Pastor Rick Warren, whose sermons, books, church org charts and teachings have worked their way into every nook and cranny of Christendom over the past decade or so, met recently* with Yusuf Islam.
Yusuf Islam is better known by the name he went by before he converted to Islam: Cat Stevens. Stevens converted to Islam in 1977 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.
The singer of “Peace Train” has been known to espouse radical, even violent, Islamist ideas. In 1989, after the government of Iran issued a fatwa calling for the murder of author Salman Rusdhie, Mr. Islam rushed to back that fatwa. He said that if he knew where Rushdie was hiding, he would personally call up the Ayatollah to give that location away — which would have resulted in Rushdie’s murder. Islam has never recanted that, and remains a fundamentalist Muslim today.
Pastor Warren tweeted about meeting Islam on October 4. Robert Spencer captured this screenshot of the meeting and posted it at Jihad Watch.
But a Google search today reveals something curious: Warren has deleted the tweet.
“America’s pastor” may have been surprised by Stevens/Islam’s views when confronted with them online after his tweet, but Stevens/Islam’s radical views have been known publicly for years. Spencer notes that this isn’t the first time Warren has gotten cozy with Islamists. In 2009 he addressed a Hamas convention. In 2006, Warren also praised Syria’s “moderate” government. That government is currently waging civil war in which more than 100,000 have died. After controversy erupted following Warren’s visit to Syria, Warren blamed Rev. Franklin Graham and also journalists for reporting it.
*Originally I wrote that Warren met Islam Tuesday, but that was incorrect. Warren tweeted about meeting with Islam on October 4.