Yusuf Islam just can’t keep it in

When it comes to international calls for Iran to release two detained American hikers, the peace train is indeed sounding louder.

None other than Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, is the latest to call on the Iranian government to release the jailed hikers–one is from our area.

Islam calls on the Iranian government to release Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer in a YouTube video released yesterday.

“As the world sees it, there is very little justification for holding self-confessed hikers who may have wandered into the wrong area of Iran but have no other sinister intentions,” said Islam.

Stevens changed his name after becoming a Muslim in 1977.  His statement, however, does not make any mention of his faith and its connection to Iran.

Fattal, a native of Cheltenham, and Bauer have been detained since late July of 2009.

Islam has gotten into hot water for making past public statements on issues.  In 1989, he made statements that some interpreted as advocating the killing of author Salman Rushdie–after some Muslim religious authorities issued a fatwa, or death threat, against Rushdie.

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