Monday, September 21, 2015

Art Garfunkel: Islamophobe

He wasn't always a hater

Here's a funny little story from yesterday's Daily Mail. But you do have to wonder how the topic came up: "So, will you be playing Sound of Silence tonight? . . . What was it like working with Jack Nicholson on a film? . . . And by the way, have you read any good books on the Islamic threat recently?" 
Muslims are transforming Europe, says Art Garfunkel in warning over dangers of mass migration (by Sebastian Shakespeare) 
While luvvies such as Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch queue up to condemn David Cameron for not allowing more migrants into Britain, one major entertainment figure has bravely voiced an alternative view. 
Art Garfunkel, who was one of the distinctive voices of the Sixties as part of the pop duo Simon & Garfunkel, has highlighted how an influx of Muslims from war-torn countries including Syria could change the nature of Europe for ever. 
‘We are at a very interesting stage right now, where people are escaping from horrendous situations all over the world,’ the 73-year-old singer tells me. 
'There was a book I read recently, called Reflections Of The Revolution In Europe, where the author wants you to say: “Look at the shopkeepers, look at the dry cleaners, and it’s all turning Islamic. 
‘He is saying: “Look, I’m not going to make any judgments about this, but I want you Europeans to see that the changing face of Britain, of Germany and all over Europe is happening. It’s becoming much more Muslim. These are the facts.” ’ 
The 2009 book, by Christopher Caldwell, argues that mass immigration by Muslims is altering the culture of Europe because of their reluctance to join the culture of their new homelands. He claims Muslims do not so much enhance European culture as supplant it, and are ‘patiently conquering Europe’s cities, street by street’. 
Caldwell says it’s ‘chilling’ that Europeans can’t have an open debate about the issue because any criticism of Islam is branded Islamophobic. He predicts that Britain is most susceptible to violence and political extremism. 
The Bridge Over Troubled Water singer recently completed an epic walk around Europe, so feels he understands the migrants who make dangerous journeys in search of a better life. 
‘The amount of movement and change is extraordinary,’ says Art, who performs at the Albert Hall tonight. ‘Taking those long walks around Europe, I get down into it — I’m engaged.’
Aficionados of the strange might be interested to know that the man who inducted "his friend" Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 was, you guessed it, Art Garfunkel. Islam made headlines in 1989 by claiming that Salman Rushdie "must be killed" for committing blasphemy against Allah and the prophet Muhammad. While regretting making that particular public statement (for the negative impact it had on his career), Islam has since reaffirmed the standard Islamic position on death for blasphemers numerous times, including directly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

People are interesting and diverse.

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