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And Cat Stevens Favors Stoning Women To Death For Adultery
The choice of Cat Stevens to appear at he rally to "restore sanity" was unwise, for it handed to those opposed to Comedy Central's general take on things a gift that will keep on giving. Possibly such a disastrous choice reflects the intattention of Stewart to Islam, his complacent belief that because he has a nice Muslim on the staff, and may know some other nice Muslims too, that that is what matters, and not the texts and tenets of Islam, nor the observable behavior of Muslims toward non-Muslims around the world and what one may conclude from that behavior. I don't have the feelling that Stewart has read, or taken in, Ibn Warraq or Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Wafa Sultan. I don't think he thinks he has a duty to find out what Professor Hans Jansen has written, or Bassam Tibi, or to read about the legal status of non-Muslims under the Shari'a, or much else. He's quick, in a limited way (Colbert is smarter), a way that does not go much beyond what he grew up with, and he won't question the authority of that mocking "question-authority" shtick with which he grew up, and can't tell the difference between what deserves to be mocked, and what, under the circumstances, and given this moment in the history of the West, cannot be treated with the easy and deep superficiality that he specializes in, and that sometimes is forgivable.
At this point, .he must stop being so impressed with the sheer niceness of one of his employees, an American-raised Muslim whose parents come from India, which already means they have had to adjust to living within a non-Muslim state, and ought as well to get beyond being repelled by the shrillness, Pravda-like sloganeering. incessant self-promotion, and eye on the financial main chance, that characterize some, but by no means all, of those who are publicly opposed to the inroads of Islam in the West. Many of the most implacable and most formidable foes of Islam's spread are just as repelled by, the way things are being framed, and sometimes being said in a tone so off-putting that sensible people find themselves unable to see beyond the unacceptable form to the often sensible content. It is maddening that "the Right" (whatever that is, since Edmund Burke would not recognize, would be disgusted by, so many who are said to make up that "American Right") is allowed to claim that it, and it alone, worries about Islam
That isn't true. But when Stewart and Colbert have Cat Stevens appear on stage, they shoot themselves in the foot, and reinforce that disturbing idea.
Here is an excerpt from an article by Nik Cohen, is a little more on what Cat Stevens has done -- including his support for murder, by stoning, of women charged with adultery -- and what Cat Stevens ought, sometime during the last few years, have done -- apologize to Rushdie, and take back his former declared support for the death-sentence fatwa against him:
"What "Cat" ought to have done was apologise to Rushdie and commit himself to the right to criticise power in whatever form it takes, but he has not and American leftists have yet to learn that they cannot be a little bit liberal. They can't denounce the idiocy of Fox and ignore the idiocies of religion. Maybe they will never learn.
I'm close to giving up.
PS Just had this message from Rushdie: "I've always liked Stewart and Colbert but what on earth was Cat Yusuf Stevens Islam doing on that stage? If he's a "good Muslim" like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar then I'm the Great Pumpkin. Happy Halloween."
PPS: Just had this from my marvellous Observer colleague Andrew Anthony: "He told me in 1997, eight years after saying on TV that Rushdie should be lynched, that he was in favour of stoning women to death for adultery. He also reconfirmed his position on Rushdie. He set up the Islamia school in Brent, which is currently undergoing council-backed expansion. Its mission statement three years ago explicitly stated that its aim was to bring about the submission of the individual, the community and the world at large to Islam. For this aim it now receives state funding. Its an incubator of the most bonkers religious extremism and segregation, and is particularly strong on the public erasure of women. Why do people go to such lengths to ignore these aspects of Yusuf Islam's character and philosophy?"