Yusuf Islam’s manager Marc Marot has refuted allegations that his client refused to speak to non-veiled women at the Echo Awards in Germany on the night of Sunday 25 March as reported by some media. He describes the allegations surfacing on the internet as “baseless and stupid” – especially as millions of people have seen Yusuf being interviewed by women on television during the course of the last decade.
Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award at the German “Echo” awards for his “lifework as a musician and as an ambassador between cultures” at the ceremony which was recorded in Berlin and broadcast on RTL that evening. He also performed his single “Maybe There’s A World”.
Marot says: “The accusation that Yusuf doesn’t speak or interact with women who are not veiled is an absurdity. He plainly has no issues with working and interacting with women and did so in a perfectly normal manner over the awards weekend, even signing autographs and posing for photographs with many of the legion of men and women who had queued for hours at both the airport and hotel.
“In his normal daily life women feature amongst some of the most influential people in his core team, including the joint President of US record label: Atlantic records, the marketing directors of both Polydor and Atlantic records, his set designer, his TV promotions manager and his video commissioner, all of whom are in almost daily contact with Yusuf. At the moment he’s in a London edit suite with BBC TV director Janet Fraser Crook and producer Serena Cross working on the edit of the BBC Sessions concert recently filmed in London. These are not the actions of a misogynist.
“It would seem that certain sections of the media feel that for every good news story featuring a Muslim, a balancing bad news story must be invented to maintain the level of ignorance that surrounds the Islamic faith.”