British singer Yusuf Islam - formerly known as Cat Stevens - believes British foreign policy instigated the 7 July London suicide bombings, which killed 52 passengers on London's transport system.
"It was not the only factor, but it was a major contributory," said Islam, commenting on the al-Qaeda video aired on Arab television station al-Jazeera late on Monday, in which the terror network explicitly claimed responsibility for the London attacks for the first time and linked them to Britain's role in the Middle East.
"At the same time, we have to look at how the teaching of Islam has been distorted," Islam proceeded.
Islam, who converted to the Muslim faith in the 1970s, was recently appointed an (unpaid) adviser to the British government on how to prevent the radicalisation of young British Muslims. He believes that schools should teach young Muslims the true meaning of Islam to keep them away from extremist ideas.
"Right now there is a more vital role for education to play in painting a truer picture of Islam. If you don't give it to the children in schools, anybody can give it to them on the streets or outside the normal environment for learning," Islam explains.
But he also insists that Muslims should do more to integrate into British society. "Coming to Islam from a western background, I was slightly surprised early on by the insular approach. I can understand it because many feel insecure and perhaps they weren't appreciated or were misunderstood," he said.
Islam, whose parents named him Steven Dimitri Georgiou, was born in Britain to a Greek-Cypriot father and Swedish mother. As the singer Cat Stevens, he sold 40 million albums worldwide with songs such as 'Father and Son', 'Moonshadow', 'Peacetrain' and 'Morning has Broken'. He chose music to express the reasons for his conversion to Islam, with his album 'The Life of the Prophet', the AKI reports.