Mocking Cat Stevens


Making fun of Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens, is safe as milk these days. The '70s superstar shares at least one trait with another formerly popular pop outfit from roughly the same period, the Bee Gees: both have been retroactively cast out by the very American listening audience that once loved them so.

Two recent pieces about Islam (the man, not the religion) give some interesting context about U.S. homeland security and Islam (the religion, not the man).

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer notes that while Islam was barred entry into the U.S. for "national security grounds,"

he was here as recently as May for a charity event and to promote a DVD. The White House confirmed he even met with its Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives "to talk about philanthropic work."

Which makes you wonder about the efficacy of no-fly and watch lists (if you weren't wondering already). Whole thing here.

And in The Weekly Standard, Stephen Schwartz, author of an excellent history of California a few years back, asks "Is Cat Stevens a Terrorist?" He answers no, basically, though he believes the guy shouldn't be let in the country. That conclusion is debatable, but Scwhartz's discussion of Wahhabism, "the state religion of Saudi Arabia," is really interesting:

Wahhabism, the state religion in Saudi Arabia, and the inspirer of al Qaeda, is especially known for its hatred of music. In Wahhabi theology, all music except for drum accompaniment to religious chanting is haram, or forbidden. For anybody who has had contact with Muslim civilization, this is a fairly shocking bit of information, since music is one of the great glories of Islamic culture.

Whole thing here.