JERUSALEM, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A concert featuring Cat Stevens, a British singer who follows Islam, was canceled in Israel because of security concerns, organizers said.
Ynetnews.com said Stevens, who also goes by the name Yusuf Islam, was invited to perform at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Peres Center for Peace, however, the center canceled the concert for security reasons.
"The truth is that he was afraid and asked if they would let him enter the country this time," the show's producer Irit Tenhangel told Ynetnews.com. "I calmed him down and told him there was no problem because, after all, he had received a personal invitation from (President Shimon) Peres and was coming here for purposes of peace. But several days later, the center's director, Uri Savir, told me it was unequivocally impossible, as this visit could cause too much of a mess, and that they decided to call it off for security reasons. This put me in a very embarrassing situation with Stevens and his personal manager."
When Stevens was denied entry to Israel eight years ago, the Interior Ministry alleged he was "transferring donations and funds" to Islamic groups that are hostile to Israel.
"Time has passed and things have changed. I watched a documentary film about him not so long ago, and the man is a great peace activist now," Tenhangel said. "He may have supported Hamas once, but the fact that a singer who converted to Islam wants to come to Israel and express his support for peace and we're not letting him do so infuriates me."