In my post on the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear I highlighted a point that had been making its way through the media. Namely, that Jon Stewart had invited one Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens to sing at the rally. Link here.
As you know, when the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the death of novelist Salman Rushdie, Yusuf Islam publicly defended the contract on Rushdie, because Rushdie had blasphemed the Prophet Mohammed.
Today, Politico offers Salman Rushdie’s reaction to Jon Stewart‘s giving his seal of approval to Yusuf Islam: “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.” Later he added: ‘I spoke to Jon Stewart about Yusuf Islam's appearance. He said he was sorry it upset me, but really, it was plain that he was fine with it. Depressing.’”
Rushdie is correct to say that it is depressing to find that Jon Stewart’s moral compass is so thoroughly defective.A man who defends the assassination of a novelist and who refuses to talk to unveiled women receives a place of honor at the Stewart table.
It tells us all, as it should tell the young people who are Stewart’s audience, that you should not take moral direction from a stand-up comedian. Being an inspired entertainer does not mean that you know anything about ethics, about mental hygiene, or about public policy.