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Yusuf Islam

folk singer-songwriter acoustic islamic islam

Cat Stevens became a convert to Islam in 1977, after a near-death experience. He adopted the name Yusuf Islam in 1979, and became an outspoken advocate for the religion.
Recently in Nov. 2006, his first pop album after 28 years, "An Other Cup", was released under the name Yusuf.
He currently lives in London with his wife and children, where he is an active member of the Muslim community.
Following Ayatollah Khomeini's February 14, 1989 death fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, he made statements that were interpreted as endorsing the killing of Rushdie. This generated a furor among a number of celebrities and free-speech activists in the West who spoke out about his comments on radio stations and newspaper editorials. On February 21, 1989, Yusuf Islam addressed students at Kingston University in London about his conversion to Islam and was asked about the controversy in the Muslim world and the fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie's execution. He replied, "He must be killed. The Qur'an makes it clear - if someone defames the prophet, then he must die."
He founded, and is chairman of, the Small Kindness charity, which initially assisted famine victims in Africa and now supports thousands of orphans and families in the Balkans, Indonesia, and Iraq. Islam also founded the charity Muslim Aid, but left as founding Chairman in 1999.


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