August 4, 2008

Muslim folk singer wins libel case

by David Masters

Muslim folk singer Yusaf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has won libel damages and a formal apology from the World Entertainment News Network.

The London-based news agency published an article in March 2007 which claimed that Mr Islam refused to speak to unveiled women at music awards ceremonies.

The article, published online, labelled Mr Islam ‘sexist’ and ‘bigoted’.

According to Mr Islam’s lawyer, Adam Tudor, the article was deeply embarrassing to the singer, causing him distress and anxiety.

In their apology, World Entertainment News Network admitted that the allegations were ‘entirely without foundation.’

59 year old Islam said he will donate the unspecified but ‘substantial’ libel damages to Small Kindness, a UN charity that helps victims of war and conflict.

Cat Stevens converted to Islam in 1978, and changed his name to Yusaf Islam.

In 2004 he was refused entry into the United States when officials realised that he was on a ‘no fly’ list.

The incident was later written off as a misunderstanding.

In 2005 Mr Islam won libel damages from the Sun newspaper, which had falsely claimed that the singer supported Islamic terrorism.

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