Cat will never try to be on a hot tin roof, will he?


By Jamal Hasan

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’ been followed by a moon shadow."

 

The 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 there lives are locked into sinkhole. The notorious shoe-bomber British born Richard Reid to American dirty bomber Jose Padilla have 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?

Cat 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 "Peace Train."

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 England. He was involved in quite a few charities and humanitarian (oh! Islamic activities) in order to help causes of earthlings (Muslims) of Bosnia, Kosovo, and Kashmir. 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 Israel. 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 your life!

Then the bomb shell came last month. The goodie two shoes Cat was deported from USA back to UK. Of course, it was America’s Homeland Security’s lack of alertness, or undesired mix up. Yusuf Islam being on USA’s watch list even allowed to board a United Airlines Flight en route to Dulles International Airport. 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 USA 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.

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Jamal Hasan writes from USA. His email address is [email protected]

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