I think everyone knows the story of Cat Stevens. He sang some truly inspiring music in the early 70s. Then he converted to Islam, and took the name Yusuf Islam(–?). Anyways, my question is a simple one: Where do the royalties go when his songs are played today? I heard somewhere (I forget where now) it supports radical Islam. (And I emphasize “radical”. Like most liberals, I have nothing against mainstream Islam naturally:).)
My father and I have satellite radio in our car. And I do hear the occasional Cat Stevens song. So they are being played. And the royalties have to go somewhere–don’t they:)?
He is still (or has returned to) performing and making records. His latest album came out in 2009, and I saw him on The Colbert Report promoting it last year. He still sounded just like Cat Stevens from the '70s. (I do not know where the income from his new recordings and performances goes to. Maybe be, like, lives on it.)
Any notion that he has any connection to “radical” Islam (“radical” in the sense of supporting Al-Qaeda, or anything remotely resembling it) seems to be just another manifestation of anti-Muslim bigotry, on the level of all the nonsensical claims that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim terrorist. According to Wiki, Yusuf Islam has won several awards (and not from Muslim organizations) for his charitable work promoting world peace. What he stands for seems to be diametrically opposed to what Osama Bin Laden stands for.
He said he supported the fatwa regarding the death sentence of Salmon Rushdie. When confronted with this he said it was a joke and when asked if Rushdie deserved to die he THEN said yes. when asked if he would go to a protest of Rushdie where he is burned in effigy he said he would hope it would be the real thing. WIKI cite.
Chiming in to agree that your cite disproves this, rather than confirms it. The only negative thing that the cite demonstrates is that the guy has a dry and dark sense of humor that doesn’t shift to print easily.
You don’t make a clarification of a joke by then reiterating what you were trying to clarify by restating the same thing. He then tried to back out of it in later interviews but on his website he danced around it again:
**When asked about my opinion regarding blasphemy, I could not tell a lie and confirmed that–like both the Torah and the Gospel–the Qur’an considers it, without repentance, as a capital offense. The Bible is full of similar harsh laws if you’re looking for them. However, the application of such Biblical and Qur’anic injunctions is not to be outside of due process of law, in a place or land where such law is accepted and applied by the society as a whole…
By his statement he is fine with Rushdie being prosecuted for blasphemy where such laws are accepted and applied by the society as a whole.
And Rushdie isn’t buying it either per the same cite.
I just saw him perform a few months ago in Sydney (and his son opened, Yoyorios’ band Noxshii is pretty amazing.)
He’s clarified the Rushdie thing about a million times. I should hope that if I said something that stupid as a new convert as I was years ago to Christianity, it wouldn’t haunt me for the rest of my entire life.
He lives on his royalties, plus has started two Islamic schools in the UK, has done heaps of charity work in Bosnia via Small Kindness (also in Pakistan after the floods), and does more Islamic type charity work as well. Think what you like about him, he’s done some good in the world with his money, at least.
Based on what he posted on his website he’s fine with the prosecution of Rushdie in other countries for blasphemy. Maybe he’s made another clarification of the clarification of the clarification but I haven’t seen it.
From the same answer you quote mined (which to me reads that he supports other countries having the rule of law):
"To indicate my actual stance about this matter before this front-page controversy erupted, it’s useful to quote a letter of complaint I sent to Viking, a subsidiary of Penguin Books, the publishers, on 8th October, 1989. This was 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.”
As can be seen from the above, my personal response before the heat-seeking media got involved was significantly different from the fables and myths which have been circulated."
He wasn’t real keen on the book, he got asked about Koranic law, he said something dumb. Big deal.
Assuming the subject of Cat Stevens’/a.k.a Yusuf Islam’s charitable causes is relevant to where his royalties go, there have been accusations that some of this charity has been extended to terrorism. This article is from when Stevens was banned from the U.S. in '04:
*"The Department of Homeland Security, set up after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, believes that the singer contributed funds to groups linked to terrorism through his charities.
Brian Doyle, a spokesman for the department, said: “Yusuf Islam was put on the watch list very recently because of his recent activities. It would be fair to say the activities occurred in the last couple of months.”
One official was quoted as saying that donations from Islam may have ended up in the hands of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric jailed for his role in the bombing of the World Trade Centre in 1993.*
Mrs. J. likes some of Stevens’ music (no accounting for tastes) but she will not download any of his songs from Itunes due to not wanting to support him (or his causes. She’s found a number of his records for sale used.
Slightly off topic but I remember he spoke at University College Dublin in the early 90’s, I think it was 1994.
Interesting guy but I found it a little disappointing that he wouldn’t accept any questions from the floor during thr Q&A. Each question had to be submittd in advance and the questions were vetted by a member of his entorage. Seemed weak to me.