Cat will never try to be
on a hot tin roof, will he?
I used to like it a lot singer Cat Stevens’ songs in my halcyon days of
youth. Oh, what a golden and forceful voice he had when he was young and
energetic. Even today, whenever I have a quiet moment to myself, I enjoy
listening to his golden oldies like "Morning has broken" or
"I’m bein’ followed by a moon shadow."
name Stephen Demetri Georgiou sounds Greek to me. Presumably, his Greek
Cypriot father wanted to keep his side of the family heritage intact. But
the child had to break the rule sometime. The name Cat Stevens sounded
more mainstream for a rock star. Thus, the change. Cat Stevens’ picture
on the above left became a household image during his rock n’ roll days.
In a democratic permissive society, anybody who is changing his or her
religion does not typically raise any eyebrow. But when Cat Stevens
metamorphosed to be Yusuf Islam, and growing beard (picture on the above
right) to the length as prescribed in Sahih Hadith, many pop scene
watchers realized that that was the end of his rock n’ roll career.
Cat’s conversion to Islam is not very unusual. Today, we see many
Westerners convert to Islam when their lives are locked into sinkhole. The
notorious shoe-bomber British born Richard Reid to American dirty bomber
Jose Padilla has one thing in common. Circumstances had failed to give
them a life on a straight path. Their propensity to petty thievery,
thuggery, etc., led them to land on a regimented primitive dogmatic
religion. Cat Stevens had a similar situation. Sex, drugs, and rock n’
roll took him to the bottom of the dungeon. After searching for peace in
"all the wrong places," he found Islam. According to the former
rock star, he found "road to salvation" after reading the Koran.
Cat said of the Koran, "I had all the jig-saw puzzle pieces but the
light was switched off. The Koran turned on the light." Aha! Isn’t
it quite amazing?
Stevens’ metamorphosis to an Arabicized, medieval dogma that was later
pursued by the likes of Johny Lindh, Richard Reid, Jose Padilla, or David
Hicks. The quintessential Maulana Yusuf Islam with truly Islamic beard
fell into the trap of pure political Islam, which is commonly called the
Wahhabist Islam. From the day one of his Muslim identity, he was well
aware that he was destined to serve Allah and his Muslim brethren. If Cat
chose to be a follower of Sufi Islam, he probably could have continued to
be a singer. But, in Wahhabism? No such thing is permitted. Not only that,
poetry, art, any creative artistic human endeavor is simply a no-no in the
book of Cat’s “peaceful” Islam. Most of other religions have not
abandoned the finer side of human quality. Christian, Buddhist, or even a
Hindu priest can enjoy a Bach, Tchaikovsky, or Schubert in a packed hall.
For a Muslim cleric endeavoring such venture, is a sure road to hell.
Therefore, the “cool cat” Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam slipped away
from the "decadent" Western musical scene very rapidly. His
abandonment of music career did not finish the up beating of his vocal
cord. He was the leading voice from the Western stock who recited the
lilting tune of Koran and sang political songs for Muslim suffering
brethren. Don’t we already know that a true Islamist such as Cat has to
be a good mis-representative and double-talker to enhance his agenda! In a
recent interview with a reporter of ABC News’ 20/20, Yusuf proved that
once again. While asked why he abandoned his music career, his reply was,
"The drug addiction and all the corruption that comes with the pop
scene was not good for me." Maulana Yusuf Islam deliberately avoided
being truthful. That is, in the Wahhabist worldview, there is no room for
Whenever any Westerner converts to Islam, it gives a big boost to
Islamists all around the world. I had the chance to see Yusuf Islam flyers
in local mosques where devotees were proudly talking about the great
pioneer of Islam. Yusuf had a very busy Islamic life in
. He was involved in quite a few charities and humanitarian (oh! Islamic
activities) in order to help causes of earthlings (Muslims) of
, Kosovo, and
. His truncated sense of humanity gave a damn about the sufferings of
non-Muslim people of our planet. After all, to a Muslim devotee, life of a
non-Muslim carries no value whatsoever.
Then came the dastardly attack of nine eleven. Like many Muslims of the
world, Cat Stevens had to go for some soul searching. His devotion to help
Muslim people’s cause faced a sudden pause. Apparently, the singer
turned Islamic zealot had to tone down his rhetoric. Salman Rushdie noted
that and commented in a post 9/11 essay that Cat Stevens became a
"pussy cat." It may not be coincidental that after the tragedy
of September 11, 2001, Cat’s beard trimmed up a bit and he committed the
mortal sin of re-recording of his un-Islamic golden oldies probably like
rest of us he needed the dough.
Like any hard-core Wahhabist ideologue, his ties to global Jihadists are
not an impossibility. After all, it was Yusuf Islam who carpingly had said
on the record that according to teaching of Islam, an apostate like Salman
Rushdie did not have the right to live. Most recently in ABC News’ 20/20
program, Maulana Yusuf Islam refused to denounce suicide bombings in
. It may be mention worthy here that he made it abundantly clear on many
occasions that the suicide bombers have "hijacked" Islam. Is it
really so, Mr. Cat, I mean Mr. Islam? Didn’t the 9/11 hijackers reflect
the ultimate agenda of Wahhabism, which sadly became the true spirit of
bombshell came last month. The goodie two shoes Cat was deported from
. Of course, it was
’s Homeland Security’s lack of alertness, or undesired mix up. Yusuf
Islam being on
’s watch list even allowed to board a United Airlines Flight en route to
. Where on earth a person on Uncle Sam‘s "no-fly" list could
be allowed to board a U.S. bound plane? The rationale was a typical
bureaucratic bungling. The list, as was explained later by the concerned
authority contained the name "Usuf" instead of "Yusuf".
Anyway, Cat must have known that after September 11 of 2001, the
has turned into a brand new world. There is now almost zero tolerance for
appeasers of global Jihadists. As the time goes by, noose is tightening.
Alamoudi and Yusuf Islam might have been welcome figures at the White
House a while ago. Now, no more. Poor Cat should have to think twice if he
dares to dance on a hot tin roof once again.
Jamal Hasan writes from
. His email address is [email protected]