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Cat Stevens

Cat Stevens (b. July 21, 1948) was the stage name of popular singer-songwriter during the 1970s. Born Stephen Demetre Georgiou in London, England, he has since changed his name to Yusuf Islam after converting to Islam.

His most popular songs included "Peace Train", "Morning Has Broken", "Moon Shadow", "Wild World", and "Father and Son". He also wrote music specifically for the film Harold and Maude; for several decades the songs were unavailable except on the film. Most of those songs have since been released on the disc Footsteps in the Dark.

Statements on Salman Rushdie

His comments in 1989 concerning Salman Rushdie after the publication of Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses provoked controversy. During this time period an Islamic fatwa (religious ruling) was issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, holding that it was an obligation of Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie. Stevens publicly stated that Rushdie was indeed guilty of blasphemy against Islam, and Rushdie deserved to be killed. This led to a public outcry, and a drop in Steven's record sales. In response to this criticism, Stevens has since claimed that his views were partially misstated. What he believed was that a death sentence can only be carried out by the authority of a court in an Islamic society, but that he also favored the rule of law and that he is opposed to anyone taking the law into their own hands by murdering Rushdie. Thus, he holds that Rushdie is guilty of blasphemy and deserves to die, but that he himself would not participate in the killing.

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