December 20, 2006, - 5:03 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Is a CD recorded by a Muslim extremist the “perfect gift for the music maven”?
Borders thinks so and is marketing “Another Cup,” by Yusuf Islam ne Cat Stevens ne Steven Georgiou, in its glossy “Holiday Guide” magazine insert, urging Americans to buy “Yusuf’s first pop collection since he adopted the Muslim faith in 1977.”
In 2004, Islam was on the “no fly list” and denied entry into the United States, after a plane he was on was forced to make an emergency landing in Maine, due to Islam’s ties to Islamic terrorists. The government reversed that decision and granted Islam a visa to promote his new CD.
And today and tomorrow, Sirius Satellite Radio will devote several hours to broadcasts and an entire channel to interviews and performances by Islam.
The world is littered with former folk singers and pop stars from the ’60s and ’70s who’ve tried to make a comeback. But none has received the endless hype that pop culture outlets are providing to Yusuf Islam.
And none has uttered the extremist views spewed by Islam throughout the years, without apology.
In 1988, he authored the pamphlet “Eyewitness,” in which he claimed:
The Jews seem neither to respect God nor his creation. Their own holy books contain the curse of God brought upon them by their prophets on account of their disobedience to Him and mischief in the earth. We have seen the disrespect for religion displayed by those who consider themselves to be ‘God’s chosen people.’…There will be no justice until all the land is given back to its rightful owners… Only Islam can bring peace back to the Holy Land.
Islam’s description of the Jews makes no specific exemption for Mel Karmazin, the Jewish Sirius Satellite CEO who is providing Islam a forum to promote his CD for the next two days. Attention, Mr. Karmazin . . . .
In 1989, a week after Ayatollah Khomeini issued his fatwa for the murder of “Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie, Islam agreed:
He must be killed. The Koran makes it clear: If someone defames the prophet, he must die.
And Islam’s views haven’t changed much. A map of the Middle East currently on his website doesn’t recognize Israel. There is only “Holyland” on his Map of Hate. In 2004, Islam told ABC News’ Elizabeth Vargas that he supports HAMAS.
The entertainment industry wants to shove all of that under the rug. “Enough time has passed since the [Rushdie] fatwa,” says Billboard’s director of charts, Geoff Mayfield. “His faith is established and less of a negative than it might have been earlier.”
But objections to the embrace of Yusuf Islam are not about his “faith”. They are about his extremist statements and actions. A May 2003 expose on Islam in GQ documented his many ties to Osama Bin Laden and HAMAS. The author–Jake Tapper, now with ABC News–detailed Islam’s tight relationship with Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, the leader of the London based Al-Muhajiroun, which is believed to be Al-Qaeda in Britain. Bakri organized the famed London celebration of “The Magnificent 19″ on the 1-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Islam was denied entry into Israel twice because on two previous trips there, he met with senior HAMAS officials and donated money to them, according to Israeli court documents. One of those officials, Sheikh Jamil Hamami, is a key figure in the federal investigation of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which President Bush shut down and designated as a global terrorist entity laundering money to HAMAS.
Now, in an attempt to moderate his image, Islam is pretending these things never happened. And so is the music industry.
“Don’t let me be misunderstood,” Islam told USA Today. That’s also the name of a song he covers on his new CD.
But the problem is that we understand him very, very well. Now, how do we get Billboard Magazine and Sirius to understand?
The man who sang “Peace Train” isn’t so peaceful.
Read my October 2006 piece, “Cat Stevens: Simmering HAMASnik, CrotchWoman & the Ignoble Nobel Peace Prize.”
Read my original 2004 piece on Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam, when he was denied entry into the U.S., “Islam Denied Entry: Cat Stevens'”Peace Train” of Islamic Hate Derailed.” Looks like that train is back on track. And, unfortunately, our government has allowed it to leave the station.
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