Cat Stevens was taken to task by Andrea Peyser today in the New York Post (here) for being an Islamic Extremist and before we all jump down her throat at once, start by checking out the interview from 1989 at the bottom of this story. Stevens (As I will call him for this story) is being asked about Salman Rushdie, who had just written “The Satanic Verses” and whom the Ayatollah Khomeini had just placed a “Fatwa” calling for the death of the writer. Let me help:
“Would you give Salman Rushdie shelter?”
“Yes, (then) I would try and find the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is”.
“Would you go to a demonstration where you knew an effigy was going to be burnt?”
“I would have hoped it would be the real thing but actually if it was just an effigy I don’t think I’d be that moved to go there.”
Look, we all say things in the heat of passion, after 9-11 I was hoping the States would nuke Afghanistan, a terrible barbaric thing to think or say and a thought I now renounce. BUT I THOUGHT IT. What I didn’t do was parse language. Cat was not calling for a Fatwa, he was not calling for Rushdie’s death, he was wishing Rushdie dead and saying he would help in it if he could. OK, so Stevens is an asshole and that’s his right, but why write a song 25 years later where you cloak your true feelings, or give interviews where you lie about your true feelings as Stevens has? On CBS News, Cat claimed all he did was explain Sharia Law andhCat himself was not wishing harm on Rushdie. That’s simply a lie.
Incidentally, both my parents were Muslims and while I’m an agnostic, if I was in the wrong place at the wrong time I would be considered a Moslem and the world would react accordingly, so I have no racist hatred for Stevens. Also, I have never ever equated good music with good people, a complete irrelevance. However, the truth is the truth.
Next, it is claimed Stevens provided tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas and was therefore deported from Israel in 2000:
This is from ABC News: “The man who gained fame as pop star Cat Stevens was denied entry into Israel and deported hours after arriving because he supports Hamas, a militant Islamist group, officials said today.
The former British music star, who has gone by the name Yusuf Islam for more than 20 years, landed in Israel on a flight from Germany early on Wednesday. He was held at the airport for several hours and sent back to Germany, government spokesman Moshe Fogel said.
Islam, who now sings only for his mosque, had “transferred funds” to Hamas in the past, Fogel told Reuters.
“There was a problem with allowing him into the country because he is a Hamas supporter,” he said. “He didn’t seem like he was coming here for summer tourism. Any country has the right to prevent terror within its own borders.”
This constitutes proof of absolutely nothing. I trust no government’s and I see nothing to show he gave money to Hamas. Stevens has said he has never knowingly given money to a terrorist organization, so if he has, giving Hamas would constitute a bare faced lie.
Finally, I have heard audio of Omar Bakri Mohammed (Islamist militant leader who was instrumental in developing Hizb ut-Tahrir in the United Kingdom ) claiming Stevens was a sponsor (here). This is a secret tape leaked back in 2006 and undoubtedly explains why Stevens wasn’t allowed in the States.
Again, this doesn’t constitute proof and Bill Cosby never drugged a woman and raped her in his life.
Everything else in Peyser’s article isn’t a hill of beans. It’s all nothing much.
Still, the film of Stevens wishing for Rushdie’s death is a black swan that puts all claims against him under a microscope. There is no getting around this and I’m not his attorney and see no reason to try. I see no proof he gave money to terrorist groups but I certainly wouldn’t be the slightest surprised that if Cat wanted Rushdie dead for writing a novel, Cat is also capable of being an Islamic Extremist and sponsoring Extremist groups. Incidentally, does CBS News not have a research department? Why didn’t they pull Stevens on it? Wasn’t it worth fact checking, before you asked the question? Unreal.
As for whether Stevens knowingly supported Islamic terrorist groups? Probably. Did he call for Salman’s death? No, he wished Salman dead and would help in causing it if he could.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1985 (Volume 17, Number 1)
Creem, at this point, seemed to be looking for new feeding hands to bite.
US Top Ten Albums Tracking 3-10-23 – 3-16-23
a potential top album of the year.
Dawes At Beacon Theatre, Saturday, March 18th, 2023, Reviewed
Refreshingly honest and considerate
Sneak Peaks: Upcoming New Albums 3-24-23 – 3-30-23
can they survive an entire album?
L.A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks March 20th To 26Th
Fleet Foxes are at the Belasco on Wednesday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1985 (Volume 16, Number 12)
highlighting hair metal bands simply to make fun of them was more amusing than profitable
UK Top 10 Albums 3-17-23 – 3-23-23
In the US, Morgan will be pushing Miley out in a week or two but in the UK…?
A Superhero For Late Night TV Is On The Way
On his way to save the day… and the night