Had a busy night of emails following last nights blog, many of which seem to entangled me up with issues of skin colour, refugees and terrorists, when really that was not my point (but then race and skin colour is like a dose of the clap given to someone who wants to fuck their way to some truth). If you’re interested in my response then read on:
Every morning I hear Cat Stevens sing. Vanessa get’s up at 7am to get ready for school (she’s a teacher and not a child), and I stay in bed, hanging on till the last minute, while she cleans her teeth, has a shower, Cat Stevens playing from the behind the bathroom door. I’ve always loved Cat Stevens, loved the sound of his songs, loved the words, loved the sentiment and meaning. But recently I must admit I’ve gone off his songs a little, would like some Paul Simon, or better still some Nick Cave playing, his songs leaving a bad taste.
Cat Steven’s real name is Steven Georgiou, born in London by Greek and Swedish parents he’s a child of this nation, a product of multicultural Britain, his success born partly it could be said on the back of the 60’s revolution of youth, sex and experimentation of ideas (incidentally we have been on a steady move away from violence for hundreds of years, the time we live in the least violent time earth has ever seen, but in the 60’s there was a blip of real and sexual violence). As most people know Cat Stephens is a Muslim, changed his name to Yusuf Islam in 1977, when he almost drowned and promised God “If you save me I will work for you.” at which point a wave brought him back to shore, which to me just points out that if he’d taken the time to learn how to swim, or understand rip tides (swim along the beach, not back) we’d still have Cat Stevens. It always shocks me that any deity would take on board such people as Cat Steven’s, who no doubt was quite a heroic sinner in his time, but when the chips where down had not the courage or the skill to sink or swim, and instead was vain enough to imagine God was looking, and mistook the seventh wave as an act of God as lifeguard (I prefer the idea of a Jewish God who really doesn’t care at all, one who has bigger fish to fry) . Ask yourself, who would want to share heaven with people so week of will, as well as with blasphemers and petty crooks who like Cat saw the light just at end, the light of a suicide vest, the equivalent of a VIP pass straight past the queue to paradise. I’ve also found it odd that God would be so prescriptive in all sexual matters and yet dish out virgins for a right royal gangbang… sign me up!
Being a Muslim isn’t easy, but being a white Muslim who wrote Moonshadow is handy, would makes one and a half million dollars a year in royalties eases the fact, makes Cat a good pundit, a man we can tolerate with our undoubted racist, imperialist and capitalist worldview. Being a philanthropist is also good, Cat putting money into faith schools, again a little odd and expensive when swimming classes would be much cheaper. For the record, if I am to be honest I think all faith based schooling, as well as faith based indoctrination of young minds (children begin learning the Quran and arabic around 5 years old… because God only speaks Arabic) is a form of legitimised programming, the slow steady indoctrination over a whole childhood a terrible form of slavery, that if undertaken by North Korea, children forced to follower a dead leader’s teachings, the west would denounce it as child abuse and psychological manipulation. The fact that many radicals seem to have been petty criminals before they become martyrs ignores the fact that religious programming was already in place from primary school age. We are simple creatures, and to ignore the ease at which almost everyone can be programmed to believe the impossible is to underestimate our stupidity. Take a second to watch this video below (only 90 seconds long) of the belief system of scientology, who have almost 15 million member (and work very much inline with Islamic dogma):
In 2004 Cat received the ‘Man of Peace’ price from Mikhail Gorbachev, praising him for his charity work and for standing by his convictions despite personal hardships, saying ”Every person who takes a critical stance to make the world a better place ... has a difficult life.”
So, my point, Cat is a clean slate, a petri dish where we can test faith. His is not black or brown, an ‘other’ he is like me. He’s cool and richer than I’ll ever be, plus he wrote Moonshadow. I do not fear he’ll steal my job, rape white woman in the park or throw acid in my daughters uncovered face. He is not a product of imperialism, or UK or US foreign policy. He is a good muslim, a liberal, far removed as can be from that tiny, tiny minority who undermine a religion of peace and tolerance. But he is devout, and although he was emboldened to show he true faith only once and long ago (late starters are often the most devote), this cool, kind and loving man, make no mistake - all those who have emailed me to say that I’m being racist and a generalist take notice of his words.
As Cat once wrote: the words of the songs speak for themselves.