Skip to comments.Islamists in Iran approves Cat Stevens
Posted on 09/01/2004 6:21:09 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
IRAN'S Islamic Propagation Organisation has approved for sale the music of Cat Stevens, the British singer who converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.
"We have chosen to put on the market a selection of songs from Cat Stevens, to show to the Iranian youth that not everything in the West is bad," the organisation's music director Reza Mahdavi told AFP.
He said Stevens, a folk icon of the late sixties and early seventies, contrasted with the likes of Michael Jackson - the "King of Pop" facing trial in the US for alleged child abuse.
"There may be Michael Jackson, but there is also Cat Stevens - who converted to Islam while in the heart of the same Western world," Mr Mahdavi enthused.
"We chose Yusef Islam because he is a Muslim artist," he said, adding that cassettes and CDs containing 75 of his songs - recorded before and after his 1977 conversion to Islam - would go on sale in Iran on September 20.
The music will be accompanied by a book featuring lyrics and their Persian translations, statements by the artist and a biography of Britain's most famous Muslim convert - best remembered for hits such as Wild World, Peace Train, Moon Shadow and Morning Has Broken.
The singer hit controversy in 1989 when he was quoted as supporting the death sentence against British author Salman Rushdie ordered by Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The musician has denied ever supporting the fatwa.
"We will also publish the comments of Yusef Islam after September 11, in which he denounces the allegations made against Muslims," the official said, before going on to say the singer should visit the Islamic republic.
"We want to invite Yusuf Islam to Iran. When his album and book comes out, it will be a good time for him to come," Mr Mahdavi said, adding a second album and book was ready to roll if the first release proved a success.
But it is unclear if Stevens, who is 56 and lives in London where he is involved in several Muslim charities, will be making any royalties from the Iranian release of his work.
Iran does not respect international intellectual property laws and even officially sanctioned releases of Western music or films are merely copies pirated locally.
According to the organisation, each cassette will cost 7000 rials (a little less than $US1), a CD will cost around $US3 and the book $US2.
Last month another Iranian state body, the culture and Islamic Guidance ministry, said that Queen had become the first rock band to be given the official seal of approval in Iran.
This decision was taken even though Queen's frontman Freddie Mercury was an outlandish gay icon.
Homosexuality is strictly banned in Iran.
Western music is strictly censored in Iran and those selling foreign music need special permits, although millions of pirated banned CDs and cassettes are sold on the black market.
Other western acts to have had albums of selected songs released on the official Iranian market are Elton John, Julio Iglesias and Gypsy Kings.
Do they approve Cassius - er, er - MUHAMMAD Ali?
So.... women will throw their burkas on stage at him?
I just know that he went to Iran a few years ago!
Liar. I remember seeing his comments on TV. Can I anyone find it?
Elton John? I thought they stoned homosexuals in Iran.
I wonder if he denounced the terrorist attack against innocent americans?
As far as I am concerned, yank his citizenship if he hasn't
Iran's master plan to keeping the masses in line. There is no greater torture then "The Cats in the Cradle" and "Moon Shadow".
Yep lets all hop on the HAMAS suicide "Peace Train"
It would be too much for the mullahs to handle. Their space saver gear on their heads would disintegrate, and they would shi'ite their fetid nightshirts!
Harry Chapin did "Cat's in the Cradle."
Right you are. Different artist, same degree of torture.
moon shadow is equivalent torture to raindrops falling on my head.
AAAAAGGHH!! My ears!!
No, their chastity belts.
Cat Stevens was living in England during his "searching period".
His conversion to Islam speaks volumes on the condition of the Christian Church in Great Britain.
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