This is an example of the Leftist/Jihadist Alliance, or perhaps of the cluelessness of the Left, or perhaps of its indifference to the freedom of speech that Islamic supremacists wish so ardently to extinguish. Take your pick. “Stewart-Colbert ‘sanity’ rally draws thousands,” by Hope Yen and Calvin Woodward for the Associated Press, October 30 (thanks to Weasel Zippers):
WASHINGTON — In the shadow of the Capitol and the election, comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert entertained a huge throng Saturday at a “sanity” rally poking fun at the nation’s ill-tempered politics, fear-mongers and doomsayers. […]
Ozzy Osbourne and Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, engaged in something of a battle of the bands as the heavy-metal rocker barged in on the folkie’s hit, “Peace Train,” in a mock clash of music and cultures….
“Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie,” by Craig R. Whitney in the New York Times, May 23, 1989:
TONDON [sic], May 22 — 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….
Yes, now he denies having said it. But considering that he has been an ardent orthodox believer ever since his conversion, and that all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence do mandate a death penalty for blasphemy, I find his denials unconvincing.
I have previously linked to the video of Yusuf Islam saying what he now denies, but this morning I found this notice where it had once been at YouTube: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Yusuf Islam.” Interestingly enough, however, old Joe Islam doesn’t seem troubled by YouTube postings trampling on the copyright for his jahiliyya hippie songs.
UPDATE: Here is the video, thanks to Evan Mark: