Cat Stevens Condemns Terror Attack

Yusuf Islam calls last week's terrorist attacks "unthinkable"

September 17, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, has released a statement vigorously denouncing the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, D.C.

"I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday," Islam said. "While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: The Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims of this sorrowful moment."

Islam came under fire more than ten years ago when the British press alleged that he supported Ayatollah Khomeni's fatwa by calling for the life of author Salman Rushdie for committing blasphemy against the Qur'an in his novel The Satanic Verses. (Islam denied this claim to Rolling Stone last year).

Yusuf Islam abandoned the name and identity of Cat Stevens and accepted Islam in December 1977, effectively retiring as a popular recording artist. Since his conversion Stevens has worked to numerous charitable ends in his native London. "The fact is I have always held strong humanitarian views; I always stood for the elimination of conflict and wars, and any of those causes that ignite them," Islam said last year. "It is part of my faith as a Muslim to try to help those who are suffering from poverty or economic or political injustice. It's very difficult to ignore humanitarian disasters. The royalties from my albums continue to support my charity work."

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