Former pop star Cat Stevens urged American Muslims to start religious schools in their communities, speaking in Chicago about the school he started soon after converting to Islam in the 1970s.
Stevens, who now uses the name Yusuf Islam, said he got the idea when the prayer leader at his mosque gave a sermon about the importance of Muslim schools and asked the singer for a donation.
"So I wrote a check, a big check," he said Saturday, joking with the audience about his former life. "I was still a pop star at the time."
He and other parents from the mosque who met each Sunday then decided to start their own school, he said. It opened in 1983 in London. He urged American Muslims to follow suit.