MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Yusuf Islam, the British musician formerly known as Cat Stevens, is calling for the release of two American hikers charged with spying in Iran.

A video from Islam has been posted on YouTube pleading for the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal on humanitarian and justice grounds. If there’s no clear evidence they’re anything other than hikers, he says, “then surely they should be free.”

Islam’s statement follows pleas by another prominent western Muslim, former boxing champ Muhammad Ali, who has written to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei twice on their behalf.

Fattal and Bauer were arrested in July 2009 while hiking in northern Iraq near the Iranian border. They’re due to go on trial May 11. A third hiker, Sarah Shourd, was released on bail in September.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. v says:

    A great performer and a peaceful, kind individual who’s unfortunately and unfairly been persecuted via the ignorance and intolerance of our post 9/11 society.

  2. lib says:

    Wasn’t it ignorance and intolerance that caused the murder of several thousand people on 9/11? Isn’t it ignorance and intolerance that your Muslim brothers are practicing in keeping these two men imprisoned? Let’s take a look at Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran and see if you notice any ignorance and intolerance that has been practiced there. How about Shari a law for women, any ignorance or intolerance practiced there?

    1. Lack of common sense says:

      Probably was not a good time to go hiking in Iran. I would bet that these guys are democrats.

      1. Ignorance must be bliss says:

        @ Lack
        What a stupid comment. What the he!!does that have to do with anything in this or any related stories? It is better to be thought of as a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Oops, too late for you.

    2. Mark says:

      Ignorance? Nope. Intolerance, sure. Just because you can’t justify terrorism, doesn’t mean no legitimate problems were behind driving people to become terrorists. It’s that kind of thinking that causes the influence of terrorists to grow. If we ignore the atrocities we commit, we should not be surprised when the desperate seek to remind us in kind. Is it right, no, but that’s hardly a useful stance if your goal is increased global stability. We can hardly expect to continue bombing civilians, prop up puppet dictators and expect no one adversely affected to hold a grudge.

      1. lib says:

        The ONLY reason they target us is because we support Israel, and allow freedom to women all we have to do is drop our support and become a muslim nation and hey no problem. How many heads have we sawed off on live TV? and you can excuse that? Go look in the mirror and chant ” I hate myself and my country” over and over because that is your agenda

  3. kitty says:

    I am a former Cat Stevens. It was hard to quit, but through a lot of willpower and the new Cat Stevens patch, I have been clean for 2 years now.

  4. Phil Mcrackin says:

    The Illuminati, the Bilderberg group, the NWO,Bohemian Grove, just to name a few might be behind this. Do yourself a favor and Google these. If you think it’s all BS fine but it is some very interesting stuff.

  5. The Cat is Back says:

    Miles from no where … I love your music and you are my all time favorite artist.

  6. Don says:

    Don’t free them. If there not spys keep them in jail for being stupid. That way they can’t breed. And as far as the broad that was let free because she faked an illness. She should be sent back. No books and no movie deals.

    1. Ignorance must be bliss says:

      @ Don
      Thank you for justifying my screen name.

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