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Monday, November 1, 2010
MRC Won't Tell the Whole Truth About Cat Stevens, Salman Rushdie
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Oct. 31 NewsBusters post, Brad Wilmouth touted how "Sean Hannity informed viewers that Restoring Sanity Rally participant and singer Cat Stevens - who converted to Islam in the 1970s and changed his name to Yusuf Islam - several times declared that Salman Rushdie should be killed after Iranian leader, the Ayatollah Khomeni, issued a fatwa on the British author in 1989 for publishing his book the Satanic Verses."

Similarly, a Nov. 1 MRC TimesWatch post by Clay Waters complained that a New York Times story "failed to mention the 1989 controversy over comments Yusuf made in support of the fatwa from the Ayatollah Khomeini that novelist Salman Rushdie be killed for insulting Muhammad in 'The Satanic Verses.'"

Neither Wilmouth nor Waters mentioned that Stevens/Yusuf has backpedaled on the claim.

According to a Wikipedia page on the incident, Yusuf backpedaled the day after originally making the statement, insisting he was only talking about the punishment Quran advocates for blasphemy. And Yusuf says on his website, "I never called for the death of Salman Rushdie; nor backed the Fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini – and still don’t," though he says that Rushdie's book "destroyed the harmony between peoples and created an unnecessary international crisis."

Isn't the full story of Yusuf's comments worth reporting? Not at the MRC, where only half the story serves its purpose of inflaming conservatives.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, November 1, 2010 2:46 PM EDT

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