"For all your devotion to education and good deeds, government officials in various countries have tried to link you to extremist groups, including Hamas. What do you think of Hamas?
That's an extremely loaded question.
Can you try to answer it?
I have never supported a terrorist group or any group that did other than charity and good to humankind.
O.K., but many of us here in the States would like to see moderate Muslims make more of an effort to denounce the extremist fringe of the faith. Very few mainstream Muslims have publicly criticized their radical brethren.
If I am not an example of that, then tell me, Who is?
So would you say you have contempt for a terrorist group like Hamas?
I wouldn't put those words in my mouth. I wouldn't say anything on that issue. I'm here to talk about peace. I'm a man who does want peace for this world, and I don't think you will achieve that by putting people into corners and asking them very, very difficult questions about very contentious issues."
But one piece of the interview is revealing:
"It’s interesting that you became a convert to Islam, considering that your father was a Greek Cypriot who belonged to the Orthodox Church and presumably was not enamored of Muslims.
Yes, there was always enmity between the Greeks and the Turks. The reason for me coming to Islam was a long, winding road."
With just a shortcut through rebellion against your father....
Ben Stein, lawyer, profesor, writer, and one of the few conservatives in Hollywierd, once wrote that he noticed, as a general rule, that many HollyLeftists he ran into had strained or even hostile relationships with their fathers, and their activism was a way to "act out" that. Conservatives, on the other hand, tended to really admire their fathers and want to please them. (There are execptions to every rule and your mileage may vary, but among my peers I do notice a pattern).
Once upon a time, he wasn't so coy....
The musician known as Cat Stevens said in a British television program to be broadcast next week that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, ''I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing.''
The singer, who adopted the name Yusuf Islam when he converted to Islam, made the remark during a panel discussion of British reactions to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's call for Mr. Rushdie to be killed for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his best-selling novel ''The Satanic Verses.'' He also said that if Mr. Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, ''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,'' said Mr. Islam, who watched a preview of the program today and said in an interview that he stood by his comments.