Retired rock star Yusuf Islam is calling for fellow Muslims to stand up for what they believe in and fight injustice because it's the only way to right wrongs.

Islam, formerly singer CAT STEVENS, converted to Islam in 1977 and has often been maligned for his religious choices - as part of a culture, which he claims is greatly misunderstood.

And he feels Muslims have themselves partly to blame for the problems because they are too peaceful and rarely speak out about misinformation and injustice.

He says, "Since the day I became a Muslim people have been trying to tag sort of controversies onto me and my story and my life. I'm getting absolutely sick of it.

"It's imperative that people get to know the real Islam, and, for that, Muslims have to speak up.

"When something is wrong, it's wrong. It's totally abhorrent and we totally condemn it."

Islam, who appeared on American news show 20/20 on Friday (01OCT04) to hit back at the country's Homeland Security chiefs for banning him from the US on a recent trip, insisted reports of him secretly funding terrorist groups were "rubbish."

He added, "I'm not a politician, I was a singer."

04/10/2004 02:51