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Yusuf Islam

Cat Stevens: Then
The Cat Stevens days.

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.

Cat Stevens: Then
Cat Stevens is known as Yusuf Islam today.

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.

interview with musician Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens
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.