Hat tip to Blazing Cat Fur for this story. Those who haven’t already donated to Blazing Cat Fur’s legal fund, please visit his website and help out as best you can. This from Aaron Worthing at Patterico’s Pontifications…
…I have been watching the Jon Stewart rally and my Tivo’s running a bit behind because I have been pausing to deal with life, but my jaw dropped wide open when Stewart introduced a man named “Yusuf.” That would be Yusuf Islam, the man formerly known as Cat Stevens, who then played a rendition of his song “Peace Train.”
That would be the same Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens who endorsed the Fatwah against Salman Rushdie… And this ___hole is in the rally to restore sanity?!
Worthing includes a links to a New York Times story from 1989 about Yusuf Islam’s support of for the call Salman Rushdie’s death, and another from Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, outlining among other things, Yusuf being arrested, deported and barred from entering Israel for donating thousands of dollars to Hamas, an Islamic terrorist organization. How is having an Islamic radical like this supposed to help in restoring “sanity”?
As many bloggers, including Doug Powers and Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey have pointed out, this event is a joke. Call it “Irony-Stock” or “LOLapalooza” (I am more preferable to “Rally to Secure the Drones”), but instead of being a meaningful event about specific issues or simply to demonstrated American voter frustration with the “ruling elites” in Washington, what we have here is not only political laziness, but a desperate act to round up support for the Democrats through, as Bill Press so “eloquently” put it, a “Big Masturbation Festival”, where those attending are made to believe that they are “free-thinking and unique individuals”, not “drones” who’s votes are need to hold back what appears now to be a Republican sweep, in Congress at least. The inclusion of an Islamic radical as entertainment for this event highlights this point as it shows that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are very out of touch with what the average American, especially when it comes to fears of Muslim fundamentalism. What could be more inappropriate after yesterday’s terrorist scare concerning the explosive devices found aboard cargo planes bound to the United States from Yemen than to invite an individual who supports and promotes such radicalism to perform at your event? Were they out of their minds?
If anything, Yusuf Islam’s appearance at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’ demonstrates just how little thinking had gone into this event. There is nothing “sane” about this. Yes, this event was a joke, a very unfunny one directed at youth who couldn’t care less about the real problems America is facing, but it is also more than that. It is a clear example of just how irrelevant and offensive these comedians have become. If it isn’t Colbert making a mockery of himself and the Congressional Democrats, it is this ill-conceived publicity stunt. This shtick just isn’t funny anymore…
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey from Hot Air has posted about Yusuf Islam’s appearance at the “Rally to Restore Sanity.” While Yusuf would like people to believe that he was simply joking about wanting Salman Rushdie dead, Ed isn’t buying it. Morrissey also goes on to say that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have turned a “waste of time” into a “despicable, offensive embarrassment.” So what is the Comedy Central’s position on this? As Ed points out, they had previously censored South Park in fear of Muslim’s reaction to the cartoon portrayal of Mohammend, something which the show’s creators received death threats for. So has Comedy Central made the leap from appeasement of fundamentalist Muslims to condoning Islamic radicalism? If I were them, I would be drafting a statement condemning this nonsense right now.
UPDATE: Hat tip to Hot Air’s Allahpundit for the link. The Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle and Laura Donovan were at the ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’ and discovered what should have been obvious. They found that the attendees were going to, more of less, vote Democrat, no matter who is running.
…For instance, Liz Pifer, a student at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pa., told TheDC that though she plans to vote in the midterm elections on Tuesday, she didn’t know who was running for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat. She later said that she thought Joe Sestak was running, and that she’ll probably vote for him because he’s a Democrat. As for House candidates, she said, “I don’t know who’s running”…
…McIntosh, who is registered in Virginia, said he plans vote Tuesday for Democratic candidates down the line, even though he doesn’t know who they are.
Melissa Miller, who came to rally from Texas with her husband Tom, said, told TheDC she’s voting for the Democrat
House candidate, but couldn’t name the candidate from her district.
“I was mostly paying attention to the governor’s race,” Miller said.
Anti-Tea-Party-ness and anger toward Fox News dominated most signs at the rally on the National Mall, a clear fit for comedian Stewart’s jabs at what he calls extremism.
Shoshana Senn, 15, of Arlington, Va., thinks Tea Partiers are “dumb.”
Senn made the trek to the rally from DC’s suburbs with her mom, who she said dressed up like a “zombie Tea Partier” for Halloween.
Elwin Guild, who currently live in Connecticut but lived in the District for 30 years before, said he was pleased with the rally’s outcome…
I recommend that my modest readership give Boyle and Donovan’s article a full read as it has a fair bit more than I posted here. Is anyone really surprised about this? The average attendee has no idea who is running in their district, has an ill-informed position on the Tea Party, calling them “dumb” and “extremist”, and don’t want to vote for Republicans. I would also imagine that they had no idea who Yusuf Islam was when he got up on stage to perform. I don’t think they would have enjoyed his music knowing he believes that Islamic apostates, those who convert away from Islam, should be killed. What did I say about the “Rally to Secure the Drones”?
As for numbers, I am going to wait for more information on that. All I am reading so far is biased accounts from media outlets which are purposefully low-balling Glenn Beck’s ‘Restoring Honor Rally’ (CBS’ 87,000 instead of NBC’s Domenico Montanaro’s 300,000-325,000). Seeing how Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey paid for buses to get people to today’s rally, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was more, but I seriously doubt the figures I am seeing concerning attendance.
UPDATE: I have a new post up on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’. Give it a look, it has new reports on attendance and impressions of those who attended from various political pundits.
UPDATE: Aaron Worthing at Patterico’s Pontifications has two posts up concerning Salman Rushdie’s thoughts on Yusuf Islam performing at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.’ This first post is about Rushdie’s response to the news that the man who had supported calls for his death was at the event, while the second is a follow-up with Stewart’s comments after being questioned by Rushdie about having this Islamic radical at his rally. In short, Rushdie wasn’t impressed and Stewart really couldn’t care how he felt about this Yusuf being at the event.
It is moments like these that expose Jon Stewart’s lack of integrity. It doesn’t matter who is threatened by Islamic fundamentalists like Yusuf Islam, Stewart really wanted to hear Peace Train performed at his ill-conceived and poorly executed rally… Pathetic…
UPDATE: Now Hot Air’s Allahpundit is weighing in on Jon Stewart’s comments to Salman Rushdie about Yusuf Islam performing at the ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.’ He doesn’t appear to be anymore impressed than the rest of us about Stewart’s comments, but spends the majority of his post disproving the belief that Yusuf either didn’t mean what he said or that he has apologized to Rushdie for supporting calls for the author’s murder. I recommend my modest readership give the post a read as Allahpundit does take a fair bit of time debunking this myth.