The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that noted singer Yusuf Islam is releasing a song aimed at raising money for UNRWA and the Save the Children charity to be used to help children and families, who are reeling under the crippling Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip. Yusuf, a British singer and songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, is releasing a song called “The day the world gets around” which was originally recorded by Beatles guitarist George Harrison. All proceeds will be donated to UNWRA and Save the Children. In a statement, UNRWA said Yusuf hopes the song will “help remind people of the immense legacy of love, peace and happiness we can share when we get round to looking at mankind’s futile wars and prejudice’s and change our foolish ways.”
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. After protests from the foreign office of Great Britain, where Mr. Islam is a citizen, he later returned to the United States to promote his first mainstream pop album in 28 years.
- 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.”