WTF?! Islamofascist at the Rally to Restore Sanity?! (Update: A trip Down Memory Lane with Stewart and South Park; Salman Rushdie on Yusuf Islam; Video: Yusuf Islam on Wishing He Could Burn Rushdie Alive)
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here. Full disclosure: I am the proprietor of the website Everyone Draw Mohammed. Cross posted at that site and Allergic to B.S.]
Update: I am not the first to notice and TPM is apparently the first to dismiss these concerns as “Right Wing.” I didn’t realize that freedom of speech was a “right wing” value. I thought it was a baseline that people on the left and right agreed on.
Update (II): Thanks for links from Memeorandum, Hot Air, and American Power.
I have been watching the Jon Stewart rally and my Tivo’s running a bit behind because I have been pausing to deal with life, but my jaw dropped wide open when Stewart introduced a man named “Yusuf.” That would be Yusuf Islam, the man formerly known as Cat Stevens, who then played a rendition of his song “Peace Train.”
That would be the same Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens who endorsed the Fatwah against Salman Rushdie. For instance, the New York Times reported (registration required) as follows in 1989:
The musician known as Cat Stevens said in a British television program to be broadcast next week that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, ”I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing.”
The singer, who adopted the name Yusuf Islam when he converted to Islam, made the remark during a panel discussion of British reactions to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s call for Mr. Rushdie to be killed for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his best-selling novel ”The Satanic Verses.” He also said that if Mr. Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, ”I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like.”
”I’d try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is,” said Mr. Islam, who watched a preview of the program today and said in an interview that he stood by his comments.
That would be the same Yusuf Islam that Charles Johnson (in his sane period) quoted as saying: “The Qur’an makes it clear, if someone defames the Prophet, then he must die.” (As of this writing, Johnson has made no mention of Stevens/Islam’s presence at the rally. Color me surprised.) This is the same Yusuf Islam who threatened Farrukh Dhondy:
In the first week of the fatwa against Rushdie and his book, I [Dhondy] appeared on a television panel. Among the Muslim panelists, all of whom favored condemning the book, were two zealots: the same Kalim Siddiqui; and Yusuf Islam, the Muslim convert pop singer of Greek Cypriot origin formerly known as Cat Stevens. The moderator asked if, in my role as a commissioning editor of Channel 4 UK, I would contemplate turning The Satanic Verses into a film. I said that I would judge the cinematic merits of the script, and that no other consideration would rule it out. Kalim Siddiqui and Yusuf Islam snarled, warning that the sentence of death on Rushdie would extend to all those who forwarded his book in any way.
And this ___hole is in the rally to restore sanity?!
Update: Remember when Jon Stewart was against those who use threats of violence to suppress freedom of speech? Video at the link. (Thanks to Kevin M below who reminded me of that.)
Update (II): Let’s not forget what Rushdie thought of Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam appearing at a “Green” event:
Cat Stevens wanted me dead
However much Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam may wish to rewrite his past, he was neither misunderstood nor misquoted over his views on the Khomeini fatwa against The Satanic Verses (Seven, April 29). In an article in The New York Times on May 22, 1989, Craig R Whitney reported Stevens/Islam saying on a British television programme “that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, ‘I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing’.”
He added that “if Mr Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, ‘I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like. I’d try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is’.”
In a subsequent interview with The New York Times, Mr Whitney added, Stevens/Islam, who had seen a preview of the programme, said that he “stood by his comments”.
Let’s have no more rubbish about how “green” and innocent this man was.
Salman Rushdie, New York
Update (III): Via Ed Driscoll, we get video of Yusuf Islam wishing he could burn Rushdie alive.
Update (IV): Yusuf Islam, in a FAQ that No More Mr. Nice Blog states was written in 2007:
I never called for the death of Salman Rushdie; nor backed the Fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini – and still don’t. The book itself destroyed the harmony between peoples and created an unnecessary international crisis.
When asked about my opinion regarding blasphemy, I could not tell a lie and confirmed that – like both the Torah and the Gospel – the Qur’an considers it, without repentance, as a capital offense. The Bible is full of similar harsh laws if you’re looking for them. However, the application of such Biblical and Qur’anic injunctions is not to be outside of due process of law, in a place or land where such law is accepted and applied by the society as a whole.
You got that? He doesn’t want to personally kill Rushdie, he just wants the government to do it, after a fair trial. Lovely.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]
Interestingly, TPM wrote this headline already:
“Cat Stevens Appearance At Sanity Rally Rankles Right Winger”imdw (c41bd3) — 10/30/2010 @ 11:41 am
I would love a link if you can find it.Aaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/30/2010 @ 11:46 am
Rather chickenshit to use his previous name, and to refrain from judging him for supporting a fatwah against a writer like Rushdie. Let’s all right the Peace Train, eh?Dana (8ba2fb) — 10/30/2010 @ 11:48 am
This is the same John Stewart that lambasted Comedy Central for censoring the South Park Mohammed episode? Perhaps they’ll talk about it.Kevin M (298030) — 10/30/2010 @ 11:52 am
good point. in fact, excellent point.Aaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:00 pm
Analogizing christian americans as islamic extremists is “good”, so lets have real islamic extremists show up at leftwing rallies …
It is a good thing that cognitive dissonance is not really explosive.SPQR (26be8b) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:13 pm
Yusuf Islam later claimed that he was taken out of context etc, Also, he later denied “knowingly” supporting Hamas and various terrorist organizations. In 2004 he called Judaism a “so-called” religion; not sure if he ever addressed that comment.Northeast Elizabeth (24fc2b) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:14 pm
See the updates where i link to stewart on the south park controversy, and credit you for reminding me.Aaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:16 pm
But that’s different you see, Yusuf’s a progressive muslim. His liberal views outweigh his death cult fatwas.daleyrocks (940075) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:28 pm
And this ___hole is in the rally to restore sanity?!
But you don’t understand. Just as long as most of the people involved in some situation or event (eg, the “Sanity” rally) are imbued with liberal sentiment, nothing else matters. IOW, being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry about anyone or anything.
After all, Barack “Goddamn America” Obama played footsies with Jeremiah Wright (a variation of Cat Stevens) for almost 20 years, and Jon Stewart couldn’t have cared less about that. Either back in 2008 or the other day when he interviewed the current resident of the White House.
Again, the supposed big-heartedness and generosity (and urbane sophistication) of leftism heals all wounds and ___holes.Mark (411533) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:34 pm
ALWAYS look in the opposite direction of where Liberals point and you know you’re now seeing the truth.
Progressive = Regressive
Democrat = Communist
Sanity = Psychosis
Gene Aberration = Birth DefectWinghunter (aae941) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:54 pm
Thanks, Aaron. BTW, was Rushdie invited? Wouldn’t he be like the perfect guest at an anti-extremist event?Kevin M (298030) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:57 pm
Some questions pop to mind…TimesDisliker (298108) — 10/30/2010 @ 12:59 pm
1) Didn’t an Islamiofascist try to blow up Comedy Central?
2) Why doesn’t Yusef sing “Peace Train” at a few mosques in Londonistan?
3) How did he get removed from the no-fly list?
> Thanks, Aaron. BTW, was Rushdie invited? Wouldn’t he be like the perfect guest at an anti-extremist event?
Or just the creators of south park. but maybe they were scared that this “peaceful” man would fly into a rage and shoot one of them.
As for how he got off the no fly list, i am not sure, but he came to the US without incident in 2006. so it was not an obama admin decision.Aaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/30/2010 @ 1:01 pm
oh, that part about the no-fly list was actually times’ question.Aaron Worthing (f97997) — 10/30/2010 @ 1:01 pm
Stewart also gave one of the “Sanity” awards to some YouTube dude who claimed he snatched a copy of the Koran away from someone who was going to burn it. Stewart uttered some mush about how it was problematic to snatch stuff from people but concluded that it was probably “the most sane” to do under the circumstances. Hopefully he’ll write a comprehensive treatise on the acceptable ways of interfering with symbolic speech so I’ll know how to behave next time I see someone doing something I don’t like.Northeast Elizabeth (24fc2b) — 10/30/2010 @ 2:06 pm
After watching a few minutes of the live broadcast it can pretty much be summed with two words: moronic convergence.Dmac (ad2c6a) — 10/30/2010 @ 2:14 pm
OT: Doctor Zero crushes the 111th Congress.John Hitchcock (9e8ad9) — 10/30/2010 @ 2:31 pm
The Left supports Freedom of Speech that they agree with.AD-RtR/OS! (f2f112) — 10/30/2010 @ 2:37 pm
Lots of hitler mustache signs, some nasty attack on O’Donnell signs, DNC recruiting folks…
And of course, the poignant image of Jon and Steve mocking patriotism with those over-the-top flag outfits.
The democrats actually need to convince Tea Partiers to come back to their side. It’s wishful thinking to pretend they are all hard right. This confusing rally of nuts isn’t going to convince any centrist to vote for democrats, but it will help GOTV for the GOP. Which, incidentally, I really hope folks here try to do. It’s not too late to call the tough contest candidate near you and show up and help.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/30/2010 @ 2:58 pm
I have been scouring photo’s from every possible source and have yet to see one black face in attendance.Dennis D (e0b996) — 10/30/2010 @ 3:03 pm
You realize that you’re not defending “freedom of speech” here at all, right?
If anything, you’re asymmetrically defending one person’s right to borderline hate speech while (I think in this case rightfully) denouncing a more explicit affirmation of violence against the person. However, since you know it’s not like Yusuf Islam actually committed any violent actions, you’re just tarring and feathering him for voicing frustration with somebody who attacked his religion.
Just thought you might like to know that “freedom of speech” is a two way street. It’s a ground rule of a liberal, democratic society. Maybe what you’re talking about is ‘respect’ which is a an important value in society, but one which I think your post also exemplifies a dearth of, along with Mr. Islam’s remarks.Normal People (bd3da8) — 10/30/2010 @ 3:04 pm
“Normal People” please clarify who and what exactly you’re talking about.
At any rate, there’s nothing wrong with bashing an Islamofascist. There’s nothing contrary to free speech to let him talk and then bash those who accepted such a horrible thing. That’s what free speech is all about. that’s what a classically liberal society is all about.
it’s not tarring and feathering someone to point out who we’re talking about. Violent terrorism is wrong too, but it’s not like everything short of that is therefore unassailable.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/30/2010 @ 3:12 pm
Trick or Terrorist?epador (4c23dc) — 10/30/2010 @ 3:12 pm
Yusuf Islam actually committed any violent actions, you’re just tarring and feathering him for voicing frustration with somebody who attacked his religion.
Yeah, he’s just a poor widdle muslim who only wanted to cut off a person’s head for the outrageous sin of actually criticizing his religion. What’s wrong with making death threats against anyone who criticized your beliefs? Why, you’d think he was one of those Christians wishing death on the artist who did the infamous “Piss Christ” exhibit in NYC, am I right?
Asshat.Dmac (ad2c6a) — 10/30/2010 @ 3:25 pm
It’s not like Osama Bin Laden flew those planes into the WTC either. It’s not like Hitler actually turned any Jew burning ovens on.
They just demanded other people do that for them.
A violent fatwa is violence, ‘normal people’. Not surprised you have to pretend everyone conforms to your view, but I don’t. No normal person does. Insisting those who don’t abide your ways are freaks is the oldest trick in the tyrant’s book.Dustin (b54cdc) — 10/30/2010 @ 3:38 pm
Huge roundup, and linked: ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear — UPDATED!!’.Americaneocon (301403) — 10/30/2010 @ 3:44 pm
Normal People, the whole pretence of Stewart’s rally was to reject the non-“Sane” voices at the extremes of the political spectrum. By your own admission, Mr. Islam was not such a voice. This post demonstrates that Stewart’s rally was not remotely what it claimed to be. Apart from being a (somewhat incoherent) promotion of Stewart’s liberal views and his distate for conservatives, it was an endorsement of Mr. Islam’s extreme, violent and anti-Semitic hate speech.
It’s not a question of free speech. I support Mr. Stewart’s right to express his views. I support Mr. Islam’s right to express his hate. I support Stewart’s right to support Mr. Islam’s hate speech, and to lie about what he is doing. I support your right to lie about what Stewart was doing, what Mr. Islam was doing, what this post was doing.
I’m not particularly interested in respect or civilty, although they have their place. I don’t respect you or your lies. I’m not not going to lie about my lack of respect to be civil.Northeast Elizabeth (24fc2b) — 10/30/2010 @ 4:01 pm
for voicing frustration with somebody who attacked his religion.
That deserves a big guffaw. So wishing that Salman Rushdie be — not tarred and feathered — but flat-out killed is a sign of Cat Stevens’ “frustration”? Therefore, the pro-Islam US military doctor who mowed down people at Fort Hood almost a year ago was demonstrating his sad, sincere, touching, heartfelt frustration.
However, I will say Cat Stevens (or Yusuf Islam) really is following the example of his religion’s founder. Mohammed did have people who merely mocked him assassinated.Mark (411533) — 10/30/2010 @ 4:33 pm
#21.I have been scouring photo’s from every possible source and have yet to see one black face in attendance. – Comment by Dennis D — 10/30/2010 @ 3:03 pm
That is an interesting observation.
I recently watched Bill Maher’s “But I’m Not Wrong”, 80 minutes of standup taped this year in Raleigh, NC. He spends huge amount of time calling Republicans, Conservatives, and “Teabaggers” racist. He then goes on to joke about Obama as a thug president, flashing a gun in his waistband, and sassy Michelle jive-talkin’. And…wait for it…not one non-Caucasian in the audience (in NC).
Maher is funny, but not based in reality.TimesDisliker (298108) — 10/30/2010 @ 4:39 pm
Given that the average age of one of these attendees was in the low-mid 20’s, the question is just how many of the people knew who he was.
1 million internets to anyone who can find an MSM story which notes that the crowd was overwhelmingly white and young.East Coast Chris (ded5f2) — 10/30/2010 @ 5:07 pm
Why would you do that to yourself,TD,ian cormac (6709ab) — 10/30/2010 @ 5:14 pm
http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/23749#commentsian cormac (6709ab) — 10/30/2010 @ 5:20 pm
“Given that the average age of one of these attendees was in the low-mid 20′s”
How can you tell? Foxnews.com said there was an ‘eclectic age range.’imdw (14df54) — 10/30/2010 @ 5:23 pm
Aaron, TPM appears to rely on a great deal of information from D sources both in and out of government particularly concerning any information that is damaging to conservatives or the R party. They also have a history of ignoring or downplaying anything that puts liberals or Democrats in a bad light, so I am not surprised that they would play the Cat Stevens/Y. Islam appearance the way they do. They are, for all intents purposes, an official house organ of the D party.
You would think, despite their bias, that they would be smarter than that. They are not.BT (74cbec) — 10/30/2010 @ 5:23 pm
“Normal People”, you are joking right? Because no sane, serious person would fail to note that the Democrats bewail the horrors of Christians’ expressing their beliefs in political contexts ( labeled “American Taliban” ) is pretty much pure hypocrisy when combined with having Cat Stevens at this rally.SPQR (26be8b) — 10/30/2010 @ 5:35 pm
I don’t think they do, I was listening to NPR and they were frustrated because the GOP has these things called ‘talking points’, which Democrats apparently never have, except for ABCBSCNNMSNMBCPBS, the Times(both Coasts)the Post, the AP, AFP, Reuters and McClatchy,ian cormac (6709ab) — 10/30/2010 @ 5:47 pm
I’ve thought a lot about Stewart’s rally. Well, actually, that’s not true. I thought about it for a few minutes after I flipped by it on TV during college football today and saw Father Guido Sarducci doing something.
However, he was popular when I was a young man 30 years ago, so I figure this rally must be really important to the young people today, despite the fact that Jon Stewart is exactly one year younger than my wife.
And, yes, she’s my trophy wife. I married her 29 years ago when I was 23.
So, I know the young people today have really found a voice that speaks power to all the old, white people in the world trying to keep them down.Ag80 (743fd1) — 10/30/2010 @ 6:32 pm
Ag80 – It’s that or the young people today watch too many old SNL’s on the internet.daleyrocks (940075) — 10/30/2010 @ 6:48 pm
Well everything is on Youtube now, but really the good SNL was really only till 1980 and spotty after thatian cormac (6709ab) — 10/30/2010 @ 6:53 pm
Rangers win, Aggies win, Tulsa wins. What a great Saturday.Ag80 (743fd1) — 10/30/2010 @ 6:53 pm
ian – I agree. I never much watched after 1980 or so.daleyrocks (940075) — 10/30/2010 @ 6:59 pm
#32 – Why would you do that to yourself,TD,
Comment by ian cormac — 10/30/2010 @ 5:14 pm Actually, I used to be a standup (many seasons ago). Saw and loved Maher’s first Letterman, I can still quote from that set, and his Tonight (Carson era) NY Eve set:
Maher: “I went to the worst New Year’s Eve party ever last year, it was bad!”
Crowd: “How bad was it?!?!!”
Maher: “It broke up about 11:30!”
Also used to see Stewart at Igby’s, my home club, and he was awesome. He was funniest with the other comics: “I’ll be outside, smoking, with all the other @$$holes!”
So, I admire Maher’s technical ability, and will always respect it. But he never used to be political like this in 1982. He is an intellectual lightweight, a poet who wants to be a boxer. I admire his poetry.TimesDisliker (298108) — 10/30/2010 @ 7:01 pm
I’m much more a fan of Dennis Miller, even when heian cormac (6709ab) — 10/30/2010 @ 7:09 pm
was a cynical lefty on his erstwhile late night show, than Maher who never had much real creativity.
Stewart had some good bits up to around 1993-94, Franken who is actually in the Senate, is quite insufferable, then again that seems to be the coin of the realm
http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/10/colbert-stewart-bash-america-mock-conservatives-in-worst-rally-song-ever-video/ian cormac (6709ab) — 10/30/2010 @ 7:33 pm
#43 – I’m much more a fan of Dennis Miller Love me some Dennis Miller. He started to turn at the “Black & White” HBO special in ’90. His brother Jimmy Miller (now manages Jim Carrey, used to manage Sasha Baron Cohen, and third brother Rich Miller sells Re/Max real estate) used to book the Comedy & Magic Club in H.B., booking Dennis twice a year and he would really eat it. And then…take it out on the audience. We used to howl in the back.
Dennis: “You stupid m***********s. Go home and shake the sand out of your hair, and out of your ears. I feel like I’m talking to a wall. Goodnight.”*walks off the stage to tepid applause, while the staff and comics go crazy in back*
Robert Wuhl had an awesome joke about Dennis Miller (who had a shortlived late-night talkshow at this time) in 1992, something like this: “Dennis Miller is an interesting cat. He endorsed Ross Perot. Two weeks later, both he and Perot were canceled.” LOL~! Come on, iancormac, 18 years later that is STILL funny.:-)TimesDisliker (298108) — 10/30/2010 @ 7:52 pm
Now Robert Wuhl, by contrast hasn’t really hit it as big, he had Arliss, but that was some years ago,ian cormac (6709ab) — 10/30/2010 @ 8:02 pm
Robert Wuhl has done much better as a writer than performer. But! There is a pair of HBO specials he produced and starred in, in preparation for his one-man Broadway show called “Assume the Position with Mr. Wuhl!” in which he lectures the class on real (not pop culture) history. It is interesting, and far from politically correct. I loved it. He makes a point that his wife is a liberal, but he is not staking out territory and only “setting the record straight.” Maybe you, or other Patterico readers, will like it. I really did.
His standup was cool. He had a great joke about his tough neighborhood. “We played dodgeball, using a cueball!”TimesDisliker (298108) — 10/30/2010 @ 8:26 pm
To Messer’s Stewart and Colbert. You just tanked your own ratings. WTG “dudes”.Art Fold (996c34) — 10/31/2010 @ 2:09 am
It is so cool that you choose to continue the fun with your parody of a right wing nut by ignoring the point and content of the rally to focus on irrelevant, old comments of one of the performers. Your use of them to generate silly, partisan controversy that totally bypasses the point of the rally is hilarious. You could not have found a better way to illustrate the negative role of the modern commentariat in preventing communication about important topics. Thanks for providing an object lesson in the negative role of lazy minded media in the country’s ability to work together. We’ll put your little bit of comedy on the Keep Fear Alive side of the stage.TQ White II (370c8d) — 10/31/2010 @ 5:59 am
Wow, I didn’t know that Yusef was as bad as the Mormons and Catholics and Evangelicals are with their bashing of gay teens. At least Yusef hasn’t hounded 13-year-olds to their death.TJ Parker (e4c66d) — 10/31/2010 @ 6:40 am
Yet another ignoramus allows their alligator mouth to overload their hummingbird pooper.
Gay Islamic teens? NEVER happen. They are all killed for bringing shame upon their families. And all those infidels? Well, they don’t have to be gay. They just need to be killed because they don’t believe in mo.
Parker – report to the chlorination room at the gene pool. Maybe you can be sanitized then reprogrammed to be a productive islamo-mrymidom.
“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.” WSC
WinstonWinston O'Boogie (c75c54) — 10/31/2010 @ 8:10 am
Poor Mr Stewart…He didn’t even suspect that in the end he would giving such a convincing proof that there just ain’t no sanity clause!Thingumbobesquire (5ae885) — 10/31/2010 @ 8:27 am
The rich, chewy, irony of a death fatwa supporting Islamic fundamentalist performing at the restore sanity masturbation festival overwhelms the ironic comedy hipster fans.daleyrocks (940075) — 10/31/2010 @ 10:33 am
9/11 was an inside job so how in the world are you nutcases still blaming the Muslims for it. Go watch loose change 2 on youtubeJayK (94e84f) — 11/2/2010 @ 1:44 am
Ride on the hate train!Icy Texan (a77aab) — 11/2/2010 @ 3:01 am
“Among the Muslim panelists, all of whom favored condemning the book, were two zealots: the same Kalim Siddiqui; and Yusuf Islam, the Muslim convert pop singer of Greek Cypriot origin formerly known as Cat Stevens. The moderator asked if, in my role as a commissioning editor of Channel 4 UK, I would contemplate turning The Satanic Verses into a film. I said that I would judge the cinematic merits of the script, and that no other consideration would rule it out. Kalim Siddiqui and Yusuf Islam snarled, warning that the sentence of death on Rushdie would extend to all those who forwarded his book in any way.”breadithis (9d7867) — 12/14/2010 @ 7:59 am
Where I have been able to read about it?
JayK your an idiot.DohBiden (984d23) — 3/11/2011 @ 8:04 am