Yusuf Islam is a man with a past. As Cat Stevens, he sold millions of records
worldwide and was at the top of the charts; his performances filled large
arenas. Then in the late 1970's he gave it all up, sold all his musical
instruments, changed his name, and became a Muslim. He entered into an
arranged marriage and fathered 5 children. His daughters were raised to wear
the veil and his sons to shun Western culture. In 1989, his remarks drew him
into the Salman Rushdie controversy, when he says he was misinterpreted as
endorsing a death sentence on the writer. Yusuf Islam was further rumored to
be a fanatic and a student of the Ayatollah. He says he's a devoted father,
founder of Muslim schools, and fund raiser for charity.
The Cat Stevens days.
Recently, Islam was
back in the news when he was refused entrance to Israel. The Israelis
charged he was a supporter of Hamas and there to disrupt the Camp David
Peace Talks. But Cat Stevens has maintained his artistic credibility. He's
been the subject of tributes and named in the recent movie High Fidelity,
as a Top 5 musical artist. As baby boomers age they seem to find his songs
more relevant, and maybe his withdrawal and values a bit less daunting. Now
on the 30th anniversary of Cat Stevens' first hits in America, Yusuf Islam
is reconnecting with his past and telling his story.
Cat Stevens is known as Yusuf Islam today.
Listen to the Weekend Edition Sunday interview with Yusuf Islam.
Yusuf's website, www.mountainoflight.com, contains a statement regarding his recent deportment from Israel.