Salman Rushdie: ‘I’m afraid Cat Stevens got off the peace train a long time ago’

Yes, but no one cares. Jihadis and their enablers and sympathizers aren’t vilified, marginalized, derided and shunned today; they’re celebrated. Only foes of jihad violence and Sharia oppression get that treatment.

As recently as 2010, there was published on YouTube a nasheed in which the author of “Peace Train” sang: “I’m praying to Allah to give us victory over the kuffar” (unbelievers). Does Yusuf/Cat still pray for victory over the kuffar? What kind of victory?

In 2004, Yusuf Islam was barred from entering the United States because of suspicions that he had been financing jihad terrorism. He acknowledged that some of his money may have gone to jihadis, but he claimed to have given money to them unwittingly.

Meanwhile, watch this video, in which he enthusiastically endorses the Ayatollah Khomeini’s death fatwa against Rushdie. Does he look as if he is being “framed” by a “sharp-toothed journalist”?

But will he ever come clean and apologize? Almost certainly not. Islamic supremacists never do. Whatever wrongdoing they commit is always someone else’s fault.

“The Meaning of Yusuf/Cat Stevens,” by Howard Fishman, Washington Post, September 20, 2021:

…Tracking the history of the controversy, I went back to the 1989 appearance that Stevens made on the British TV show “Hypotheticals.” Earlier that year, after Rushdie had officially been targeted because of his portrayal of the prophet Muhammad in his novel “The Satanic Verses,” Stevens had matter-of-factly confirmed that the Koran prescribes death as the punishment for blasphemy. Now, on “Hypotheticals,” Stevens was asked directly whether Rushdie deserved to die. “Yes, yes,” he replied, without much hesitation. Were Rushdie, a marked man, to come to him for help, how would he respond? With what he subsequently insisted was nothing more than an ill-advised attempt at dry humor, a straight-faced Stevens said: “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.” When asked whether he would participate in the burning of an effigy of the author, he replied that he would instead hope it were “the real thing.”

When the program aired, a furor ensued, compelling Stevens to issue a press release indicating that his comments had been manipulated in the editing room and taken out of context (this, despite the fact that the New York Times reported that Stevens had “watched a preview of the program today and said in an interview that he stood by his comments”). But the damage had been done. Radio stations boycotted Stevens’s music, and copies of his records were destroyed in public demonstrations.

“For many years, Yusuf Islam has been pretending he didn’t say the things he said in 1989, when he enthusiastically supported the Iranian terrorist edict against me and others,” Rushdie wrote to me in an email. “However, his words are on the record, in print interviews and on television programs. … I’m afraid Cat Stevens got off the peace train a long time ago.”…

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