Most of SFW’s readers probably know who Cat Stevens is. He was a folk singer who converted to Islam in the late 1970s and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.
At the time of his conversion, he swore off his music and devoted himself to his new-found faith. A few years later he found himself on television in Great Britain essentially endorsing the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran calling for the assassination of Salmen Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, a book that insulted the prophet Mohammed.
Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens stayed pretty much out of the public eye for years after that, until he was unceremoniously removed from an airliner destined for the US because he was on a “do not fly list.” At the time, the Western media expressed outrage at this “mistake,” but the reality was Yusuf had financial ties to terrorists and that is why he deserved to be on the no fly list.
As far as we’re concerned, Yusuf Islam is in fact a terrorist and should still be on the no fly list today. Jihad can take many forms. A Jihadi need not shoulder a rifle or strap an explosive vest to himself to be a terrorist. A Jihadi–by Islamic law itself–can perform his duty in other ways, including by providing financial support for Jihad. That is what Yusuf Islam has done.
Nevertheless, from time to time, apologists in the West contend that Yusuf Islam is a harmless good guy and not at all deserving of any ridicule or disdain.
One of them is a guy named Michael Gilmour. Gilmour is an English professor at a college up in Canada and writes for the dreadful Huffington Post. One of his most recent columns on the Post is called Yusuf Islam, Salman Rushdie and Censorship.
The column is almost a complete work of pure fiction. Gilmour maintains that Yusuf Islam is misunderstood and is actually a victim:
Not long after the publication of “The Satanic Verses,” on Feb. 14, 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini issued his infamous fatwa calling for the author’s death, forcing Rushdie into hiding (a period the writer refers to as the plague years in “Step Across This Line: Collected Non-Fiction from 1992-2002”). When asked to comment on the fatwa around that time, Yusuf made remarks appearing to support the Ayatollah’s condemnation of Rushdie (statements that circulate widely on the web to this day).
Yusuf now attempts to explain those comments and answer charges on his website in an FAQ section called “Chinese Whiskers.” Here he writes candidly about his beliefs and with reference to Salman Rushdie, he offers the following:
I never called for the death of Salman Rushdie; nor backed the Fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini – and still don’t.
Well, here is a video showing exactly what Yusuf Islam said that day on TV. Judge for yourself:
If you know more about Yusuf Islam and his connections, you begin to understand that his answer on that video fits in perfectly. You’ll also understand what his connection is to Jihad and specifically “jihad with money.”
In fact, Gilmour makes it a point to laud Yusuf Islam for his charitable work. But there is a decidedly sinister side to that charitable work.
Yusuf Islam donated thousands of British pounds to an Islamic charity known as Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA). In 2004, the US Treasury Department designated ISRA’s Sudanese-based African affiliate, IARA (Islamic African Relief Agency), as a terrorist entity. It seems that none other than Osama Bin Laden was closely involved with IARA right from the start. Moreover, IARA/ISRA funneled funds to Jihadist terrorists in the Palestinian territories. You can read all about it here:
But that is not the full extent of Yusuf Islam’s involvement with terrorist charities. He also headed and funded another charity known as “Muslim Aid.” Muslim Aid was a member of the Union of Good. We have written about the Union of Good on SFW before. Union of Good is kind of like a Muslim United Way, except with violence added. It is an umbrella group of 53 charities based out of Saudi Arabia (where else?). It is headed by Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi, the prominent Muslim Brotherhood Shariah scholar, the same Qaradawi who is forbidden from entering the USA or Great Britain because of his ties to Jihad.
Union of Good has been designated a terrorist entity by the US Treasury Department for financing Jihadist terrorism:
Not only was Yusuf Islam’s charity part of the Union of Good, but Yusuf Islam himself also was a member of the Union of Good’s Board of Trustees:
So, when someone tries to tell you that Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam is a good guy and a peace-loving guy, don’t believe them. Watch what Yusuf Islam does, do not listen to what he sings.