Yusuf Islam, better known as Cat Stevens (born Steven Georgiou in London, 1948), is a British folk rock singer, who was most popular in the 1970s. His most famous song from his folk era was the Christian hymn like song, Morning has Broken.
In the late 1970s, Stevens converted to Islam after a long spiritual discovery through not only Christianity but also Buddhism, paganism, and even "new age". After his conversion, he stopped performing popular music and only sung in prayer or praise of God. Stevens is known to have donated money to Muslim schools in London, and later founded Small Kindness which provides food for starving children in Indonesia and Africa.
Yusuf Islam is a champion for peace, and has come out in strong condemnation of the vigilante justice common in modern Middle Eastern Islam. He has made public statements that the Qu'ran forbids violence against another human for any reason. After the 9/11 attacks, he made a statement saying that them men who attacked the World Trade Center, the 4 planes and the pentagon cannot be true Muslims, because violence is never an acceptable answer.
In 2002, Islam was denied entry into the United States because his named showed up on a no-fly list which prohibits the people listed from traveling by air into the United States. However, it was eventually determined that the Yusuf Islam in question was probably somebody else and he was eventually let in after a brief legal battle.
Return to Music
Yusuf Islam believed that the only acceptable music for Islam was voice and drums. He recorded several albums of praise of God, as well as praise of nature and the world at large using only voice and drum. Over the years, through his ever increasing depth of understanding of Islam, Yusuf Islam has decided to return to English to sing, and to use other instruments besides just drum and voice.