Cat Stevens’ ninth life

Cat Stevens’ ninth life
: Cat Stevens — aka Yusuf Islam — has returned to the studio to rerecord Peace Train for an album to benefit Iraqi children. Better he should sing than talk:

“Peace Train is a song I wrote, the message of which continues to breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions of human beings and there is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again,” he said.

“As a member of humanity and as a Muslim, this is my contribution to the call for a peaceful solution to the dangerous path some world leaders today seem to be taking.”

“Breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions?” His new life gave him neither humility nor eloquence.

  • Balbulican

    I wonder how he squares this view with his unequivocal endorsement of the Fatwah against Salman Rushdie.

  • http://aucurrant.pitas.com Jackie D

    That album is being sponsored by London’s Mirror newspaper — the same newspaper that had this as their front page less than a week ago, and the same newspaper which has reaped at least

  • http://aucurrant.pitas.com Jackie D

    Balbulican, I wondered that too, so looked it up — he denies that he did any such thing, and swears his views were misrepresented. Not sure if I buy it, but that’s what he says.

  • Balbulican

    Whenever you hear the word “misrepresented”, it’s a safe bet that the speaker is saying: “Oh, shit. Yeah, I said it, but I really don’t like being quoted.”
    Here’s a quote from USA Today, July 8, 2000:
    Islam speaks with cautious deliberation and visibly stiffens at mention of a scandal that enraged the Western world in 1989 and briefly pulled him back onto the public stage. In condemning Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini placed a “fatwa,” or death sentence, on the author. Queried for comment, Islam neither defended nor denounced the decree, but quoted Islamic law, which states that anyone guilty of blasphemy must be put to death.
    Infuriated fans and deejays deemed Islam’s response an endorsement of the fatwa and rebelled by trashing his records and reputation.
    In a formal statement later, Islam said Rushdie’s “blasphemous book insults God and his prophets, including those prophets honored by Christians, Jews, as well as Muslims.”

  • http://aucurrant.pitas.com Jackie D

    I’m not defending the guy, but I’ve seen enough quotes taken out of context (recently, that Donald Rumsfeld promised the war would be over in six days, which he definitely did not) to not trust anything I don’t see in direct quotes.
    From his official site:
    “He was thrust back into the international headlines in 1989 when, during a speech at a British college he was asked what he thought about Iran’s death sentence against author Salman Rushdie.
    Islam’s answer – merely that the Koran supported capital punishment for blasphemy, but that such action was unwise and illegal in the modern world – became a sensationalistic headline around the world: Kill Rushdie, says Cat Stevens.
    He insists he was misinterpreted and never asked to set the record straight.”