Friday, March 30, 2007

Yusuf Islam (f/k/a Cat Stevens)

(Edited)

Cat Stevens was a folksy, soft-rock performer in the 1970s. He sang pretty songs with hooks that caught in your brain and slowly nibbled away at your consciousness. I came to call this type of music "lobotomy rock"! I loathe lobotomy rock!

Like most other soft-rockers of the seventies, he had vanished by the time I thought about him again in the 1990s.

In 2002, he resurfaced in the media as Yusuf Islam, a devout Muslim who was concerned about the impact of the events of September 11, 2001. He calls himself a man of peace, and his religion a religion of peace. He travels the world discussing peace.

I was appalled when the United States refused him entry to the country for a conference on world peace. he was deemed a terror threat.

"Absurd!" I thought aloud. "It's friggin' Cat Stevens! He probably REALLY DOES believe in world peace!"

Then he slipped off my radar again and I have thought nothing about him.

Then I got my weekly dose of popbitch and learned that he is no different than most religious fanatics. He doesn't care about world peace, he cares about himself, and his behavior at the Echo Awards proves that he cares little about humanity:

Yusuf Islam . . . ignored female staff and helpers at Echo Awards in Berlin because, his aide explained, "Mr Islam doesn't speak with women except his wife. Least of all if they don't wear a headscarf. Things like that only happen via an intermediary."


Added at 7:50 A.M.:

A reader insists that the quote is a fabrication.

Religious subjugation of women is reprehensible, and I do not want to paint Mr. Yusuf with the brush of misogyny if he is opposed to Muslim practices that force women into a second-class role.

I have found the following sources:

Yahoo! Entertainment News

The original piece at ContactMusic

An anonymous message by a person claiming to be Yusuf's manager posted at the ContactMusic message board.

Men who continue the Islamic tradition of abusing women with subjugation in this way are not men of peace. The subjugation of women is anathema to peace. If anyone believes in world peace, they will work for the equality of women everywhere.

Added at 3:54 P.M.:

In this YouTube posting of an excerpt from the awards ceremony, Yusuf is seen walking to the stage, greeting men women and shaking hands with them. There seems to be no reservation or hesitation, he seems genuinely interested in engaging everyone.

When the video loads, fast forward to the 6:00 mark and you will see:



This hardly seems like the behavior of a man who refuses to engage women in conversation or dialog.

So, though I may disagree with religious practices that subjugate women, I have to say that this awards ceremony does not show Yusuf Islam to be a misogynystic fanatic, as suggested by the article at contactmusic.com.



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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This story is a complete fabrication" as said by Yusuf's Manager, anyone who knows of Yusuf and his works would know this. I know this for a fact because, I am one of the women (without a head scarf / veil) that Yusuf has spoken to and his wife was present at the time! He has no problem speaking to women!!! Come on people wake up and smell the coffee!!! Do not be misled by these reporters who obviously had a slow news day and needed a headline! Why these people must try and put a slur on Yusuf's name, God alone knows!

DM said...

I will investigate and, if necessary, retract this article.

ja said...

You can see a video of Yusuf accepting his ECHO award and singing the song "Maybe There's a World" at the ECHO awards on YouTube. When he gets up from his seat to accept the award he shakes hands with both men and women as he walks to the stage.

Here is the link:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=bCK5Iwp5SJY

Song link:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=8CBz6NSqghc


I know of women who have recently met Yusuf, and he was very friendly, had his photo taken with them, talked to them at some length about his music, and introduced them to his family. These women are not Muslim, and did not wear headscarfs. They were very impressed with him as a person. They said he is a very caring person and has a very lovely, friendly family.

Yusuf was in New York City in December 2006, and gave a concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center and gave quite a few interviews to radio stations. Most are available on the web.

The thing that has to be realized is that there are some people out there that would do anything to discredit Muslims. These people are not interested in the truth of a situation, they are only interested in making ALL Muslims look bad and they don't care who they hurt. They can't stand that Yusuf is highly regarded in most circles and they and their publications would do anything to make him look bad since he is a prominent Muslim. I posted to one website to tell them that this article was not accurate and to tell of the women I knew of who had met Yusuf and they never posted my response and they kept the article up, along with their nasty comentary. This, of course, is one of those far-right, neo-con sites that don't care about the truth because they only have one agenda, and that is pretty much hate anyone who is not exactly like themselves.

Thanks for listening.

DM said...

Thank you, ja, for the input. it is most appreciated. I have edited my blog article to remove my remarks that Yusuf did indeed take such actions.

I am glad to hear that yusuf is not anti-woman and is open-minded in his dealings with them.

I do believe the practice of covering women, whether practiced by Muslims, Jews or Christians, is immoral.

Anonymous said...

stevens has been deported from several countries for molesting children. he defends himself by saying the founder of his cult and his new namesake raped young baby arabs and victims and that mohamass final wife (before the devil took his soul) was only six years old.