Jon Stewart, as part of his recent Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive to celebrate ‘moderation’ and ’sanity’, asked Cat Stevens to perform as the person who ‘pulls us back to sanity’. Cat Stevens converted to Islam years ago and took the name Yusuf Islam. He supported the call to assassinate Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses, and more recently said he agrees with stoning women to death for adultery.
‘Right wing’ bloggers attacked Stewart for including Islam, but they weren’t the only ones. Salman Rushdie complained to Jon Stewart about his choice of performer. Rushdie reports: “I spoke to Jon Stewart about Yusuf Islam’s appearance. He said he was sorry it upset me, but really, it was plain that he was fine with it. Depressing.”
Apparently the 200,000 people who showed up for the rally also thought it was fine. But featuring Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam was disgraceful, nevertheless. Freedom of speech is a right guaranteed to all by the Constitution and should be defended across the political spectrum. Shame on the left for failing to do so.
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