Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Sir Rushdie the infidel

A religious row over the knighthood of a controversial writer turns political, on an international scale.

Salmon Rushdie — I mean Sir Salmon Rushdie — has a history of flaring the tempers of more hard-line Islamists (can you say death threats? like the fatwa against the British-Indian novelist by Iran), as well as the Muslim world as a whole. The Iraqi foreign minister has condemned the honoring of Rushdie, whose novels, namely the popular Satanic Verses, often attack Islam (it's fiction!). His knighthood has also sparked large, widespread protests in Pakistan and Malaysia, among other nations. This has even turned into a (minor) diplomatic crisis for the UK.

Whenever any certain group feels it has been attacked at all by a book, a movie, or other works of art — e.g. Catholics and albinos for The Da Vinci Code; Muslims for Rushdie's books; Italian-Americans for The Sopranos — they blame it on mere works of fiction and get all up in arms about it. "Your [type of fiction] makes our people look bad. It is blasphemy to us [group of people]. We will [action taken by aforementioned peeved group]." Get over it people.

Cross-posted with modification; originally from In Perspective's sister blog, In Perspectives.

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