In 1989, Yusuf Islam enthusiastically endorsed the Ayatollah Khomeini’s death fatwa against Salman Rushdie for insulting Islam: “Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie,” by Craig R. Whitney in the New York Times, May 23, 1989:
TONDON [sic], May 22 — The musician known as Cat Stevens said in a British television program to be broadcast next week that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, ”I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing.”…
And in 2010, there were posted on YouTube two “Classic Yusuf Islam Nasheeds without Music.” A nasheed is a song praising Allah or Islam in some way. Nasheeds are usually sung a cappella or with percussion accompaniment only, and according to most Islamic authorities they’re the only kind of music allowed under Islamic law. At minute 2:02 of the first nasheed (video below), Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, sings:
What are you saying?
What are you saying?
I’m praying to Allah
To give us victory
Over the kuffar.
“I’m praying to Allah to give us victory over the kuffar” (unbelievers)? When have you ever heard a Jew or a Christian praying for victory over the unbelievers? The supremacism and hatred is open and unapologetic, and especially piquant coming the former Mr. Peace Train himself, who has for years cultivated an image as a benign, peaceful, cuddly, peace-and-love-hippie Muslim.
“Questions remain over Cat Stevens’ connections to radical Muslims,” by Andrea Peyser, New York Post, December 11, 2014 (thanks to Twostellas):
…Now 66, Yusuf/Stevens, who lives in London and Dubai, has demonstrated that he believes in radicalism and, allegedly, has given financial support to terrorists. But after listening to him speak on American TV this past weekend, you might think he was a victim of — what else? — the media.
“Yeah, I reckon the media has played kind of a nonpositive role in creating my image,” he said in a coming-out-again interview on “CBS Sunday Morning.’’
Before the married father of five’s foray into concert halls on his tour called “Peace Train . . . Late Again,’’ Yusuf/Stevens canceled a show scheduled to be staged last week at New York City’s Beacon Theatre, he said, to protest “extortionate’’ fees charged for tickets by scalpers. He promised to return to the city in the future. Yet I wonder how he would be received in a town brutalized by radical Islamic terrorists who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
He was born Steven Georgiou to a Greek-Cypriot father and a Swedish mother in 1948. When he was known as Cat Stevens, he nearly drowned, he has claimed, while swimming in the surf off Malibu, Calif., in 1976. He said he shouted, “Oh, God! If you save me I will work for you,’’ then was carried ashore by a wave. His brother gave him a copy of the Koran. In 1977, he became a Muslim.
But he provoked outrage when, appearing on a British TV show in 1989, he seemed to support the Iranian fatwa calling for the death of British author Salman Rushdie, whose novel “The Satanic Verses’’ is considered blasphemous by some Muslims.
Asked if he’d attend a demonstration in which Rushdie was burned in effigy, he said, “I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing.’’
In 2000, Islam was booted from Israel after, officials said, the philanthropist delivered tens of thousands of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas during a visit in 1988. Then in 2004, his flight from London to Washington, DC, was diverted to Bangor, Maine, where he was questioned by US officials, then shipped back to England after it was determined he was on the government’s “no fly’’ terrorist watch list.
A US government official said Islam was believed to have made donations that wound up supporting not only Hamas but Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind Egyptian sheik convicted of seditious conspiracy for plotting to bomb New York City landmarks. (Islam said he never “knowingly’’ funded terrorists.)
Two years later, he was allowed to fly into the United States to conduct radio interviews for a new album. Earlier this year at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed three songs….