altogether.

Every culture has in its makeup a number of common habits and attitudes that are not agreed to or liked by people in other cultures. That's life. That's the way it is. To condemn Cat/Yusuf for the various aspects of Muslim culture YOU don't like is about as pointless as him condeming you for something similar that you take for granted that he doesn't like.

No culture is perfect. No religion is perfect. No adherent of any religion is perfect either...and YOU aren't perfect.

So my advice is: don't cast the first stone.


30 Jun 06 - 04:17 PM (#1772984)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Number 6

May I suggest we try to refrain from digging into discussions on religion ... it certainly will go nowhere except for long linguring posts of the most bigoted hateful nature.

sIx


30 Jun 06 - 04:21 PM (#1772990)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Effsee

Hear,hear,sIx.


30 Jun 06 - 04:35 PM (#1772994)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave the Gnome

I disagree - It's nice to see that Penguin Egg spouts his bollocks in places other than on my Mona Bone Jakon thread.

Gives me a nice warm feeling. Down below...

The line that is.

:D (tG)


30 Jun 06 - 05:14 PM (#1773021)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Folk Form # 1

Little Hawk, believe me, I am not a jealous man. If I was, I would be jealous of everyone whom I admire and who is successful. I would be jealous of Bert Jansch, of Dylan, Springsteen, Neil Young, Charles Mingus, and loads of others. (Now these are people to be jealous of.)I can't prove I'm not jealous as you can prove I am: which makes your point totally pointless and a little unfair.

Just to clear things up, I am not tarring all Muslims with the same brush. I have known and worked with muslims for the last 25 years and have got on with them, but that does not mean that I cannot have issues with them, as I do. If I had launched an attack on right wing christian fundalmentalists, I expect that I would have the support of most of those attackng me now.

Dave the Gnome, I sprout my bollocks all over the place, as indeed, you do. It is the nature of free speech.


30 Jun 06 - 05:20 PM (#1773026)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave the Gnome

That is indeed yor prerogative, Penguin Egg. Please feel free to spout your invective as long as you like. The longer you do it the sooner people will see you for what you are. Lets take a line from your own song.

A stranger to the truth is he
There's not a lie he hasn't told.

Cheers

:D (tG)


30 Jun 06 - 05:20 PM (#1773027)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Borchester Echo

I sprout my bollocks all over the place

Good grief, did I really want to know that? . . . (turning the page rapidly and swiftly moving on . . . )


30 Jun 06 - 05:21 PM (#1773029)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

This thread has become very interesting.

It has opened my eyes to what Yusuf was talking about....How words are put into his mouth by people in the press....just as PE above is doing right now. He talks as if he were there when Yusuf allegedly said those words. He was not. The only people who know what was truly said are Yusuf and the reporter.

It is so easy for people to twist and spin, to lie, to point, to accuse, to make others believe what *they* want them to believe, to put a new 'angle' on something and to lead others astray, to warp, to bend....to want nothing but to destroy.....and amongst all of this, innocent people are made to suffer.

I trust what Yusuf says.

I do not trust PE above.

And....I trust Little Hawk too. But then, Little Hawk's spirit is open and wise.

PE...you (imo) still have much to learn.


Lizzie


30 Jun 06 - 05:27 PM (#1773031)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave the Gnome

PE has nothing to learn, Lizzie. He already knows everything. As I said on the Mona Bone Jakon thread. Don't get involved in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

Cheers

DtG


30 Jun 06 - 05:36 PM (#1773039)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

Dave.....roughly how far back is your thread? I'd like to read what's on there.

I hope it isn't too new....didn't mean to step on any toes!


Lizzie :0)


30 Jun 06 - 05:37 PM (#1773040)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave the Gnome

Incidentaly - just noticed 2 quotes from the same source. (Guess who?)

Quote 1. (said of Cat Stevens) but worst of all, I hate his religion.

Quote 2. Just to clear things up, I am not tarring all Muslims with the same brush. I have known and worked with muslims for the last 25 years and have got on with them, but that does not mean that I cannot have issues with them, as I do.

Anyone find anything vaguely incongruous about a man who hates Islam working with Muslims for 25 years and getting on with them? If he hates Islam so much then I guess the Moslims he works with must be a very forgiving lot to get on with him so.

:D (tG)


30 Jun 06 - 05:39 PM (#1773041)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

Cancel my request Dave....I've just found your thread! (looks like we posted at the same time there too)

thread.cfm?threadid=92556&messages=34


30 Jun 06 - 05:44 PM (#1773044)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave the Gnome

Sorry, Lizzie, cross post. Mine is nothing to do with yours at all really. Just look below the line at the 'Mona Bone Jakon' thread. It is a (semi) serious question from me about what a Mona Bone Jakon is. We do find out but I was probably better not knowing;-) I have asked that either this thread be classed as BS or mine be classed as music - Nothing personal about it.

Just that they have both now been hijacked by anti-Moslem feelings. Such is the way of the world. We have to let the disadvantaged vent their feelings occasionaly. It is the only way they can feel good about themselves:-)

DtG


30 Jun 06 - 05:44 PM (#1773045)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Have any of you actually met the guy? I saw him a couple of times when he was Stevie Adams singing upstairs in a pub not far from where he used to wash up in his father's restaurant. I also met him shortly after he became Cat Stevens. My opinion of him then was that he was an egotistical little prick, just like so many in the pop music business. Like 95% of pop music his in my humble opinion was banal and doesn't belong on what I thought was a site more into folk oriented music.
On seeing the original message on this thread I was convinced that it was nothing but bumf posted by one of his record company's PR people and I'm still not sure. Remember,there's no such thing as bad publicity.


30 Jun 06 - 05:45 PM (#1773046)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

You may indeed not be jealous of anyone famous, PE. I was speaking about people in a general way, and you may be an exception.

I'm glad to hear you are not tarring all Muslims with the same brush.

One reporter chose to quote (probably misquote) Yusuf, most likely out of context, in order to sell copy (which is why the press exists). Are reporters generally scrupulously fair? Or are they out to get a scoop which will attract attention?

Give that some consideration and consider the possibility that you are being a little unfair toward Mr Yusuf Islam. I see nothing in his personal history to suggest that he would have been in favour of assassinating an author over a book he wrote. Matter of fact, it's damn silly to think so.

Being not much of a fan of Cat Stevens back then in the 70's, as I said before, I only went to one of his shows...I'd say around 1973. It was at Massey Hall in Toronto. Well, I was impressed. He did a superb performance. I was the one who was jealous, I can tell you....particularly of his guitar work. It made me feel like hanging my own guitar up or selling it. He was one hell of a fine performer, whether or not one liked his particular style of songwriting. I took him a bit more seriously after that, although I didn't listen to his stuff all that much.

With the passage of many years I have become less picky and judgemental than I was at age 25. I now appreciate the craftsmanship that went into his melodies and guitar parts and singing...very, very good quality work indeed. That is a smart and creative man there, and one capable of doing more than just superficial thinking.


30 Jun 06 - 06:06 PM (#1773064)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

>>>On seeing the original message on this thread I was convinced that it was nothing but bumf posted by one of his record company's PR people and I'm still not sure. Remember,there's no such thing as bad publicity.<<<<

Trust me Hootie....I DO NOT work for Yusuf Islam's record company, although I'm very flattered that you could remotely think I do! I just like putting in *loads* of links and making a post 'come alive' by using as much information as I can.

You just can't please some people can you? ;0)

And Dave.....Oh Nooooooooooo!!!!! The BBC have closed so many of my threads lately....for NO reason whatsoever....and now you've asked for this to be moved too....

Oh! I am getting SUCH a complex! ;0)


30 Jun 06 - 06:14 PM (#1773068)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

There's nothing like a spiteful mind to seek out evidence of wrongdoing and wrongful intention under every stone, is there?

Heh!

If someone out there really thinks there is "no such thing as bad publicity", they might recall what happened to Sinead O'Connor's career after that little incident concerning the Pope...


30 Jun 06 - 07:11 PM (#1773113)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Greg B

I'd certainly be jealous of Cat Stevens talent. And perhaps
of his looks, in the day. Taken together, he probably collected
more crumpet than a fleet of E-Types.

I'm not envious at all of his descent into the harried world of
a drugged-out tubercular pop-star in the grip of labels, producers,
and managers. That had to really stink. Probably played hell with
the muse, as well.

As to the Rushdie thing, it's worthwhile to see what he said about
it in 2003: http://catstevens.com/articles/00236/index.html

I find it quite telling, the way he dances around the issue. In
particular, the following:

"After confirming that Islamic Law considers Blasphemy without repentance as a capital offence, I stated clearly, "Under the Islamic law, Muslims are bound to keep within the limits of the law of the country in which they live, providing that it does not restrict the freedom to worship and serve God and fulfil their basic religious duties (Fard 'Ayn). One must not forget the ruling in Islam is also very clear about adultery, stealing and murder, but that doesn't mean that British Muslims will go about lynching and stoning adulterers, thieves and murders. If we can't get satisfaction within the present limits of the law, like a ban on this blasphemous book, 'Satanic Verses' which insults God and His Prophets – including those Prophets honoured by Christians, Jews as well as Muslims – this does not mean that we should step outside of the law to find redress. No. If Mrs Thatcher and her Government are unwilling to listen to our pleas, if our demonstrations and peaceful lobbying does not work, then perhaps the only alternative is for Muslims to get more involved in the political process of this country. It seems to be the only way left for us."

Get more involved in the political process...why?

"...the present limits of the law..." is a telling
prelude to this. Present limits.

Let's change the law, shall we? Maybe go back to
drawing and quartering?

There seems a clear intent to make Islamic law (clearly not
ruling out silencing those like Rushdie either by force of
law or physical force) the law of the land or the world.

This, to me, is unacceptable. The descent into the idea that
theocracy makes any sense in a free society (and that anything
but a free society is to be called civilized) is just unacceptable
to me. I hope it is to others.

This whole notion of the theocratic state is, to me, a clear and
present danger as an undercurrent of Islam from its foundation until
the present day.

What I don't see from Yusef Islam is a repudiation of the idea that
'blasphemy' (as defined by Islamic authorities) ought NOT be a
capitol crime. Along with adultery, apostasy, theft, and indeed
murder. The idea that civilized society has risen above those
kinds of interpretation of the Koran, the Bible, and other
documents held sacred by great religions.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the passengers on Yusef Islam's
new 'Peace Train' may be dissenting theologians, accused blasphemers,
drawers of irreverant cartoons, adulterers, and other people who
offend Islamic 'law.' And that that 'Peace Train' is on its way
to a camp, complete with execution and disposal facilities. And
that the infidels' transportation there will allow good Muslims
to live in their version of 'peace.'

You may think that I'm flirting with the classic mid-20th-century
Fascist analogy and its associated hyperbole and over-use.

I am not.

I fear that world vision, because I'd be on that train, along with
most of the people here.

But that vision is also what gave guys like Mohammed Atta
license in their conscience to fly airplanes into buildings.

This is what guys like Yusef Islam don't quite 'get.'

And to me, it's clear from what he's written.

It also appears to me from his recent interview that he may
be revising that point of view.

Let's hope so.


30 Jun 06 - 07:24 PM (#1773123)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: robomatic

I thought the original post was quite nice but a bit too too much in the worshipful daughter of wisdom role. Nevertheless, the former Cat Stevens and his brilliant albums of the 70s had a permanent effect on me useless to amend or deny should I wish to and I don't. The fact that he found religion whatever that is is fine - for him. I've heard him interviewed and he seemed to have a need for a "one true faith" - a need that was bleeding out in his songs, to hear him tell it. This is a feeling that I do not share, that sense of a need for a single meaning in denial of all others. Nevertheless, the man is limited, but his works have gone much farther than the rest of him ever will. I respect the man, but embrace the works. They are not his any more.
They are mine, and yours.

"Longer boats are coming to win us, they're coming to win us
Longer boats are coming to win us, hold onto the shore, or
They'll be taking the keys from the door."


30 Jun 06 - 07:28 PM (#1773125)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Anonny Mouse

Yusuf was more Yus-Ful as "Cat Stevens." I never "got" his whole conversion bit, or the sect he converted to.

Some TV aired bio on him a coupla years back showed him romping around in a robe, singing nice little Islamic folk songs to some kids. And while he may have not been at the zenith of his career when he had this "epiphany" he wasn't exactly down and out either. Concerts alone wouldda kept him rolling in the green.

I lost a lot of admiration for him through it all...already two name changes. Ho hum. Peace Train my butt.


30 Jun 06 - 07:34 PM (#1773128)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

People have to accept the fact that other people change. Parents and fans both seem to have real trouble with that concept.

Note the fooferaw it has raised every time Bob Dylan changed, and you can see the pattern. Parents and fans both seem to forget that they don't own the objects of their affection.


30 Jun 06 - 09:17 PM (#1773191)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Effsee

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?


30 Jun 06 - 09:43 PM (#1773206)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

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


30 Jun 06 - 09:44 PM (#1773208)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Big Mick

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


01 Jul 06 - 12:16 AM (#1773269)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Muttley

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


01 Jul 06 - 12:29 AM (#1773273)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

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?


01 Jul 06 - 12:50 AM (#1773276)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lepus Rex

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


01 Jul 06 - 01:06 AM (#1773283)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,12:29

Ask Salman Rushdie

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


01 Jul 06 - 01:27 AM (#1773288)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lepus Rex

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


01 Jul 06 - 02:04 AM (#1773295)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Shambles

Religion=good folk doing bad things


01 Jul 06 - 02:49 AM (#1773302)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave Hanson

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

eric


01 Jul 06 - 05:58 AM (#1773359)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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


01 Jul 06 - 06:07 AM (#1773364)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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.


01 Jul 06 - 07:26 AM (#1773396)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

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.


01 Jul 06 - 08:04 AM (#1773424)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Les from Hull

So GUEST, newspapers never copy from each other?


01 Jul 06 - 08:09 AM (#1773428)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

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.


01 Jul 06 - 08:20 AM (#1773433)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

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.


01 Jul 06 - 08:34 AM (#1773437)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

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.


01 Jul 06 - 08:37 AM (#1773440)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Fooles Troupe

"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!

...


01 Jul 06 - 08:51 AM (#1773442)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

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.


01 Jul 06 - 09:03 AM (#1773445)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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)


01 Jul 06 - 09:14 AM (#1773447)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Borchester Echo

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.


01 Jul 06 - 09:21 AM (#1773452)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona

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


01 Jul 06 - 09:24 AM (#1773454)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona

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


01 Jul 06 - 09:31 AM (#1773457)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

>>>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.


01 Jul 06 - 09:38 AM (#1773461)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Borchester Echo

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.


01 Jul 06 - 09:40 AM (#1773464)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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


01 Jul 06 - 09:50 AM (#1773473)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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.


01 Jul 06 - 09:54 AM (#1773475)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona

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


01 Jul 06 - 09:55 AM (#1773477)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Shambles

All but our critics are fallible.


01 Jul 06 - 09:56 AM (#1773479)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Dave the Gnome

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)


01 Jul 06 - 10:01 AM (#1773481)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona

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

fx


01 Jul 06 - 11:00 AM (#1773515)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Peter T.

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.


01 Jul 06 - 11:45 AM (#1773546)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,the real me

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.


01 Jul 06 - 12:12 PM (#1773565)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: 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.

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.


01 Jul 06 - 12:40 PM (#1773573)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon

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.


01 Jul 06 - 02:45 PM (#1773640)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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


01 Jul 06 - 02:51 PM (#1773644)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Peter T.

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.


01 Jul 06 - 02:53 PM (#1773648)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon

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.


01 Jul 06 - 03:03 PM (#1773652)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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!!!


01 Jul 06 - 03:08 PM (#1773653)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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!


01 Jul 06 - 03:22 PM (#1773658)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: lesblank

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 !!


01 Jul 06 - 03:30 PM (#1773662)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,the real me

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!


01 Jul 06 - 04:28 PM (#1773681)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Greg B

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.


01 Jul 06 - 05:05 PM (#1773698)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri

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.


01 Jul 06 - 05:10 PM (#1773702)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon correcting a clone -;)

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.


01 Jul 06 - 05:13 PM (#1773704)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri

Less than a minute*.... damn!

*Between when Jon posted and I fixed it.


01 Jul 06 - 05:16 PM (#1773708)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon

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.


01 Jul 06 - 06:24 PM (#1773742)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

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)


01 Jul 06 - 07:01 PM (#1773757)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Jeri

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.)


01 Jul 06 - 08:03 PM (#1773779)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Tig

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

The Badger


01 Jul 06 - 09:00 PM (#1773803)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Fooles Troupe

"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!"

"First remove the beam from your own eye, before you seek to remove the mote from the eye of your neighbour"


01 Jul 06 - 09:08 PM (#1773806)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Fooles Troupe

"and then bang my head hard against it, in total disbelief and utter frustration!!!!!!"

Please don't stop on my account....


02 Jul 06 - 04:12 AM (#1773893)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Keef

At the time of the Rushdie affair I was outraged that the right to free speech was suddenly overturned in deference to the Islamic religion.
My memory may be less than perfect but as I recall it Cat Stephens was enthusiastic about the death sentence upon Rushdie being carried out.
Here in Australia another new convert to Islam, the boxer Anthony Mundine stated in an interview that Americans deserved the 911 attack.
As a devout atheist who loves a beer and doesn't want to kill anyone I feel uncomfortable with the often stated aims of Islam that do not seem to encourage tolerance and coexistence.
I think that Yusuf Islam is being disingenuious and self serving in claiming that he did not really encourage the murder of Rushdie, he most certainly did not speak up in support of Rushdie's right to free speech and personal safety. To this day Rushdie has to remain in hiding.


02 Jul 06 - 04:39 AM (#1773902)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

Foolestroupe, perhaps before you quoted what you did, you should have read what I said here:

"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."

*Everyone* interprets things in a different manner. I'll leave you all to battle it out though, and search for articles and words to condemn.

But remember, this was 14 years ago. Since that time Yusuf has done much to open the minds of many in the Muslim world. He cannot do it overnight, he cannot do it alone...and he has to do it in the way that he knows will best work. His words, once more, from the documentary above, where he was addressing many Muslim leaders.

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

Right, that's almost the last word from me in here. I'll leave people to twist and spin. And here, really are my last words.

I wish Yusuf success in his peaceful mission....and I wish him love.


Lizzie :0)


02 Jul 06 - 05:23 AM (#1773921)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona

Jon, Jeri,

thats the documentery I was talking about. Maybe a World in Action special? It was setup like a courtroom with lots of chattering class authors and IMO Yusaf Islam did himself and his new religion no favours when he made the remarks he did. I think he was ill-used by the programme makers, but more fool him for getting involved, he did know thw power and pitfalls of the media.

At the time the fatwa was declared on Rushdie, most folk didn't really know what it meant, but when books were being burned in the street (book burning fills me with horror) bookshop staff being threatened, shops being firebombed, a translator was murdered and so on. Looking back it does seem to have been a turning point.

IMO Rushdies book was a poor thing, not a patch on 'Midnights Children' and I did suspect he was trying to cause an uproar by writing the 'Satanic Verses'. Some of the Muslin community were outraged that the blasphemy laws in this country didn't apply to their religion and it may have been better if they had applied to Islam and the dispute could have been tested in court. IIRC one of the radical Muslim demands was for a change to the blasphemy laws.

fx


02 Jul 06 - 06:24 AM (#1773953)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

But "testing the dispute in court" would be tantamount to putting a man on trial for his life. That means that the capital punishment issue itself would have to be reopened. Then they would have to decide which crimes warranted it. How far down the list after premeditated murder does exercising your right to free speech come? They'd have to revise the publishing and censorship laws too, and it could only result in works being banned. In other words, intellectual and cultural impoverishment.

If there were a court case and the verdict went in favour of the accused, things would be pretty much as they did happen: Grumbling, protest, discontent. But if he lost this precedent-setting case? It's unthinkable.


02 Jul 06 - 08:20 AM (#1774012)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Fooles Troupe

"First remove the beam from your own eye, before you seek to remove the mote from the eye of your neighbour"


02 Jul 06 - 07:01 PM (#1774303)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Still rolling along merrily, are we all...? Heh! Nothing has longer legs than than an argument that won't change anything or alter anyone's established opinion.


02 Jul 06 - 07:52 PM (#1774330)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

Well, this thread WAS receding quietly below the horizon until you brought it back up...


02 Jul 06 - 07:53 PM (#1774331)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Sounds like Salman Rushdie wrote an opportunistic, deliberately provocative book, hoping to garner lots of free publicity, and got a little more than he bargained for, the Ayatollah delivered an opportunistic Fatwa, hoping to stir up the faithful worldwide, and achieved nothing remotely useful thereby, and a clever reporter seized an opportunity of his own to spring a trap on a onetime pop star in order to get a good story, and succeeded tremendously, and Yusuf Islam got caught unawares in a witch's nest not of his own devising and is still having to defend himself many years later over it.

I call that just a sad tale of multiple human frailties playing themselves out in the theatre of the absurd...


02 Jul 06 - 07:55 PM (#1774332)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

I brought it up merely because, like you, Guest, I can't control my curiosity... ;-) It's a habit that makes me keep coming back to threads like this one, just to see what happened while I was away.


02 Jul 06 - 07:59 PM (#1774337)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

As you say, no one is going to change anyone else's mind.


02 Jul 06 - 08:08 PM (#1774342)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon

I don't know, LH. Fiona seems to remember seeing the program that the New York Times reported about where he suggested he might phone the Ayatollah. This is not the "trap" Today reported on and YI attempts to explain.


02 Jul 06 - 08:23 PM (#1774359)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Well, Jon, I can agree that there would appear to be grounds there to fuel plenty of argument about it, all right...both pro and con.


02 Jul 06 - 11:03 PM (#1774417)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Greg B

Quothe Lizzie:

"To me it depends entirely on what you are 'searching' for within Yusuf's words."

What I'm searching for is any indication of his saying
that it is MORALLY WRONG (as opposed to 'against civil
law') to kill somebody for what he styles as blasphemy.

Try as I might, I can't find it.

QED

(Methinks the lady doth protest too much.)


02 Jul 06 - 11:13 PM (#1774429)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: The Fooles Troupe

Or in other words, that you can justify murder for Religious Beliefs...


03 Jul 06 - 09:05 AM (#1774675)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Big Mick

Quite frankly, I think anyone searching for anything in Yusuf Islam's words is a sign of a potential problem. You speak as if he were a prophet or a god. He is a singer. Nothing more. His music resonated with me once upon a time. I am not looking for the meaning of life in his words, I simply wonder if his music will be any good. Seems to me that folks that get so wound up over this guy must need some other things in their lives. Maybe the advice to go and make music, or write some of your own songs, is sound.


03 Jul 06 - 09:33 AM (#1774703)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Mass murder is justified all the time for things like: Oil. Market share. Arable land. Fresh water. Political control.

Why get so righteously indignant when some other people justify it on the basis of religion? Are they any worse than the ones who kill for oil?


03 Jul 06 - 10:15 AM (#1774732)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: lesblank

Enough of this ranting and raving by a menopausal old Limey and a Canadian radical !! At least put this thread down in the BS: section where it belongs and let's get back to music !! Sometimes I'm sorry I ever came back !!


04 Jul 06 - 12:01 AM (#1775254)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Look, lesblank, I don't mind at all being called "a Canadian radical" by you and your ilk, but calling another innocent person a "menopausal old Limey" is going too damn far in my opinion. ;-) You should NOT have come back sir, because you are a royal pain in the posterior. Be advised that my squad of trained attack hamsters are on their way to your miserable hovel as I speak.

"Breeng me hees cojones!" I commanded them. You are in deep shit, lesblank.


04 Jul 06 - 04:59 AM (#1775355)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

Les

Little Hawk does not lie!

Be afraid....be *very* afraid!!

http://msn.freedownloads.be/getdisplay.php?emoid=3


Lizzie ;0)

PS: And could we have less of the 'limey' please, I'll have you know my ancestors were Spanish!....and *that* explains the passion and the !!!!....and No....I SO don't do menopausal, I have glitter on my wrinkles...AND I've been fully trained by Little Hawk's 'Ninja Hamsters'

So....Watch it Buddy!) ;0)


04 Jul 06 - 07:10 AM (#1775433)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Har! Har! I love that picture, Lizzie.


04 Jul 06 - 11:30 AM (#1775676)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton

Heard Rushdie speak on Moyer's interview. Made sense. He has a Muslim background. He said that not all Muslims are extremists and that it's time for more reason and less ignorance.

The First Admendent of our Constitution protects the right to worship without imposing that right on others.

Rushdie's decision was based on his conviction that democracy is the right to criticize that with which you don't agree.

Cartoons should not be censored. Extremists regardless of religious belief or affilliation have no right to intimidate anyone if he/she disagrees with those views. In the US, someone is going to be offended at criticism. It's the American way.

Unfortunately, many resort to violence to prevail. When religion does this, it invalidates itself.

Frank Hamilton


04 Jul 06 - 11:33 AM (#1775683)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

No, the people who do the violence invalidate themselves.

Damn right not all Muslims are extremists. None of the ones I know are. I don't have the impression that Yusuf/Cat is either.


04 Jul 06 - 11:37 AM (#1775687)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

"The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens"

I don't get it. What's the punchline? Is this one of those two-page books?


04 Jul 06 - 11:37 AM (#1775688)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

Oh really DB?


_____________________________________________________________________

Yusuf Islam's Reaction
to London Attacks

7th July 2005

________________________________

"I am horrified at the nightmarish acts of carnage we have just seen inflicted on London and its people in what authorities are describing as co-ordinated terror attacks. What on earth these murderers think they can gain by blowing up innocent men, women and children is impossible to imagine. No doubt the fatalities will include people of all religions and races without discrimination. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all those who have suffered loss or injury.

After such devastating barbarity the most important thing now is vigilance and clear thinking. All right minded members of society should realise this is an act of vile madness and should not respond to it in a reflex action. It is possible that the perpetrators may have links to Al-Qaida and carry foreign or Arabic sounding names, but may I remind the press and all people with a voice, that such a discovery would not make all the rest of British Muslim citizens and workers, who are unanimously opposed to such extreme ideologists, brandable or guilty.

The present state of the world would move that much closer to bedlam if everybody loses balance at times like these. No. But it must be the job of the police and authorities to identify clearly the guilty parties associated with these attacks and deal with them as swiftly as possible. We all want to know who they are.


________________________________



And here is the site from which that came.

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


04 Jul 06 - 11:41 AM (#1775693)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Either DB is very credulous...or he's getting paid to spread hate propaganda. I suspect it's the former.


04 Jul 06 - 11:57 AM (#1775713)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

"On his official Web site, Islam [Cat Stevens} has posted numerous statements in opposition to terrorist attacks, most recently the school seizure in Beslan, Russia that ended with more than 300 people dead -- about half of them children.

Islam also criticized the September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States and donated a portion of the royalties from a four-disc set of his music to the families of the September 11th Fund."


04 Jul 06 - 12:03 PM (#1775720)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Yeah, but someone who already hates him and hates the Muslim religion too doesn't want to hear that. Shhhh! Let them be comfortable in their willful ignorance. It hurts to hear stuff that contradicts an adopted position. ;-)


04 Jul 06 - 12:10 PM (#1775731)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg

Cat Stevens may well have done all this, but it is his silence concerning the fatwah against Rushdie that niggles away at me. It just is not right to want to kill someone just because they said something you didn't like. This negates any good work that Stevens may otherwise have done.


04 Jul 06 - 12:12 PM (#1775732)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

Nobody said the guy is smart. Hell, he converted to Islam. Think about it.


04 Jul 06 - 12:16 PM (#1775736)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

It sounds to me like a better move than joining IBM or the Republican or Democratic Parties, given the choice. ;-) It sounds smarter than enlisting in the Marines. It sound wiser than becoming a professional boxer. Any number of things, in fact...


04 Jul 06 - 12:24 PM (#1775744)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

That logic is false. Just because someone somewhere does something stupider doesn't make a subsequent stupid move on the guy's part a clever thing.


04 Jul 06 - 12:34 PM (#1775759)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST,Jon

I think all sorts of conclusions are possible LH.

The one I favour, taking on the New York Times report and Fiona's memory, and later reporsts and pparenly actions, is that the probably was a time when YI was rather extreme but he has probably "mellowed" considerably since. It's surely quite possible (and forgivable IMO) for that to happen with a person, especially when they have not long "seen the light" but it doesn't make a lot of sense in relation to his explainations.

It's all very muddy though and from what I've read, I'd neither like to say YI has always been "sinner" or "saint" in relation to the isues raised here.


04 Jul 06 - 12:37 PM (#1775764)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

His decision-making processes are fooked. He can't even decide on a name for himself.


04 Jul 06 - 12:40 PM (#1775766)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

And you shall have half of what your wives leave if they have no child, but if they have a child, then you shall have a fourth of what they leave after (payment of) any bequest they may have bequeathed or a debt; and they shall have the fourth of what you leave if you have no child, but if you have a child then they shall have the eighth of what you leave after (payment of) a bequest you may have bequeathed or a debt; and if a man or a woman leaves property to be inherited by neither parents nor offspring, and he (or she) has a brother or a sister, then each of them two shall have the sixth, but if they are more than that, they shall be sharers in the third after (payment of) any bequest that may have been bequeathed or a debt that does not harm (others); this is an ordinance from Allah: and Allah is Knowing, Forbearing.


04 Jul 06 - 12:43 PM (#1775768)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

Brilliant, huh?


04 Jul 06 - 01:37 PM (#1775811)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

"He can't even decide on a name for himself."

He's better off than you, you poor sod! You don't even have one. I bet your face is just a big blank, featureless void with a lot of blather issuing forth mysteriously.


04 Jul 06 - 01:44 PM (#1775825)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

Don't believe your own press, Little Hawk.


04 Jul 06 - 01:48 PM (#1775829)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

Was that from Little Hawk, the ape or the guy in Blind river?


04 Jul 06 - 02:49 PM (#1775884)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

It was from me, but maybe I can get you a response from Shane or Chongo too. Hang on to that thought, O nameless and faceless one.


04 Jul 06 - 06:23 PM (#1776038)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona

From Little Hawk,

''Sounds like Salman Rushdie wrote an opportunistic, deliberately provocative book, hoping to garner lots of free publicity, and got a little more than he bargained for, the Ayatollah delivered an opportunistic Fatwa, hoping to stir up the faithful worldwide, and achieved nothing remotely useful thereby, and a clever reporter seized an opportunity of his own to spring a trap on a onetime pop star in order to get a good story, and succeeded tremendously, and Yusuf Islam got caught unawares in a witch's nest not of his own devising and is still having to defend himself many years later over it.

I call that just a sad tale of multiple human frailties playing themselves out in the theatre of the absurd... ''


-------------------

Little Hawk, I think this is a reasonable summing up, but what it misses is the public mood.

I doubt if the man on the street gave a damn about Rushdie or had even heard of him. He's not a 'popular' author, but the literary circles all jumped to his defence and it all became very intellectual and arty. I dare say most folks hereabouts would feel the same if it was a musician who had a fatwa declared on them, rather than an author.

Where I believe Yusaf Islam went wrong was to get involved in the dispute in the first place. He used his fame to try to justify an act that horrified the average Muslim on the street


04 Jul 06 - 06:45 PM (#1776054)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Fiona

rats just clicked correcting a typo!

cont...

In getting involved in a matter where he had neither the theology nor the political experience to deal with, Yusaf Islam left himself open to misinterpretation and played a small part in inflaming a very difficult situation.

The backlash against British Asian people living in the UK was dreadful, the media hyped the whole sorry mess I'm sure, but news film of book burning, protest marches British flags being burnt, also the counter demonstrations of skinheads chanting 'Ain't no Black in the Union Jack', mosques being defaced &c - no-one needed his ill informed comments.

During that time I knew one teenage girl who was attacked by a bunch of racists and had her pigtails cut off, while they called her a 'Paki bastard', that her parents were Indian and third generation Catholic to boot, made no difference to the folk who used the situation as an excuse to imply all Muslims were under the control of mad mullahs because, 'thats their religion innit?'.

Yusaf Islam is said to have softened his approach in recent years and I don't think he's a terrorist in any way, but he does practise an extreme form of his religion (he won't shake hands with women for example) and I deplore his views on segregated education. Integration is a far better way IMO, and most Muslims I know are neither so exteme in their faith or their politics.

fx


04 Jul 06 - 07:27 PM (#1776086)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Fair enough, Fiona. I understand your viewpoint on the matter. I think he was a bit naive about the whole situation, probably partly because he was caught up in the excitement of his new faith at the time. People tend to have blinkers on when they are in the early days of a conversion of any kind...and they miss stuff that other people might notice in their enthusiasm of their new path in life.

You might consider watching the lengthy video that there is a link to at the very beginning of this thread. It doesn't give me the impression that Yusuf Islam is a dangerous fanatic at all. Dolly Parton's comments about his character are quite persuasive to me, and she's quite an intelligent woman who knows him well, a patriotic American, and certainly no fan of Islamic extremism.


05 Jul 06 - 04:25 AM (#1776391)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

Cat Stevens is a pile of fermenting leper's shit.


05 Jul 06 - 04:42 AM (#1776402)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Lizzie Cornish

No he isn't at all. But the person who wrote that comment......? Well, I guess they say a lot about themselves.


>>>Where I believe Yusaf Islam went wrong was to get involved in the dispute in the first place. He used his fame to try to justify an act that horrified the average Muslim on the street..<<<

Er...I think he was purely caught off-guard by a journalist. He certainly wasn't holding a press conference on the subject at the time.

Strange that you make no mention or criticism of the very journalist who started all this in the first place, by putting words into Yusuf's mouth, which he didn't say!
______________________________________________________________________
From Yusuf Islam's site:

"....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...............


....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."

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


____________________________________________________________________

He was merely asked a question 'out of the blue' and then the answer he gave was not reported correctly, but new, highly inflammatory and deeply damaging words were inserted instead, as major headlines. Probably, as most of us can see, to sell VAST amounts of the Today paper and cause absolute chaos...which of course, could then be reported on for far longer and sell yet more vast amounts of newspapers.

To hell with the feelings of Yusuf Islam or anyone else....but hey!...look at all the profit they made...and after all THAT is what really counts in life isn't it! Well, yes....if you're a newspaper owner I guess!

It happens all the time in the media. What worries the hell out me is that people believe every single word they read.....


05 Jul 06 - 05:37 AM (#1776442)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: GUEST

look at all the profit they made...and after all THAT is what really counts in life isn't it! Well, yes....if you're a newspaper owner I guess!

Unless, as far as I understand it, your name is Rupert Murdoch. I gather this newspaper owner is so honest that terms that could put an artists rights at risk should not have been considered a problem.


05 Jul 06 - 09:53 AM (#1776615)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Little Hawk

Is Martin back?


11 Jul 06 - 08:16 PM (#1781421)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Muttley

Lizzie: You're not president of the Cat Stevens Fan Club, are you???

Foolestroupe: It's The GOURD - - - it came first !!!!!!!

Guest: Read the Q'ran yourself. NOWHERE does it endorse murder, terrorism or any other like violence in the name of Mohammed or Islam. Those philosophies are taken out of context and are a radical supplement to the original. Mohammed exhorts defence of the teachings to the death but he does NOT advocate going out to die for it deliberately nor murdering other innocents in its name.

And the correct title is Q'ran or Quran - NOT Koran!

Muttley


12 Jul 06 - 05:30 PM (#1782086)
Subject: RE: The Wisdom of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens
From: Terry Allan Hall

My, but there are some seriously anti-Muslim posters in this thread.

Me, I respect Stevens very much, as a singer/songwriter and as a person of peace.