Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, is a
singer/songwriter many Americans remember fondly from their youth. He changed
his name soon after converting to Islam. Enjoying the freedom to speak all Britons share,
he is widely admired for his philanthropy as well as his sincere religious
feelings, and listened to when he speaks his mind. As a writer himself, he must
appreciate the freedom to write whatever lyrics come to him. He surely would
not condemn any man to death for anything he wrote, whether or not certain
clerics condemn Salman Rushdie.
It is very obvious that Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) is being truthful when he denies having ever supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. He's states this several different times in several different forums and there are only two relate-able incidents that support the claim both of those have been explained.
There is no evidence that Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, supported the fatwa, or death sentence, against the famous novelist and author Salman Rushdie. The novelist himself has responded to these claims, saying that he has no hard feelings for Islam, and feels that he has been unjustly accused. We should as well.
I believe that Yusuf Islam truly never supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie in his heart and mind, but in the cruel repressive theocracy of which he was a part, to state his honest opinion would have been disastrous for him. Any display,regardless of how mild or weak it was, of objection to the fatwa would most likely mean prison for him. The fact that he is a celebrity and could be made an example of would really exacerbate his situation.
No, I do not think that Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens, is being truthful when he denies having ever supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, because he did support it, whether he wants to or not. He is a big proponent of the religion that supported the fatwa against Rushdie, so he supported it too.