Appearing as a featured guest at the rally was none other than Yusuf Islam, AKA 'Cat Stevens' before he converted to Islam. Stevens was actually barred from coming to America during the Bush Administration because of his radical views, but has had no problem getting visas since the Obama Administration took over.
Among other things, Yusuf Islam was an enthusiastic endorsee of the death sentence fatwa pronounced by the Ayatollah Khomeini on writer Salman Rushdie, as shown here on British television in 1989 :
Robertson: You don’t think that this man deserves to die?
Y. Islam: Who, Salman Rushdie?
Y. Islam: Yes, yes.
Robertson: And do you have a duty to be his executioner?
Y. Islam: Uh, no, not necessarily, unless we were in an Islamic state and I was ordered by a judge or by the authority to carry out such an act – perhaps, yes..
Robertson: Would you be part of that protest, Yusuf Islam, would you go to a demonstration where you knew that an effigy was going to be burned?
Y. Islam: I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing.
Yussuf reiterated those sentiments in the New York Times after the interview:
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.
In other words, Yusuf Islam hopped off the peace train he used to sing about when he became a Muslim.
Of course, Yusuf's story now is that he was only joking and his comments were taken out of context.
I don't think so, do you? And neither does Salman Rushdie.
I don't mind confessing that I frequently find Jon Stewart laugh-out-loud funny, even if I don't particularly care for his politics most of the time. But to give a platform to Yusuf Islam? That took some real chutzpah, especially from someone like Stewart who champions freedom of expression. How would Yusuf Islam react to a fatwa against Jon Stewart?
And I wonder, given Stewart's ethnicity - did he ever ask Yusuf Islam how he felt about what the Qu'ran says about Jews?
Appalling. There's no other word for it.
(via memeorandum. hat tip Cap'n Ed at Hot Air)