Yusuf Islam Sings to Bridge Islam-West Divide

Yusuf Islam, previously British pop star Cat Stevens, is returning with a new album to bridge the widening gap between Islam and the West.

Yusuf Islam Sings to Bridge Islam-West Divide

"It is important for me to be able to help bridge the cultural gaps others are sometimes frightened to cross," Islam, who left the world of the music business in 1979, told a press conference on Wednesday, May 17, reported Reuters.

"Much has changed, but today I am in a unique position as a looking glass through which Muslims can see the West and the West can see Islam."

The new album is due for release this autumn on Universal Music's Polydor label on the 40th anniversary of his first record I Love My Dog, which was released in November 1966.

The as-yet untitled album includes compositions that have lain unfinished in his musical memory for years and have only recently been completed.

The songs have been recorded in the past year with the help of producer Rick Nowels.

The former pop star reverted to Islam in 1977 and has since become a prominent member of Britain 's Muslim community.

His UN-registered charity, Small Kindness, provides humanitarian relief, through direct aid as well as social and educational programs, to orphans and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and other regions of the world.

Comeback

Islam believes that his talent is much needed now to serve others.

"There were one hundred reasons for leaving the music industry back in 1979, not least because I had found what I was looking for spiritually," he said.

"Today there are perhaps one hundred and one good reasons why I feel right making music and singing about life in this fragile world again."

Following a 17-year hiatus from the music business, he returned in 1995 and has since released three albums of Islam-related songs, The Life of the Last Prophet (1995), Prayers of the Last Prophet (1999) and a record for children, A Is for Allah (2000).

In recent years, he returned to the recording studio, releasing a re-recorded version of his song Peace Train in opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq.

"Today I am in a unique position as a looking glass through which Muslims can see the West and the West can see Islam," said Islam.

Islam also released a new record in aid of tsunami-orphaned children in the Indonesian province of Aceh.

In 2003, Islam was awarded the "World Social Award" for his humanitarian relief work.

More recently, in November 2004, he was honored with the "Man for Peace" award by a committee of Nobel peace laureates.

Islam made headlines the same year when he was denied entry to the United States and his flight was diverted after his name turned up on a watch list.

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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