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Old 06-18-2007, 07:48 PM   #1
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Salman Rushdie Knighted, Islamic World Outraged

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Muslim world inflamed by Rushdie knighthood
Ben Hoyle
Sir Salman Rushdie celebrates his 60th birthday today in familiar circumstances: he is once again the subject of death threats across the Islamic world.

Eighteen years after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill him, a government minister in Pakistan said yesterday that Rushdie’s recent knighthood justified suicide bombing.

The question of blasphemy in The Satanic Verses, Rushdie’s 1988 tale of a prophet misled by the devil, remains a deeply sensitive issue in much of the Muslim world and the author’s inclusion in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last week has inflamed anti-British sentiment.

Gerald Butt, editor of the authoritative Middle East Economic Survey, told The Times: “It will be interpreted as an action calculated to goad Muslims at a time when the atmosphere is already very tense and Britain’s standing in the region is very low because of its involvement in Iraq and its lack of action in tackling the Palestine issue.”

Hardliners in Iran revived calls for his murder yesterday. Mehdi Kuchakzadeh, a Tehran MP, declared: “Rushdie died the moment the late Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] issued the fatwa.”

The Organisation to Commemorate Martyrs of the Muslim World, a fringe hardline group, offered a reward of $150,000 (£75,000) to any successful assassin.

Forouz Rajaefar, the group’s secretary general, said: “The British and the supporters of the anti-Islam Salman Rushdie could rest assured that the writer’s nightmare will not end until the moment of his death and we will bestow kisses on the hands of whomsoever is able to execute this apostate.”

Effigies of Rushdie and the Queen were burnt in Pakistan, where presidential elections at the end of the year have destablised an already volatile political climate. Hundreds of protesters in Multan, Karachi and Lahore set fire to British flags and chanted “Death to Britain, death to Rushdie” and Islamist leaders called for nationwide protests after Friday prayers.

Ijaz-ul-Haq, the Religious Affairs Minister, told the assembly in Islamabad that the award of the knighthood excused suicide bombing. “If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified,” he said.

He later retracted his statement, explaining that he had intended to say that knighting Rushdie will foster extremism. “If someone blows himself up, he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West? We demand an apology by the British government. Their action has hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims."

Pakistan’s national assembly earlier unanimously passed a resolution condemning Rushdie’s knighthood, which it said would encourage “contempt” for the Prophet Muhammad.

Rushdie was forced to go into hiding for almost a decade after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued the death sentence over The Satanic Verses.

On Valentine’s Day in 1989 the spiritual figurehead of the Iranian revolution pronounced on Teheran radio that: “The author of The Satanic Verses, which is against Islam, the Prophet, the Koran, and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.”

In Britain, the subsequent hate campaign helped to politicise and radicalise a generation of young British Muslims. The taxpayer is believed to have spent more than £10 million protecting Rushdie.

Only Khomeini had the power officially to lift the fatwa and he died without doing so, but in 1998, the Iranian Foreign Minister promised his British counterpart, Robin Cook, that Iran would not implement it.

Gradually, Rushdie emerged back into the literary spotlight and in recent years has appeared at events in London and New York, where he now lives.

It is understood that when he is in this country, Rushdie continues to receive round-the-clock police protection.

Muhammad Ali Hosseini, Iran’s foreign affairs spokesman, said on Sunday that the knighthood “will definitely put the British officials in confrontation with Islamic societies. This act shows that insulting Islamic sacred values is not accidental. It is planned, organised, guided and supported by some Western countries.”
Was it a good idea to knight him? Or has Britain put itself into a deep hole?
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:57 PM   #2
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I think that more people should be mocking and insulting the so-called Prophet Mo; I don't think that antiquated honours and titles are a decent reward (on top of the many pounds that have had to be spent to protect him over the years).
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:59 PM   #3
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They can just get the fuck over it.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:37 PM   #4
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Ijaz-ul-Haq, the Religious Affairs Minister, told the assembly in Islamabad that the award of the knighthood excused suicide bombing. “If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified,” he said.

...

Pakistan’s national assembly earlier unanimously passed a resolution condemning Rushdie’s knighthood, which it said would encourage “contempt” for the Prophet Muhammad.
I think they do a good enough job encouraging that on their own.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:53 PM   #5
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and everyone forgets that The Satanic Verses really wasn't all that good to begin with.
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
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Re: Salman Rushdie Knighted, Islamic World Outraged

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Originally posted by Pearl


Was it a good idea to knight him?
It was/ is a pretty stupid idea.

If someone asked this question a month ago. It would not even have been taken seriously.


and I will go on the record now

and say that it would be stupid to give George W Bush a Noble Peace Prize.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:25 AM   #7
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On a different note. . .

the entire "Islamic World"? Isn't that a bit of an overstatement?The article describes the responses of some admittedly fringe and extremist groups, talks about "hundreds" of protesters in Pakistan (as about to hundreds of thousands). We've got a few self-appointed spokespersons of 1.5 BILLION Muslims?

Where are the millions rising as one in protest in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world?

This is as bad as talking about the "African American community."

My guess is most Muslims around the world are just trying to make it through the day, care for their families, and go about their lives and aren't all that concerned with whose being knighted in Great Britain.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:27 AM   #8
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What did he exactly do that was so wrong? And what does U2 have to do with him?

And the entire Islamic World is extreme, but it's a newspaper article, so of course they are going to say that.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
On a different note. . .

the entire "Islamic World"? Isn't that a bit of an overstatement?The article describes the responses of some admittedly fringe and extremist groups, talks about "hundreds" of protesters in Pakistan (as about to hundreds of thousands). We've got a few self-appointed spokespersons of 1.5 BILLION Muslims?

Where are the millions rising as one in protest in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world?

This is as bad as talking about the "African American community."

My guess is most Muslims around the world are just trying to make it through the day, care for their families, and go about their lives and aren't all that concerned with whose being knighted in Great Britain.
You're right, sean. This is one of the things that really angers me when it comes to the press. Stuff like this is just irresponsible journalism, and it exacerbates already ignorant stereotypes. I spent most of my life in countries that are majority Muslim (Indonesia and most recently Mali), and you would never see people rioting in the streets over something like this. Everyone I knew was just trying to make it through the day, get a decent wage, feed their children, and live their lives. Very few would even care about what the British want to do with their knighthood, let alone take to the streets over it. Still, stories like this in the newspaper help us feel morally and culturally superior. We aren't rabid radicals like those scaaaary Muslims. Islamic world, Muslim world...does anyone bother to think about the myriads of countries and cultures whose members follow Islam? As if they are all robots who think, speak and react in the same way. pfft.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4


You're right, sean. This is one of the things that really angers me when it comes to the press. Stuff like this is just irresponsible journalism, and it exacerbates already ignorant stereotypes. I spent most of my life in countries that are majority Muslim (Indonesia and most recently Mali), and you would never see people rioting in the streets over something like this. Everyone I knew was just trying to make it through the day, get a decent wage, feed their children, and live their lives. Very few would even care about what the British want to do with their knighthood, let alone take to the streets over it. Still, stories like this in the newspaper help us feel morally and culturally superior. We aren't rabid radicals like those scaaaary Muslims. Islamic world, Muslim world...does anyone bother to think about the myriads of countries and cultures whose members follow Islam? As if they are all robots who think, speak and react in the same way. pfft.
I heard a bit about this on Democracy Now. Either they read this thread, or they just rock hardcore, because they explicitly said that this has angered people in Iran and Pakistan. They didn't make generalized statements about it.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:02 AM   #11
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Originally posted by COBL_04
And what does U2 have to do with him?
1. After the fatwa was originally issued against Rushdie, he went into hiding for years. At one ZooTV gig at Wembley Stadium, MacPhisto phoned Rushdie, but as it turned out, Rushdie was backstage and he came out to join MacPhisto. It was his first public appearance since the fatwa.

2. A few years later, Rushdie wrote The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Quote:
And the entire Islamic World is extreme
You quite sure about that one?

I'd say we have some non-Islamic extremists right here in Australia who can give the Islamic world's poor representatives a run for their money in the lunacy stakes. Every culture has its nuts who lack a grasp on reality.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:24 AM   #12
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I hated the Satanic Verses and The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Both overrated, masturbatory exercises if you ask me.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:52 AM   #13
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If this is the biggest deal these outraged people have to worry about, then they aren't paying enough attention to what the hell else is going on.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
I hated the Satanic Verses and The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Both overrated, masturbatory exercises if you ask me.


yes, pretty much. read them both. TGBHF had moments of brilliance, though. SV, not as much.

but everyone should read Midnight's Children.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:14 PM   #15
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Midnight's Children great. SV baaaad.

Last time i went to Pakistan, i actually snuck in a copy of SV. Everyone wanted to read it (it had been banned there).

There are political extremists in Pakistan (and other Islamic countries) who love to manipulate the electorate into West bashing. It's easier to get support by getting people riled up over what the "immoral West" does, than to provide the basics in life: food, shelter, education, equality.

The Islamic critics of SV too often overlook one point. The controversy that came out of SV is a very real historical issue in Islam. It's not something that the West, or Salman Rushdie, created. The issue of certain parts of the Koran and Mohammad's revelations changing is a real one, debated in Islamic circles for centuries. So why so much anger/hurt feelings over something (i.e. issue of the verses) that has a historical basis? The answer goes back to the political figures manipulating the masses to keep the anti-West fervour going.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_Verses
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