The singer known as Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), with ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood, has been awarded libel damages by a British court in connection with articles claiming he was “sexist and bigoted.” According to one report:
Yusuf Islam, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, on Friday accepted substantial libel damages and an apology for articles that claimed he was sexist and bigoted, lawyers said. London’s High Court was told the World Entertainment News Network news agency and an entertainment website contactmusic.com agreed to pay “substantial damages” for allegations made about him at an awards ceremony in Germany. The articles, published in March last year, falsely claimed he had refused to speak to or even acknowledge any women who were not veiled and was not prepared to speak to women other than through an intermediary, Islam’s lawyer said. Adam Tudor said his client was caused “considerable embarrassment and distress” at the allegations, which had created an “utterly false impression of his attitude to women” and cast aspersions on his faith. “In fact, Mr Islam has never had any difficulties working with women, whether for religious or for any other reasons. Women feature among some of the most influential people in his professional team,” he added. “All of the damages secured by Mr Islam will be paid to his charity, Small Kindness. The defendants have also agreed to pay Mr Islam’s legal costs.” A spokeswoman for law firm Carter-Ruck told AFP that no details of the exact award would be made public. As Cat Stevens, Islam, 59, recorded several major hits in the late 1960s and 1970s. He converted at the height of his fame in 1977, devoting himself to education and philanthropy. He released his first album in 28 years, “An Other Cup”, in 2006.
Yusuf Islam, who changed his name and converted to Islam in 1978, last attracted substantial attention when he was was denied entry to the United States on national security grounds in September 2004. His inbound flight was diverted to Maine and he and his daughter were taken off the plane. Islam had been planning to record in Nashville with country artists, including Dolly Parton. After complaints protests from the foreign office of Great Britain, where Mr. Islam is a citizen, he later returned to the United States to promote his 2006 comeback “Another Cup,” his first mainstream pop album in 28 years.
Although Islam is said to have spoken frequently against terrorism, Islam is closely associated with a number of organizations tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood and/or support for Hamas:
Islam is a Trustee of the Union of Good, a worldwide coalition of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and which helps to fund raise for Hamas. Islam is also a founder of Muslim Aid, a U.K chairty which is one of the member organizations of the Union of Good and which itself tied to the U.K Muslim Brotherhood
Islam is chairman and a founder the International Board of Educational Research and Resources (IBERR), an international Islamic educational organization whose trustees are largely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood.
Ibrahim Brian Hewitt, a former secretary to Islam, has been associated with both IBERR and Interpal, a British charity that is one of the most important organizations in the Union of Good.
in a January 2007 interview with the New York Times, Islam pointedly refused to condem Hamas, implying that the group “did charity and good to humankind”:
Times: For all your devotion to education and good deeds, government officials in various countries have tried to link you to extremist groups, including Hamas. What do you think of Hamas?
Islam: That’s an extremely loaded question.
Times: Can you try to answer it?
Islam: I have never supported a terrorist group or any group that did other than charity and good to humankind.
Times: O.K., but many of us here in the States would like to see moderate Muslims make more of an effort to denounce the extremist fringe of the faith. Very few mainstream Muslims have publicly criticized their radical brethren.
Islam: If I am not an example of that, then tell me, Who is?
Times: So would you say you have contempt for a terrorist group like Hamas?
Islam: I wouldn’t put those words in my mouth. I wouldn’t say anything on that issue. I’m here to talk about peace. I’m a man who does want peace for this world, and I don’t think you will achieve that by putting people into corners and asking them very, very difficult questions about very contentious issues.