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Does The Muslim World Still Want Salman Rushdie Dead?

February 1, 2012 by  

Does The Muslim World Still Want Salman Rushdie Dead?

In 1989, a novel penned by British Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie caused Iran’s then-supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s declaration of a fatwa­ — a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar — calling “good Muslims” to assassinate the author. Now, more than two decades after the novel’s publication, the Islamic community is still up in arms over The Satanic Verses.

Rushdie’s novel has been cited by critics as one of the author’s most galvanizing works. Set in a modern world filled with destruction, mayhem and miracles, the novel begins with a brutal terror attack on a London-bound airline flight. After the plane explodes just over the English Channel, two opposing antagonists fall to Earth: Gibreel Farishta, India’s biggest star, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in 15 years. When the two wash up on the snowy sands of an English beach, Rushdie’s fiction draws on metamorphoses, dreams and revelations to lead the reader to opposing views of good and evil.

The Islamic world vehemently opposed Rushdie’s novel, which was characterized by members of the Muslim faith as an irreverent depiction of the prophet Muhammad. The title of the novel refers to verses originally included by Muhammad in the Quran, in which the prophet discussed three female deities, contradicting the Muslim monotheistic beliefs held today. Muhammad later redacted verses that mentioned the deities and said that Satan had deceived him into including the verses, according to scholars. It is unclear, though, how long the deities remained a part of the Muslim faith.

Muslims were angered not only because the title of Rushdie’s novel pointed out an alleged contradiction in their faith, but also because he offers some subtle and some very evident criticisms of the Muslim faith throughout the novel.

As a result of the Islamic backlash, the novel was banned in 12 countries (India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela and Pakistan), and Rushdie was forced to live under constant police protection in the United Kingdom. In 1989, the U.K and Iran broke diplomatic ties over the ordeal.

Last week, at Asia’s largest literary festival in India, the author was expected to address the crowd via a video link, after deciding not to travel to the country in person following several death threats. The video, however, was cut by the owner of the hotel where the event was hosted after being urged to do so by Indian officials.

“There are a large number of people averse to this video link inside this property. They have threatened violence,” Ram Pratap Singh, owner of the hotel at which the festival was held, told the large crowd. “This is necessary to avoid harm to all of you.”

The country’s unwillingness to allow Rushdie to be heard has now sparked a torrent of new Muslim-centric controversy against the author. On Tuesday, Iran used IRNA, its state-run media outlet, to reiterate the Muslim world’s distaste for the author. The “special report” cites a press conference given by India’s Press Council chairman Markandey Katju, who referred to the Booker Prize-winning author as a “substandard and poor writer.”

In closing the piece, quoting a portion of Katju’s rant against Rushdie, the Iranian state-run media takes a swing at the Western world: “Since the overwhelming number of Indians are deeply religious, unlike in the West where the hold of religion has considerably weakened, care must be taken in India not to insult any religious figure directly or indirectly.”

Rushdie, who now resides in New York, concluded after the debacle in India that traveling to the literary event may not have actually put his life in danger. On Jan. 21, the author said in a Twitter post: “‘Rajasthan police invented plot to keep away Rushdie’ I’ve investigated, & believe that I was indeed lied to. I am outraged and very angry.”

It was reported that Iranian officials ended the call for Rushdie’s death in October 1998. But some people have wondered whether Iran’s recent growing tensions with the West and recent reports of the country’s alleged attempts and willingness to kill targets on U.S. soil will lead to a renewal of the author’s Islamic death sentence.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Robert Smith

    I’ve seen on these forums suggestions that some individuals should die. What’s the difference between them and what the crazy religious nuts in Iran are doing?


  • C. Weir

    It is not surprising that Muslims cannot take any criticism of any kind, even if it is valid, with lots of evidence to back it up. Mohammed was very disturbed, frightened by his “revelations” in a cave. Satan has the ability to appear as an angel of “light.” It is a shame in this politically correct world, everyone’s afraid to let Islam be critically examined, and Christians should be silenced, crosses removed and any reference to Jesus be scoured from public view. While some public schools are setting aside areas for “prayer” for Muslim students, and courses on Islam are being taught which amounts to indoctrination. Where is the ACLU and Freedom from Religion group–totally silent.

  • Sirian

    Once a fatwa is set in place it remains until the designated is dead – simple as that.

  • CP

    Sirian, you are exactly right, and a fatwa has been issued against ALL non-believers.

    • eddie47d

      Christians in America damn non-Believers all the time. Christian Conservatives have banned books for decades. Christians declare war throughout the world against Muslims on a regular basis. So how are we better than them. Throughout history Christians have killed Jews yet act pious in the defense of Israel. Both Muslims and Christians have quirks against those who don’t agree with them. The Mormons have two plays that’s not overly flattering for them. (The Book of Mormons and The Whale). They don’t like the odd publicity but they don’t go around like angry banshees like Christian and Muslims do.

  • http://personallibertydigest Gottaplenty

    The religion of islam has spread widely through the Country.It is really hard to believe how so many American people can be so taken in.. The likes of the ACLU and their groupies are part of the problem. That religion is the glue that holds those nuts together. Their motive is to establish a beach head in all non islamic countries , educate as many as possible in their crap , then one day the big daddy will sound the jihad bugle and they will take over the world in one fatal swoop. There is a lot to be learned by in depth study of history. It goes a lot further back than Mohammed. Mohammed didnt appear on the scene till 500 years AD. He was greatly bothered by the fact that Jacob (Isreal) recieved the blessing given to Abraham by God Himself.Esau then was the eldest brother so he figured he should be the birthright holder. This was the father of the Arab state nations. They believe they have a right to all that came under the nations derived from Jacobs 12 sons..So hang on to your seat there folks ,that is the thing we have to look forward to. I wrote a book on this subject back in 05 that is out of print now ,but it pops up on Amazon used books now and then , from 86.00 , ihave seen it for 65.00 The name of it is (The Worm In Adams Apple)by Lyle A. Mcdaniel. It covers the main reason we must protect our country, The book of Geneses reveals the master plan for our nations.

    • eddie47d

      Maybe they should arrest you for inciting Gottaplenty. LOL. Remember there were no Christians in South America,Central America or North America yet we “swooped” in and converted millions through the centuries and killed millions who didn’t convert. Were those killings our God’s master plan?

    • Michael

      Your statement on the root cause of friction between the Islamic Arab world and the Jews in particular but also Christians is pretty accurate with one correction. The Arabs are actually descended from Ishmael (not Essau who was the forefather of Edom and Idumea.) Most Arabs (especially Muhammed) claim that it was Ishmael (not Isaac) that God told Abraham to sacrifice on Mount Moria and that it was Ishmael that was the son of the promise. As you stated, they aren’t happy that Ishmael (Abraham’s firstborn with a slave woman) did not get the blessing and instead Isaac (the second son, though the first with his wife) did.

  • Matt

    “Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.”

    • http://naver samurai

      Care to say who said that piece of crap you just posted? Maybe you shuld remember this, atheist:

      “Reigion is of general and public concern and on its proper support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.”

      Samueul Chase
      Former Scotus Justice

      So take your atheist nonsense and take a powder. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Buck

    The Satanic Verses is an understatement if there ever was one . It should of been called the Satanic Koran , because the whole book is made more and more evil with every verse or sura written . This has convinced me that Muhammed himself was a desciple of Satan whos only purpose was to draw followers away from JESUS CHRIST , GOD as man .

  • http://personallibertydigest Gottaplenty

    Michael, my apoligys, I stand to be corrected.. IT has been quite a number of years since I researched all that information. But it is correct in my book Ijuts read my book in part to see what i got confused. Im not one to make excuses but after 80 a little alzheimers creeps in now and then. carry on..thanks.

  • http://google Sandra Henley

    I agree with Buck call it what it is – Islam is the product of Satanic influence in that Muhammed was illiterate and was influenced by those travelling the trade route of whom were Jews, Christians, pagans. From fragments of memory and satanic visions, he wrote on leaves, stones etc. a mess of stuff that became the writings in the Koran. Muhammed’s life was not exemplary and he was a false prophet and has lead millions away from the one truth, that Jesus is the only way to salvation.


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