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Monday 23 January 2012

Complaint against authors who quoted 'Satanic Verses'!Chetan Bhagat attacks Rushdie, says you can't hurt feelings in India as the Salman Rushdie row took a turn for the worse today as he accused the Rajasthan Police of cooking up the "threat" to keep

Complaint against authors who quoted 'Satanic Verses'!Chetan Bhagat attacks Rushdie, says you can't hurt feelings in India  as the Salman Rushdie row took a turn for the worse today as he accused the Rajasthan Police of cooking up the "threat" to keep him away from the Jaipur Literature Festival. As the police denied the charge, insisting they had "credible information" of the threat, four authors against whom a police complaint had been filed for reading out from Rushdie's Satanic Verses at the festival left the meet on Sunday. Muslim leaders have demanded India ban Salman Rushdie from entering the country to attend a literary festival, re-igniting a decades-old row about the Booker prize-winning author's works.

SOPA and PIPA Bills Are Dead: Wikipedia Blackout Caused Congress to Shelve These Fascist Bills

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Palash Biswas

  1. रूश्दी ने टि्वटर पर चुप्पी तोड़ी - Videsh - LiveHindustan ...

  2. 3 दिन पहले – कई दिनों की चुप्पी के बाद चर्चित लेखक सलमान रूश्दी टि्वटर पर लौट आए हैं लेकिन उन्होंने जयपुर साहित्य उत्सव में शामिल होने के बारे में एक शब्द भी नहीं लिखा है। रूश्दी के इस उत्सव में शामिल होने को लेकर अनिश्चितता का माहौल ...
  3. लिटरेचर फेस्टिवल में छाए सलमान रूश्दी

  4. 1 दिन पहले – नरेन्द्र शर्मा, जयपुर। विवादास्पद लेखक सलमान रूश्दी खुद तो पांच दिवसीय लिटरेचर फेस्टिवल में शामिल होने जयपुर नहीं पहुंचे, लेकिन शनिवार को दूसरे दिन.
  5. Salman Rushdie | Ban | Life Time | सलमान रूश्दी | पाबंदी ...

  6. 2 दिन पहले – Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband on said there should be a life ban on Salman Rushdie's entry into India. देश की प्रमुख इस्लामी शिक्षण संस्था दारुल उलूम देवबंद ने भारत दौरा रद्द करने के सलमान रश्दी के फैसले पर संतोष जताने के साथ आज मांग की है कि ...
  7. रूश्दी के भारत आने पर हमेशा के लिए लगे पाबंदी ...

  8. 2 दिन पहले – नयी दिल्ली, 20 जनवरी (एजेंसी) दारुल उलूम की मांग है कि रूश्दी पर हमेशा के लिए पाबंदी लगा दी जाय। भारत दौरा रद्द करने के सलमान रश्दी के फैसले पर संतोष जताने के साथ आज मांग की है कि सरकार को इस विवादास्पद लेखक के यहां आने पर ...
  9. ट्विटर पर भड़के रूश्दी, जान के खतरे की सूचना गलत ...

  10. 2 घंटे पहले – रूश्दी ने माइक्रोब्लागिंग साइट ट्विटर पर अपने गुस्से का इजहार करते हुए और भारतीय मीडिया में आई खबरों पर अपनी प्रतिक्रिया में कहा, राजस्थान पुलिस ने रूश्दी को जयपुर से दूर रखने के लिए यह साजिश रची. उन्होंने ट्विटर पर लिखा, ...
  11. जयपुर साहित्य महोत्सव कार्यक्रमों की सूची से ...

  12. 5 दिन पहले – वही दूसरी तरफ राजस्थान के मुख्यमंत्री अशोक गहलोत ने कहा है कि सलमान रूश्दी के दौरे से सुरक्षा व्यवस्था की समस्या आ सकती है.मुख्यमंत्री अशोक गहलोत ने गृह मंत्री पी चिदंबरम से साफ कहा है कि सलमान रूश्दी के दौरे से स्थानीय ...
  13. बिना आए रूश्दी छाए - Hindi News | Rajasthan News | Get all ...

  14. 1 दिन पहले – जयपुर। संगीनों के साए के बीच भक्तिमय माहौल में शुक्रवार को जयपुर लिटरेचर फेस्टिवल शुरू हो गया। चर्चित लेखक सलमान रूश्दी को लेकर विवादों में रहे इस आयोजन का आगाज भी रूश्दीमय रहा। लगभग हर सत्र में किसी न किसी रूप में रूश्दी ...
  15. सलमान रूश्दी: कट्टरपंथियों की जुगलबंदी – डॉ ...

  16. 4 दिन पहले – जयपुर के साहित्योत्सव में सलमान रूश्दी का आना अब काफी मुश्किल लग रहा है। वे 20 जनवरी को उद्घाटन-समारोह में नहीं आएंगे तो बाद में भी क्या आएंगे? उनके नहीं आने ने कइयों की प्रतिष्ठा पर प्रश्न-चिन्ह लगा दिए हैं। सबसे पहला ...
  17. Salman Rushdie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  18. Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his ...
  19. Salman Rushdie: a literary giant still beset by bigots | profile | From ...

  20. Profile: The acclaimed author, who is publishing a long-awaited memoir of his decade in hiding from a murderous fatwa, finds himself threatened once more by ...

    Complaint against authors who quoted 'Satanic Verses'!

    SOPA and PIPA Bills Are Dead: Wikipedia Blackout Caused Congress to Shelve These Fascist Bills!

    Chetan Bhagat attacks Rushdie, says you can't hurt feelings in India  as the Salman Rushdie row took a turn for the worse today as he accused the Rajasthan Police of cooking up the "threat" to keep him away from the Jaipur Literature Festival. As the police denied the charge, insisting they had "credible information" of the threat, four authors against whom a police complaint had been filed for reading out from Rushdie's Satanic Verses at the festival left the meet on Sunday.

    Salman Rushdie will not attend a literature festival in India after authorities warned the controversial author he was a potential target of assassins at the event, following threats of protests from Muslim groups at his planned appearance.

    Opposition from some Indian Muslim groups erupted this month after Rushdie was invited to attend Asia's largest literature festival, and senior Muslim leaders called on the government to prevent the 65-year-old author from entering the country.

    Muslim leaders have demanded India ban Salman Rushdie from entering the country to attend a literary festival, re-igniting a decades-old row about the Booker prize-winning author's works.

    Rushdie's 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" was considered blasphemous by many Muslims and sparked calls for him to be killed, forcing the writer into hiding for years. He has visited India since, although the book is still banned there.

    As the Salman Rushdie episode looms large on the Jaipur Literature Festival, actorAnupam Kher today said the issue has been "politicised" while former Union minister and MP Shashi Tharoor opined that the controversial author should not be "reduced to a caricature" on one issue.

    "If we talk about freedom of expression, we should exercise that and allow people to do so, this issue was politicised. It went into a domain where it became difficult to pursue it in a way it should have been. But I am an optimist, and I hope something good will emerge out of this," Kher told reporters after the release of his book 'The Best Thing About You Is...You'.

    The actor-author was commenting on the issue of certain authors reading from the banned 'Satanic Verses' at the event earlier, disregarding festival authorities plea to not do so.

    Former minister of state for external affairs and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who was on a panel today with author Chetan Bhagat and discussing 'Survival strategies in the time of Twitterati", told reporters on the sidelines that Rushdie should not be "reduced to a caricature" on one issue.

    "I respect Salman Rushdie as a writer very very much. I think he has written some very important books that have lasted a long time. He should not be reduced to a caricature on one issue...," he said.

    When asked to comment on the festival organisers stopping writers from reading from the banned book, Tharoor said the organisers had asked the four authors not to read from the banned book out of concern.

    "I feel that literary festival organisers were anxious that people should not provoke or inflame an issue that is already sensitive that I fully respect," he said.

    Organisers of the festival said they had requested the authors to not read from the banned book keeping in mind security issues that have been pointed out to them.

    "We have to care take of authors and so many people who attend the festival. We have to take any perception that is given to us by the authorities seriously. And both the police and the IB have been very supportive thereof. Whether it was true or not, ask them," festival producer Sanjoy K Roy said responding to the claims that the intelligence information provided to Rushdie was concocted.
    1. Salman Rushdie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    2. Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his ...
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    4. Bhaskar Dasgupta shared this on Blogger · 20 Jun 2009
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    8. So says Haroun to his younger brother, twelve-year-old Luka, in Salman Rushdie'sthrilling, delightful, lyrically crafted fable for the young and young at heart.
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    11. Sign up for Twitter to follow Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie). In the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor Man: I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam.
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      1. Times of India‎ - 35 minutes ago
      2. JAIPUR: As the Salman Rushdie episode looms large on the Jaipur Literature Festival, actor Anupam Kher today said the issue has been "politicised" while ...
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    21. Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay, India, to a middle-class Moslem family. His paternal grandfather was an Urdu poet, and his father a Cambridge-educated ...
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    23. 5 days ago – JAIPUR: A major flashpoint ahead of the Jaipur Literary Festival has been avoided with a jittery Rajasthan government on Monday persuading ...
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    25. TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran's foreign minister says his country will not remove its death sentence for British writer Salman Rushdie for alleged blasphemy but ...
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    30. 13 hours ago – The planned appearance by the Booker Prize-winning author at the Jaipur Literary festival had reawakened the long-dormant controversy over ...
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    33. 2 days ago – Jaipur: Celebrated author Salman Rushdie will not attend the Jaipur Literature Festival, which began in Rajasthan's capital on Friday. Rushdie ...
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    35. The Satanic Verses controversy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    "India is a country where the sentiments of each community and caste are respected and therefore such a man should not be permitted to come to the country," Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali, a prominent Muslim cleric, told Reuters.

    His comments echoed those of other clerics at a high-profile Muslim seminary who said Rushdie had offended tens of millions of Muslims by insulting the Prophet Mohammad, according to statements made to Indian media.

    Rushdie rejected the demand he be denied a travel permit.

    "... for the record, I don't need a visa," the Indian-born Rushdie said on Twitter.

    Many comments on the microblogging website on Tuesday supported Rushdie, who won the Booker prize for his novel "Midnight's Children" in 1981.

    Muslims represent about 13 percent of India's 1.2 billion people.

    Rushdie is due to attend Asia's largest literary festival in historic Jaipur city from January 20-24.

    "I have now been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to eliminate me," Rushdie said in a statement read out by the festival producer.

    "While I have some doubts as to the accuracy of this intelligence, it would be irresponsible of me to come to the festival in such circumstances."

    The British-Indian author, whose 1988 novel the Satantic Verses is banned in India, was due to speak on the first day of the five-day Jaipur Literature Festival but organisers removed his name from the schedule last week.

    The Salman Rushdie row refused to die down on Sunday with a police complaint being filed against the four authors who read out portions from the controversial author's banned book 'Satanic Verses' at the Jaipur Literature Festival. The four authors, Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil

    and Rushir Joshi, who struck a defiant note by reading from the banned book on Friday after Rushdie called off his visit citing death threats, opted out of the five-day meet.

    The festival organisers, who had issued a strong statement distancing themselves from the actions of the four authors, on Sunday dismissed reports which said the writers have been forced to leave.

    "They were not asked to leave," festival organiser Namita Gokhale clarified.

    "We received a complaint which is being examined. It is a complaint and no FIR has been lodged so far," said A Mohammad, SHO of Ashok Nagar police station. The complainant Ashok Kumar has demanded action against the authors.

    While crowdpuller TV mogul Oprah Winfrey was addressing a session, high drama was witnessed in a separate wing with publisher S Anand lashing out at the organisers for not supporting Rushdie and the four authors.

    To emphasise his point, Anand quoted from Rushdie "What kind of idea are you" which led to applause from the audience.

    He said, "We have been discussing about books....there are other writers and authors like Salman Rudhie. There is Oprah and whatever happens there is no excuse to say this controversy should shut down our voices."

    Gokhale intervened to say, "It was hurtful of Anand who has been coming here for many years to suggest that we have asked the four authors to leave.

    "I want to explain that what is most hurtful is that the festival has over 265 authors and writers who are being sidelined due to this ...the police and the state government have been cooperating with us... we have the responsibility to ensure the safety of those who are attending the festival," said Gokhale.

    She said there were some sections of people who "were spreading the wrong idea" and requested "everyone to behave responsibly".

    Pakistani Author Mohammad Haneef also came out in support of Rushdie.

    "I find it quite bizarre. This is the world's biggest democracy, the most multi-cultural society you can have and I think it's sad that Rushdie has not been able to come. I think it's the state's basic role to provide security to its citizens and visitors and to me it seems the state has failed in its most basic duty," he said.

    A day after his comments Salman Rusdhie's writings made headlines, popular author Chetan Bhagat today said the Midnight's Children author was a hero for him as well but he does not believe in using the medium of literature to hurt people's sentiments.

    "It is not about myself verses Rushdie, there is no question," shot out the author when asked to comment on the issue yet again on the sidelines of the festival.

    "I am a humble writer. I cannot match up to him. He won the Booker the year I was born," Bhagat said.

    But, at the same time he reiterated his stand that religious sentiments in India have to be respected.

    The community of authors here appeared divided over the controversy with some supporting the four authors and others advocating restraint.

    Bhagat was one of the few who spoke strongly against promoting Rushdie's controversial writings.

    "He is a hero as far as his others writings are concerned, but writing something that attacks somebody's god is not the right thing to do. I would not make him a hero on that count," he said while responding to questions.

    A day after his comments against Salman Rushdie created ripples, popular author Chetan Bhagat today said the Booker Prize winner was a hero to him as well but not for 'attacking God' and religious sentiments in India have to be respected.

    "He is a hero as far as his others writings are concerned, but writing something that attacks somebody's god is not the right thing to do," said the author on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

    "I would not make him a hero on that count," he said while responding to questions.

    "I'll not make somebody who attacks my god a hero. This is India, you cannot hurt feelings here," he said.

    The community of authors here appeared divided over the controversy that has taken over this edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, with some supporting the act by four writers of reading from the banned book 'The Satanic Verses' and others advocating restraint.
    Bhagat was one of the few who spoke strongly against promoting Rushdie's controversial writings.

    But he maintained that "it is not about myself verses Rushdie, there is no question.
    "I am a humble writer. I cannot match up to him. He won the Booker the year I was born," Bhagat said.

    But, at the same time he reiterated his stand that religious sentiments in India have to be respected.

    Asked if the controversy looked "stage managed" to him, he said it does not appear to be the case but it was the media's thirst for big stories that was driving it.

    Rushdie had attributed his decision to cancel a visit to the litfest to reports of plans to target him. Quoting a newspaper article, the writer tweeted today: "Rajasthan police invented plot to keep away Rushdie'. I've investigated, & believe that I was indeed lied to. I am outraged and very angry."

    In response to a question about who ordered such a 'plot', Rushdie tweeted: "Don't know who gave orders. And yes I guess the same police who want to arrest Hari (Kunzru), Amitava (Ghosh), Jeet (Thayil) and Ruchir (Joshi). Disgusting."

    The four writers had read out an article on Rushdie on Friday at the Jaipur litfest, which contained passages from The Satanic Verses, and today they said they were opting out of the festival. The organisers, who had stopped them from completing the readings, refuted reports that they were "asked to leave".

    Denying they had communicated with Rushdie in any manner, Rajasthan Director General of Police (DGP) H C Meena told The Indian Express that no information was exchanged between the state police and the writer over the festival. "Till date we have not communicated in any way -- telephone, fax or email -- with Salman Rushdie. So I do not understand his statement," Meena said.
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    SOPA and PIPA Bills Are Dead: Wikipedia Blackout Caused Congress to Shelve These Fascist Bills

    By Dennis Bakay at 1:45 pm on Saturday January 21, 2012

    For weeks, a potentially disastrous bill was being negotiated in Congress, while being swept under the rug by the mainstream news media.
    Thanks to sites like Wikipedia,, and many others, the so-called SOPA and PIPA bills have beenshelved by Congress.
    Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales should get a Noble Prize for his public campaign - by blacking out Wikipedia Lamar Smith of Texas) is now the biggest news story of the year.
    Let's just consider what right wing extremist Smith attempted to do. He along with his cohorts in Congress wanted to usher through legislation that is designed (on the surface) to prevent piracy. However, what this law really was meant to do is put control of the internet into the hands of Washington D.C. and ultimately result in complete censorship of the web as we know it.
    To illustrate how ridiculous this bill is, a website could be shut down simply because it has LINKS on the site, which are deemed to be infringing - even if a user posted the links through a comments section!
    The proposed legislation came at the behest of Hollywood and the Music Industry, who have lost millions over the years in lost sales due to P2P file sharing.
    When you dig a little deeper and look at who donated the most money to Lamar Smith's election, the TV/Movie/Music Industry was his biggest contributer.
    It's no shock that Lamar Smith was ignoring the public outcries on Wednesday and still moving forward with trying to make this horrific legislation a reality...until Friday when the bills were withdrawn.
    Smith issued the following statement, "I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products." Smith also added, "The committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation."
    When you consider how pitiful of a job our government has done in the past decade, this would be a death sentence for the internet as we know it. Even though President Barack Obama will hardly go down as the greatest President ever; he knows that this bill is a terrible idea and came out against it. Even Republican's like Eric Cantor andMarco Rubio came out against the bills.
    After Friday's announcement, many aides and lobbyists say that the bill is unlikely to be voted on this year due to the pressures of the election year.
    Not only are SOPA and PIPA fascist, they are foolish. Forget about the free-flow of information on the internet. And, forget about free speech as we know it.
    Then, there's the issue of over-arching authority. The United States doesn't have the authority to dictate to companies outside the country who they can do business with. Furthermore, the economic impacts would be brutal considering how many jobs would be lost to due to companies
    Texas has had it's share ofembarrasments over the years and Lamar Smith is just the latest to come out of the "Lonestar state."
    Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas would be better suited to serve the Third Reich in Germany than the United States. He is a disgrace to America.
    Perhaps he should take stock of himself not just as a lawmaker, but as a human being.
    Here is a complete list of the SOPA supporters in Congress, which can be found on
    Contact Dennis Bakay at
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    SOPA and PIPA Shelved But Is ACTA Unstoppable?

    Written by Sue Gee  
    Sunday, 22 January 2012 12:24
    Last Wednesday's blackout by Wikipedia, Reddit and other sites raised awareness of PIPA and SOPA but there's another threat to the open Internet, ACTA and has already been signed in US and elsewhere.
    There has been jubilation about the fact that both the PIPA and SOPA bills that were being debated by the US Congress have stopped being an immediate menace.
    Yes the action taken by Wikipedia had the desired effect, as did the signatures of the citizens who petitioned President Obama. However, in reality we should view the outcome as a temporary setback for the supporters of this legislation.
    They will no doubt try again and we just have to hope that the next proposed legislation is less draconian.
    The lasting achievement of the Internet Strike was that it alerted ordinary Internet users to the idea that there are freedoms we currently take for granted that could be blocked with widespread adverse affects.
    But while many more people now know about SOPA and PIPA, how many have heard of ACTA - which by having the status of an international trade agreement rather than one country's law has been introduced without the level of debate accorded to proposed legislation?

    According to La Quadrature du Net, a French advocacy group that promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet:
    ACTA is one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small "club" of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.
    La Quadrature says ACTA aims at imposing new criminal sanctions and online censorship in the name of copyright.
    The US, Canada and many other countries have already signed the ACTA agreement and it was recently adopted by the European Union but it has yet to be debated by the European Parliament and so there is still a short window for protest against ACTA to prevent it being enacted.
    Watch the video below to discover why we need to say No to ACTA and refer to La Quadrature's Wiki to discover how to take action against it.


    At this time the Internet is under more threat from sources that are alien to it, or worse fear it, than at any other time. However, we are not good at spotting legislative controls that could harm what we do. Partly because it is a different technology and we don't know the jargon, but mainly because stealth works in the favor of any party trying to pass restrictive legislature.
    In the past most of the attempts to control the Internet have come from commercial interests, and piracy was its main target. Now, after the successes of the Internet in enabling revolutions to start and proceed, there is a raw political desire to curb the power of the web. This isn't based on money, but on fear.
    The big problem is that, even when we do notice, the ethos of the web works against us. The web should be open. information should be free and, even whenWikipedia went dark to protest against a bill that would clearly damage the Internet, many Wikipedians thought it was a bad thing for the most noble enterprise, an encyclopedia, to get embroiled in politics.
    We desperately need a less idealistic view of the web, one that can defend its freedoms while minimizing the evil within.

    More Information

    La Quadrature du Net,

    Related Reading

    SOPA Shelved - But What About Protect IP
    Web Blackout As SOPA Protest

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    Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 January 2012 15:19 )

    SOPA and PIPA Battle Far From Over

    Posted: 1/19/12 11:31 AM ET
    They lined up in familiar opposing ranks. On one side Rupert Murdoch, sounding crustier than ever now that he tweets... the Motion Picture Association of America (which of course includes Murdoch's 20th Century Fox studios)... and other traditional media conglomerates like NBC Universal.
    On the other side, younger digital dynamos like Google, Mozilla, WordPress and Wikipedia.
    Their one-day protest against the proposed legislation in Congress that aims to stop online piracy from harming America's intellectual property and the people who work on it (but risks a clamp-down on freedom of speech, and threatens many of our Internet-based businesses) achieved pretty much what they wanted. A lot more public awareness, suddenly.
    But the various parties to the protest had a wide range of differing ways to get that attention. Wikipedia, which after all is a nonprofit organization not building income on its visitor-volume, could easily go completely offline for a day -- in English, anyway.
    Tumblr, on the other hand, protected itself from losing customers by doing what they've done for a while now... simply signal very clearly to new arrivals that "Censorship" is looming, and offer a lot of information about the Senate's and the House of Representatives' respective 'reform' bills.
    Google chose to do largely the same thing, niftily 'redacting' its own own home-page logo (which we've grown used to seeing creatively manipulated for effect) with a rectangular black-out, and directing users to a good old-fashioned "Write Your Representative" petition against the legislation. No threat there, or very little, to all those revenue-generating Google ads that pepper the search pages.
    The "Internet community," as these very variegated entities are fond of calling themselves in this debate, are now crowing cock-a-hoop, since the White House joined the fray on the eve of their protest, to signal that the Obama Administration will only support anti-piracy legislation if it avoids infringement of citizens' (and U.S.-based Internet companies') First Amendment rights.
    Postings from that same "community" during the black-out (or at least from the parts that didn't themselves go dark) suggested great confidence. Articles across the hyper-local network Patch (from AOL and HuffPost) proclaimed "Protest over SOPA may have stopped bill" (referring, of course, to the Senate's acronymic Stop Online Piracy Act) and many like-minded bloggers announced in a frequently chiming word-choice that the legislation is now "on life-support."
    I wouldn't be so sure.
    It all remains -- like all federal legislation tends to -- a matter of Washington lobbying, despite this week's one-day leap into the forum of public debate. And as always, the industry associations with their deeply-expert methods of arm-twisting in and around both sides of Capitol Hill will in all likelihood remain the strongest deciders of how things go.
    The digitally-based newcomers can no longer be seen as strangers to the lobbying game, especially not now with Facebook's most recent hires, Joel Kaplan and Myriah Jordan, both previously in George W. Bush's White House. And Facebook is joined by Google, Yahoo and Amazon in a representative grouping called NetCoalition, which has dug itself in well, now moving from North Capitol Street to the heart of lobbyville, K Street. Google itself is spending $6 million a year, now to be rocketing higher, we can be sure, on D.C. lobbying efforts in its own interests.
    But all this pales compared with the amassed forces and sheer weight of dollar numbers brought into play when Hollywood, network television and the recoding industry all join forces, as they have over this issue.
    Among the bills' industry supporters there's greater unity (and even richer lobbying clout) born out of having an overriding common interest -- i.e. profits -- to defend.
    The very multiplicity and variegation that characterizes Silicon Valley's successful meteors can often dim their effect in the nation's capital. Google, for instance, hasn't completely stayed in step with the NetCoalition alliance, and Microsoft (whose sincerity many seem to doubt on any issue at all) has been very canny indeed to avoid strong identification with the digital side of the argument.
    As Congress resumes formal business, the language of these bills is obviously going to be sliced and re-sliced every which way... but it's far from certain that the major content-producers, which is how the old megaliths think of themselves, will end up losing their defensive fight.
    * * * *
    Read more of David Tereshchuk's media industry insights at his weekly column, "The Media Beat," with accompanying video and audio. Listen also to The Media Beat podcasts on demand from Connecticut's NPR station WHDD.

    Follow David Tereshchuk on Twitter:



    1/18/2012 @ 10:14AM |193,428 views

    What Are SOPA and PIPA And Why All The Fuss?

    + Comment now
    Visitors to see a blacked out logo and a link to an online petition
    Knowing that Wikipedia would go dark for 24 hours in protest to SOPA and PIPA, I took the precaution of printing it out last night. Just kidding. Wikipedia is huge. I wanted to say just how big it is, but when I went to Google to look up "size of Wikipedia," most of the relevant results directed me to articles on Wikipedia which, of course, is dark for the day.
    Google didn't go dark but it did black out its logo and has a link to "Tell Congress: Please don't censor the web!" with a link to an online petition.
    What are SOPA and PIPA and why are people upset?
    This is all because of two pieces of legislation: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and its Senate companion bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).  The purpose of these bills is to make it harder for sites — especially those located outside the United States — to sell or distribute pirated copyrighted material such as movies and music as well as physical goods such as counterfeit purses and watches. Even most of SOPA and PIPA's strongest opponents applaud the intentions of the legislation while deploring what it might actually accomplish.
    Although its sponsors have said that they would amend the bill, as currently written, SOPA would enable the U.S. Attorney General to seek a court order to require "a service provider (to) take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site." Until this weekend, one of the ways to do that would have been to cut the DNS (domain name server) records that point to the site, but that provision is likely to be removed after the Obama administration weighed in on the issue over the weekend, saying "Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small." The administration also echoed concerns raised by a number of security experts, including some anti-malware companies that the bill could disrupt the underlying architecture of the Internet.
    The White House statement coincided with sponsors agreeing to remove the DNS blocking provisions. Still, the bill could require search engines like Google to delete any links to the sites.
    These are not partisan bills. SOPA and PIPA have proponents and opponents on both sides of the aisle.
    The bill would require sites to refrain from linking to any sites "dedicated to the theft of U.S. property." It would also prevent companies from placing on the sites and block payment companies like Visa, Mastercard and Paypal from transmitting funds to the site. For more, see this blog post on Reddit.
    The problem with this is that the entire site would be affected, not just that portion that is promoting the distribution of illegal material. It would be a bit like requiring the manager of a flea market to shut down the entire market because some of the merchants were selling counterfeit goods.
    The bill would also cut off funding by prohibiting payment services from cooperating with infringing sites.
    Opponents say it would create an "internet blacklist."
    As said in its analysis, there are existing laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) that require operators to remove specific infringing content. SOPA and PIPA would go after entire domains. Also see Declan McCullagh's How SOPA would affect you:FAQ on CNET News.
    Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley
    These bills have pitted the entertainment industry against the technology industry. "Hollywood" has a legitimate interest in protecting its intellectual property. Not only are profits at stake but so are jobs. Thousands of Americans make their living by dreaming up content and selling it to the world and piracy does in fact take money out of their pockets.  Silicon Valley has invested billions in creating companies that freely distribute information. While Google and every other Silicon Valley company must respect copyrights, they thrive on helping people find what they want. If, suddenly, every web site that had links to other sites had to worry that they could be in violation of the law by linking to a "banned" site, it could put undo pressure on these companies. There is also worry that SOPA and PIPA could be abused and lead to censorship for purposes other than intellectual property protection.
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    Long Reach of SOPA, PIPA Legislation Worried International Observers

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    NEWS ANALYSIS: Even though SOPA and PIPA look like they are headed to the legislative scrap heap, the rest of the world worries about U.S. intrusion into global copyright policy.

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    Long Reach of SOPA, PIPA Legislation Worried International Observers
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    The week when Wikipedia's English edition went dark, it was only the most visible sign of a great level of global concern about the attempts by U.S. lawmakers to assert their views of copyright law on the rest of the world. One of the provisions of the two proposed laws would give judges in the United States the power to authorize U.S. law enforcement officers to effectively take down foreign Websites that were alleged to contain pirated content.
    Under the proposed legislation, the method of taking these sites offline varies. In some cases, a judge could order search engines to stop serving up results from allegedly offending sites. In other cases, payment processing sites could be ordered to stop processing payments, which would kill them just as effectively. Worse, halting the payment processing action would only require an assertion by someone who claimed to be a copyright holder who issued a letter giving five days' warning. No judicial review would be required.
    I learned about the depths of these concerns during a series of appearances on foreign talk shows. In conversations with journalists involved with Al Jazeera's "Inside Story" show there were questions about why the entire U.S. legal system was catering to a relatively small set of interests. On Russia Today's "Crosstalk" program, there were similar questions. But while preparing for the show, I heard many concerns about why the United States thought it should be able to impose its laws on foreign countries.
    Part of the reason for concern is that the United States and other countries already have treaties in place regarding copyrights, and those treaties work, as was clearly shown in the takedown of the Megaupload site on Jan. 19. In that massive bust, the FBI along with authorities from a number of other countries detained the principals of the site and took the site and all of its related domains offline.
    So the obvious question arises. If this capability already exists, why do we need SOPA and PIPA? The reason that was given publicly is that sometimes it's hard to actually find the people responsible for rogue sites. But it seems that after some investigation, law enforcement was able to coordinate the action over several countries on multiple continents. Perhaps this would have been able to take place more easily with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or Protect IP Act (PIPA) in place, but clearly it's possible without them.
    This isn't the first time such a coordinated arrest has taken place, although the Megaupload bust was by far the biggest. But what else were the backers of SOPA and PIPA looking for? For one thing, they don't want to have to wait for a year while the whole thing is investigated and coordinated. They want a site that they think is handling pirated material taken down in days.

    The Reason SOPA and PIPA Protests Were So Successful

    According to The Star Online, over 4.5 million people signed Google's online petition to Congress against SOPA and PIPA, more than two million people tweeted against the legislation, 162 million people visited Wikipedia's blackout landing page, and eight million in the U.S. looked up their congressional representative to protest SOPA and PIPA. Millions of citizens engaged in their communities and protested the bills that are defeated for now, this week in the U.S. House and Senate. Collective action ranged from people censoring their profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter, posting statuses, links, and pictures against the bills, and calling their congressional representatives to halt these bills.
    Why such an unprecedented level of online engagement? What about SOPA and PIPA caused such an impassioned flurry of unequivocal outrage across the U.S. and abroad?
    Simply put, people had a lot to lose if those bills became law. The biggest lesson learned from anti-SOPA protests (specifically on January 18 when Wikipedia, Reddit, Google, and 75,000 other websites temporarily went black in protest) is that people act quickly when they realize they have something at stake. Following the basic economic principle of self-interest, people need an incentive and justifiable reason to expend energy, time, and money into something. In this case, the potential consequences that the passage of SOPA and PIPA would have on ordinary people served as a strong enough incentive for people to take action. By protesting these bills, people found something they could gain from the bills' failures.
    Just the sheer number of people who protested SOPA/PIPA demonstrates the enormous power and influence that collective action can have on our government. Corporations and their interests were not the only groups who had a stake in the passage or failure of these bills — anyone with a remote connection to the Internet could face its potential repercussions.
    Additionally, the collective support and action witnessed on January 18 and the days surrounding heightened discussion about the bills are the same kind of solidarity and commitment to common good that arose after 9/11 and during the international Occupy movement. Similarly, the protests that have been successful, such as the petition against Bank of America's five-dollar debit card fee also showcase broad public support.
    Affecting the majority, people had a vested interest in the outcome of these bills — consequences they could potentially immediately face given the nature of the provisions in the bills. Here lies another key distinction between rallying for the passage or failure of a different congressional bill and protesting SOPA/PIPA: SOPA and PIPA's consequences can be felt by the mundane citizen. An ordinary user using Wikipedia is targeted in the same manner and subject to the same laws and regulations governing alleged internet pirates.
    Other issues that received considerable public outcry but failed to receive as much attention as SOPA were the passage of the NDAA and the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline. Here, only select groups of people were affected. Though the NDAA had implications for ordinary citizens, indefinite detention was not as likely a scenario as is prosecution for piracy. Same with the Keystone pipeline — though there are potential environmental risks associated with building the pipeline, those repercussions are not felt immediately. SOPA and PIPA affected the majority of people, causing people to mobilize and ardently disagree with the bill. When the majority of people decide to speak out against a perceived injustice, actual change reverberates throughout.
    Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    The Satanic Verses

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is about the novel. For the verses known as "Satanic Verses", see Satanic Verses.
    The Satanic Verses  
    First edition cover
    United Kingdom
    Publication date
    Media type
    Print (Hardback andpaperback)
    547 pp
    OCLC Number
    PR6068.U757 S27 1988
    Preceded by
    Followed by
    The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988 and inspired in part by the life of Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters. The title refers to the so-called "satanic verses", a group of alleged Qur'anic verses that allow intercessory prayers to be made to threePagan Meccan goddesses: Allāt, Uzza, and Manāt.[1] The part of the story that deals with the "satanic verses" was based on accounts from the 1st millenium (AD or AH) historians al-Waqidi andal-Tabari.[1]
    In the United Kingdom, the book received positive reviews. It was a 1988 Booker Prize Finalist (losing to Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda) and won the 1988 Whitbread Award for novel of the year.[2] The Satanic Verses sparked a major controversy when Muslims accused it of blasphemy and mocking their faith. The outrage among some Muslims resulted in a fatwā calling for Rushdie's death issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on 14 February 1989.

  21. [edit]Plot

    The Satanic Verses consists of a frame narrative, using elements of magical realism, interlaced with a series of sub-plots that are narrated as dream visions experienced by one of the protagonists. The frame narrative, like many other stories by Rushdie, involves Indian expatriates in contemporaryEngland. The two protagonists, Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, are both actors of Indian Muslim background. Farishta is a Bollywood superstar who specializes in playing Hindu deities. (The character is partly based on Indian film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Rama Rao.[3]) Chamcha is an emigrant who has broken with his Indian identity and works as a voiceover artist in England.
    At the beginning of the novel, both are trapped in a hijacked plane during a flight from India to Britain. The plane explodes over the English Channel, but the two are magically saved. In a miraculous transformation, Farishta takes on the personality of the archangel Gibreel, and Chamcha that of a devil. Farishta's transformation can be read on a realistic level as the symptom of the protagonist's developing schizophrenia. Chamcha is arrested and passes through an ordeal of police abuse as a suspected illegal immigrant.
    Both characters struggle to piece their lives back together. Farishta seeks and finds his lost love, the English mountaineer Allie Cone, but their relationship is overshadowed by his mental illness. Chamcha, having miraculously regained his human shape, wants to take revenge on Farishta for having forsaken him after their common fall from the hijacked plane. He does so by fostering Farishta's pathological jealousy and thus destroying his relationship with Allie. In another moment of crisis, Farishta realizes what Chamcha has done, but forgives him and even saves his life.
    Both return to India. Farishta, still suffering from his illness, kills Allie in another outbreak of jealousy and then commits suicide. Chamcha, who has found not only forgiveness from Farishta but also reconciliation with his estranged father and his own Indian identity, decides to remain in India.

    [edit]Dream sequences

    Embedded in this story is a series of half-magic dream vision narratives, ascribed to the disturbed mind of Gibreel Farishta. They are linked together by many thematic details as well as by the common motifs of divine revelation, religious faith and fanaticism, and doubt.
    One of these sequences contains most of the elements that have been criticized as offensive to Muslims. It is a transformed re-narration of the life of Muhammad (called "Mahound" or "the Messenger" in the novel) in Mecca ("Jahilia"). At its centre is the episode of the Satanic Verses, in which the prophet first proclaims a revelation in favour of the old polytheistic deities, but later renounces this as an error induced by Shaitan. There are also two opponents of the "Messenger": a demonic heathen priestess, Hind, and an irreverent skeptic and satirical poet, Baal. When the prophet returns to the city in triumph, Baal goes into hiding in an underground brothel, where the prostitutes assume the identities of the prophet's wives. Also, one of the prophet's companions claims that he, doubting the "Messenger"'s authenticity, has subtly altered portions of the Qur'an as they were dictated to him.
    The second sequence tells the story of Ayesha, an Indian peasant girl who claims to be receiving revelations from the Archangel Gibreel. She entices all her village community to embark on a foot pilgrimage to Mecca, claiming that they will be able to walk on foot across the Arabian Sea. The pilgrimage ends in a catastrophic climax as the believers all walk into the water and disappear, amid disturbingly conflicting testimonies from observers about whether they just drowned or were in fact miraculously able to cross the sea.
    A third dream sequence presents the figure of a fanatic expatriate religious leader, the "Imam," set again in a late-20th-century setting. This figure is a transparent allusion to the life of Ayatollah Khomeini in his Parisian exile, but it is also linked through various recurrent narrative motifs to the figure of the "Messenger".

    [edit]Literary criticism and analysis

    Overall, the book received favourable reviews from literary critics.[citation needed] In a 2003 volume of criticism of Rushdie's career, influential critic Harold Bloom named The Satanic Verses "Rushdie's largest aesthetic achievement".[4]
    Timothy Brennan called the work "the most ambitious novel yet published to deal with the immigrant experience in Britain" that captures the immigrants dream-like disorientation and their process of "union-by-hybridization". The book is seen as "fundamentally a study in alienation."[2]
    Muhammd Mashuq ibn Ally wrote that "The Satanic Verses is about identity, alienation, rootlessness, brutality, compromise, and conformity. These concepts confront all migrants, disillusioned with both cultures: the one they are in and the one they join. Yet knowing they cannot live a life of anonymity, they mediate between them both. The Satanic Verses is a reflection of the author's dilemmas." The work is an "albeit surreal, record of its own author's continuing identity crisis."[2] Ally said that the book reveals the author ultimately as "the victim of nineteenth-century British colonialism."[2] Rushdie himself spoke confirming this interpretation of his book, saying that it was not about Islam, "but about migration, metamorphosis, divided selves, love, death, London and Bombay."[2] He has also said "It's a novel which happened to contain a castigation of Western materialism. The tone is comic."[2]
    After the Satanic Verses controversy developed some scholars familiar with the book and the whole of Rushdie's work like M. D. Fletcher saw the reaction as ironic. Fletcher wrote "It is perhaps a relevant irony that some of the major expressions of hostility toward Rushdie came from those about whom and (in some sense) for whom he wrote."[5] He said the manifestations of the controversy in Britain "embodied an anger arising in part from the frustrations of the migrant experience and generally reflected failures of multicultural integration, both significant Rushdie themes. Clearly, Rushdie's interests centrally include explorations of how migration heightens one's awareness that perceptions of reality are relative and fragile, and of the nature of religious faith and revelation, not to mention the political manipulation of religion. Rushdie's own assumptions about the importance of literature parallel in the literal value accorded the written word in Islamic tradition to some degree. But Rushdie seems to have assumed that diverse communities and cultures share some degree of common moral ground on the basis of which dialogue can be pieced together, and it is perhaps for this reason that he underestimated the implacable nature of the hostility evoked by The Satanic Verses, even though a major theme of that novel is the dangerous nature of closed, absolutist belief systems."[5]
    Rushdie's influences have long been a point of interest to scholars examining his work. According to W. J. Weatherby, influences on The Satanic Verses were listed as Joyce, Calvino, Kafka, Frank Herbert, Pynchon, Mervyn Peake, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jean-Luc Godard, J. G. Ballard, and William Burroughs.[6] Chandrabhanu Pattanayak notes the influence of William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell andMikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita (influences Rushdie admitted to).[5] M. Keith Booker likens the book to James Joyce'sFinnegans Wake.[5] Al-'Azm notes the influence of François Rabelais' works.[5] Others have noted an influence of Indian classics such as theMahabharata and the Arabic Arabian Nights.[5] Angela Carter writes that the novel contains "inventions such as the city of Jahilia, 'built entirely of sand,' that gives a nod to Calvino and a wink to Frank Herbert".[7]
    Srinivas Aravamudan's analysis of The Satanic Verses was perceived by other scholars as hailing the book as a proof "demonstrating the compatibility of postmodernism and post-colonialism in the one novel."[5] Aravamudan himself stressed the satiric nature of the work and held that while it and Midnight's Children may appear to be more "comic epic", "clearly those works are highly satirical" in a similar vein of postmodern satire pioneered by Joseph Heller in Catch-22.[5]
    The Satanic Verses continued to exhibit Rushdie's penchant for organizing his work in terms of parallel stories. Within the book "there are major parallel stories, alternating dream and reality sequences, tied together by the recurring names of the characters in each; this provides intertexts within each novel which comment on the other stories."[5] The Satanic Verses also exhibits Rushdie's common practice of using allusions in order to invoke connotative links. Within the book he referenced everything from mythology to "one-liners invoking recent popular culture" sometimes using several per page.[5] Chapter VII was especially noted by for such usage.[5]


    Main article: The Satanic Verses controversy
    In the Muslim community, however, the novel caused great controversy for what many Muslims believed were blasphemous references. As the controversy spread, the book was banned in India and burned in demonstrations in the United Kingdom. In mid-February 1989, following a violent riot against the book in Pakistan, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of Iran and a Shi'a Muslim scholar, issued afatwa calling on all good Muslims to kill Rushdie and his publishers, or to point him out to those who can kill him if they cannot themselves.[8]Although the British Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher gave Rushdie round-the-clock police protection, many politicians on both sides were hostile to the author. British Labour MP Keith Vaz led a march through Leicester shortly after he was elected in 1989 calling for the book to be banned, while Conservative MP Norman Tebbit, the party's former chairman, called Rushdie an "outstanding villain" whose "public life has been a record of despicable acts of betrayal of his upbringing, religion, adopted home and nationality" [9] Meanwhile theCommission for Racial Equality and a liberal think tank, The Policy Studies Institute held seminars on the Rushdie affair. They did not invite the author Fay Weldon who spoke out against burning books, but did invite Shabbir Akhtar, a Cambridge philosophy graduate who called for "a negotiated compromise" which "would protect Muslim sensibilities against gratuitous provocation". The journalist and author Andy McSmith wrote at the time "We are witnessing, I fear, the birth of a new and dangerously illiberal "liberal" orthodoxy designed to accommodate Dr Akhtar and his fundamentalist friends." [10]
    Following the fatwa, Rushdie was put under police protection by the British government. Despite a conciliatory statement by Iran in 1998, and Rushdie's declaration that he would stop living in hiding, the Iranian state news agency reported in 2006 that the fatwa would remain in place permanently since fatwas can only be rescinded by the person who first issued them, and Khomeini had since died.[11]
    Rushdie has never been physically harmed for the book, but others associated with it have suffered violent attacks. Hitoshi Igarashi, itsJapanese translator, was stabbed to death on 11 July 1991; Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator, was seriously injured in a stabbing the same month[12]; William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, barely survived an attempted assassination in Oslo in October 1993, and Aziz Nesin, the Turkish translator, was the intended target in the events that led to the Sivas massacre on 2 July 1993 in Sivas, Turkey, which resulted in the deaths of 37 people.[13] Individual purchasers of the book have not been harmed. However, the only nation with a predominantly Muslim population where the novel remains legal is Turkey.

    [edit]See also


    1. ^ a b John D. Erickson (1998). Islam and Postcolonial Narrative. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    2. ^ a b c d e f Ian Richard Netton (1996). Text and Trauma: An East-West Primer. Richmond, UK: Routledge Curzon.
    3. ^ "Notes for Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses" Washington State University; 18 August 1996
    4. ^ Harold Bloom (2003). Introduction to Bloom's Modern Critical Views: Salman Rushdie. Chelsea House Publishers.
    5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k M. D. Fletcher (1994). Reading Rushdie: Perspectives on the Fiction of Salman Rushdie. Rodopi B.V, Amsterdam.
    6. ^ Weatherby, W. J. Salman Rushdie: Sentenced to Death. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc., 1990, p. 126.
    7. ^ Carter, Angela, in Appignanesi, Lisa and Maitland, Sara (eds). The Rushdie File. London: Fourth Estate, 1989, p. 11.
    8. ^ "Ayatollah sentences author to death". BBC. 1989-02-14. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
    9. ^ No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith, Constable 2011, page 15 ISBN 978-1-84901-979-8
    10. ^ No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith, Constable 2011, page 16 ISBN 978-1-84901-979-8
    11. ^ "Iran says Rushdie fatwa still stands". Iran Focus. 2006-02-14. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
    12. ^
    13. ^ Freedom of Expression after the "Cartoon Wars" By Arch Puddington, Freedom House, 2006

    [edit]Further reading

    [edit]External links

    Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Satanic Verses


    [edit]Previous controversies

    Even before the publication of The Satanic Verses, the books of Salman Rushdie stoked controversy. Rushdie himself saw his role as a writer "as including the function of antagonist to the state," [7] and has been described as "a disaffected intellectual who criticises or makes fun of nearly everything".[8] His second book Midnight's Children angered Indira Gandhi because it seemed to suggest "that Mrs. Gandhi was responsible for the death of her husband through neglect."[9] His 1983 novel Shame "took an aim on Pakistan, its political characters, its culture and its religion... [It covered] a central episode in Pakistan's internal life, which portrays as a family squabble between Iskander Harappa (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) and his successor and executioner Raza Hyder (Zia ul-Haq)... 'The Virgin Ironpants'... has been identified asBenazir Bhutto, a Prime Minister of Pakistan."[9]
    Positions Rushdie took as a committed leftist prior to the publishing of his book were the source of some controversy. He defended many of those who later attacked him. Rushdie forcefully denounced the Shah's government and supported the Islamic Revolution of Iran, at least in its early stages. He condemned the U.S. bombing raid on Tripoli in 1986 but found himself threatened by Libya's leader Muammar al-Gaddafithree years later.[10] He wrote a book bitterly critical of U.S. foreign policy in general and its war in Nicaragua in particular, for example calling the United States government, "the bandit posing as sheriff."[11] After the Ayatollah's fatwa however, he was accused by Iranian government of being "an inferior CIA agent".[12] A few years earlier, an official jury appointed by a ministry of the Iranian Islamic government had bestowed an award on the Persian translation of Rushdie's book Shame, which up until then was the only time a government had awarded Rushdie's work a prize.[8]

    [edit]Controversial elements of The Satanic Verses

    Further information: The Satanic Verses
    Salman Rushdie, the author of the novel The Satanic Verses
    "[V]ehement protest against Rushdie's book" began with the title itself (especially as translated into Arabic), "which Muslims found incredibly sacrilegious", and took to mean the book's author claimed verses of the Qur'an, in fact the whole book, was "the work of the Devil". [13]
    The title refers to an alleged incident in the ministry of the Prophet Muhammad, when a few verses were supposedly spoken by Muhammad as part of the Qur'an and then subsequently withdrawn on the grounds that the devil had sent them, deceiving Muhammad into thinking they came from God. These "Satanic Verses" are therefore not found in the Qur'an, but are described by Ibn Ishaq in the first biography of Muhammad, and also appear in other biographies of the prophet's life. The disputed verses permitted prayers of intercession to be made to three pre-Islamic Meccan goddesses: Allāt, Uzza, and Manah— a violation of the Islamic principle ofmonotheism.[13] The utterance and withdrawal of the so-called Satanic Verses forms an important subplot in the novel, which recounts several episodes in the life of Muhammad.
    The phrase Arab historians and later Muslims used to describe the incident of the withdrawn verses, however, was not "Satanic verses", but gharaniq ("birds") verses. The phrase 'Satanic verses' was unknown to Muslims, and was coined by Western academics specializing in the study of Middle Eastern culture (most notablyWilliam Montgomery Watt in his book Muhammed, Prophet and Statesman,[13] according to scholar Daniel Pipes).
    Rushdie's depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, and several other elements of the novel, are also considered highly controversial or outright blasphemous. According to Islamic Studies scholar Anthony McRoy, these include the use of the name Mahound, a derogatory term for Muhammad used during the Crusades; and the use of the term Jahilia, denoting the 'time of ignorance' before Islam, for the holy city ofMecca. In addition, in Rushdie's novel a film star becomes the Angel Gibreel (Gabriel), while a character named Saladin, (named after the great Muslim hero of the Crusades) becomes a devil. Also, the character of a fanatical Indian girl who leads her village on a fatal pilgrimage is called Ayesha, which is also the name of the wife of Muhammad.
    Perhaps most offensive to Muslims, in Rushdie's novel the brothel of the city of Jahilia is staffed by prostitutes who take the names ofMuhammad's wives.[14] Since Muslims believe that the wives of the Prophet are 'the Mothers of all Believers', they esteem them.[15]
    Other issues many Muslims have found offensive include:
    • Abraham is called a "bastard" for casting Hagar and Ishmael in the desert.[16]
    • A character in the book named Salman the Persian who serves as one of the Prophet's scribes, an apparent takeoff on the story found in a Tafsir (Anwar al-Tanzil wa Asrar al-Ta'wil) of a Meccan convert by the name of Ibn Abi Sarh, who left Islam after the Prophet failed to notice small changes he had made in the dictation of the Qur'an.[17] Contemporary Muslims argue accounts of the story are unreliable, and in any case Ibn Abi Sarh later reconverted and became a good Muslim again after being captured and was spared the sword for his apostasy.[18] Salman the Persian is also the name of one of the companions of the Prophet, another potential source of offense. In the dreams of one of the central characters (Gibreel Farishta) Salman is seen confiding to the poet Baal (one of the most vehement critics of Mohammed) that he has doubts about the veracity of the Prophet's revelations. Salman's suspicions gather momentum when he subtly changes some of the Prophets' sayings while writing them down, but his acts go unnoticed. Salman is also angry and disappointed when he realises that the Prophets' revelations have started taking on the form of increasingly oppressive rules and that he can sense opportunism in the timing of these revelations.

    One observer (Daniel Pipes) identified other more general issues in the book likely to have angered pious Muslims:
    • The complaint in the book by one of Mahound's companions : "rules about every damn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind ...." This mixes up "Islamic law with its opposite and with the author's whimsy."[14]
    • As the prophet of Rushdie's novel lies dying, he is visited by the Goddess al-Lat, indicating either that al-Lat exists or the prophet thought she did.
    • The angel Gibreel's vision of the Supreme Being is described as "not abstract in the least. He saw, sitting on the bed, a man of about the same age as himself", balding, wearing glasses and "seeming to suffer from dandruff." [19]
    • Regarding communalist violence in India, often religious in nature, a character in the book complains: "Fact is, religious faith, which encodes the highest aspirations of human race, is now, in our country, the servant of lowest instincts, and God is the creature of evil."[19]

    [edit]Early reaction

    Before the publication of The Satanic Verses the publisher received "warnings from the publisher's editorial consultant" that the book might be controversial.[9] Later Rushdie would reflect upon the time when the book was about to be published while speaking to an interviewer, he said "I expected a few mullahs would be offended, call me names, and then I could defend myself in public… I honestly never expected anything like this."[9]
    The Satanic Verses was published by Viking Penguin on September 26, 1988.[9] Upon its publication the book garnered considerable critical acclaim in the author's home, the United Kingdom. On November 8, 1988 it received the Whitbread Award for novel of the year,[9] worth £20,000.[20] According to one observer, "almost all the British book reviewers" were unaware of the book's connection to Islam because Rushdie has used the name Mahound instead of Muhammad for his chapter on Islam.[14]

    [edit]Muslim anger

    In Islamic communities the novel began causing controversy almost at once because of what some Muslims considered blasphemousreferences. By October 1988 letters and phone calls began to come into Viking Penguin from Muslims angry with the book and demanding it be withdrawn.[9] Before the end of the month the book was banned in India.[9] In November 1988 it was also banned in Bangladesh, Sudan, and South Africa.[9] By December 1988 it was also banned in Sri Lanka.[9] March 1989 saw it banned in Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania,Indonesia, and Singapore.[9] The last nation which banned the book was Venezuela in June 1989.[9] The only nation with a predominantly Muslim population where the novel remains legal is Turkey.
    In the United States, the FBI was notified of 78 threats to bookstores in early March 1989, thought to be a small proportion of the total number. B. Dalton bookstore chain received 30 threats in less than three hours. Bombings of book stores included two in Berkeley California. In New York, the office of the community newspaper The Riverdale Press was all but destroyed by firebombs in retaliation for an editorial defending the right to read the novel and criticizing the bookstores that pulled it from their shelves.[21] But the United Kingdom was the country where violence against bookstores occurred most often and persisted the longest. Two large bookstores in Charing Cross Road, London, (Collets and Dillons) were bombed on April 9. In May, explosions went off in the town of High Wycombe and again in London, onKings Road. Other bombings include one at a large London department store (Liberty's), in connection with the Penguin Bookshop inside the store, and at the Penguin store in York. Unexploded devices were found at Penguin stores in Guildford, Nottingham, and Peterborough.
    The bombings meant that hardly a single bookstore sold Rushdie's novel openly in the UK. In the United States, it was unavailable in about one-third of the bookstores. In many others which carried the book, it was kept under the counter.[22]

    [edit]Fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini

    Ayatollah Khomeini,Supreme Leader of Iran
    While there was already a considerable amount of protest by Muslims in the first months after the book's publishing, the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, created a major international incident.
    On February 14, 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini, a Shi'a Muslim leader, issued a fatwa calling for the death of Rushdie and his publishers. Khomeini is thought to have issued the fatwa after hearing about a 10,000-strong protest against Rushdie and his book in Islamabad, Pakistan, where six protesters were killed in an attack on the American Cultural Center.
    Broadcast on Iranian radio, the judgement read:
    "We are from Allah and to Allah we shall return." (Qoranic verse). I am informing all brave Muslims of the world that the author of The Satanic Verses, a text written, edited, and published against Islam, the Prophet of Islam, and the Koran, along with all the editors and publishers aware of its contents, are condemned to death. I call on all valiant Muslims wherever they may be in the world to kill them without delay, so that no one will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth. And whoever is killed in this cause will be a martyr, Allah Willing. Meanwhile if someone has access to the author of the book but is incapable of carrying out the execution, he should inform the people so that [Rushdie] is punished for his actions. Rouhollah al-Mousavi al-Khomeini.
    Although Khomeini did not give the legal reasoning for his judgement, it is thought to be based on the ninth chapter of the Qur'an, called At-Tawba, verse 61: "Some of them hurt the prophet by saying, 'He is all ears!' Say, 'It is better for you that he listens to you. He believes in God, and trusts the believers. He is a mercy for those among you who believe.' Those who hurt God's messenger have incurred a painful retribution."[24]
    Several days after the fatwa was declared Iranian officials offered a bounty for the killing of Rushdie, who was thus forced to live under police protection for the next nine years. On 7 March 1989, the United Kingdom and Iran broke diplomatic relations over the Rushdie controversy.
    Several people have been killed or attacked as a result of the fatwa:
    • A man using the alias Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh accidentally blew himself up along with two floors of a central London hotel while preparing a bomb intended to kill Rushdie in 1989.[25]
    • Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of the book The Satanic Verses, was stabbed to death on July 11, 1991. Two other translators of the book survived attempted assassinations.[26]
    • Ettore Capriolo, the Italian language translator, was seriously injured in a stabbing the same month as his Japanese counterpart.
    • Aziz Nesin, the Turkish language translator, was the intended target in the events that led to the Sivas massacre in July 1993, which resulted in the deaths of 37 people.
    • William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, barely survived an attempted assassination in Oslo in October 1993.
    • In Belgium, two Muslim leaders who opposed Rushdie's death penalty were shot to death.
    • Two bookstores in Berkeley, California were firebombed.
    • Five bookstores in England were firebombed.
    • Twelve people died during rioting in Bombay.

    [edit]Rushdie's apology and reaction

    [edit]Rushdie's apology

    Taking a cue from Iranian President Ali Khamene'i (a former "favourite pupil" [27] and long-time lieutenant of Khomeini), who suggested that if Rushdie "apologizes and disowns the book, people may forgive him", Rushdie issued "a carefully worded statement" regretting,
    profoundly the distress the publication has occasioned to the sincere followers of Islam. Living as we do in a world of many faiths, this experience has served to remind us that we must all be conscious of the sensibilities of others.[28]
    This "was relayed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran via official channels before being released to the press."

    [edit]Refusal of Rushdie's apology

    On February 19 Khomeini's office replied
    The imperialist foreign media falsely alleged that the officials of the Islamic Republic have said the sentence of death on the author of The Satanic Verses will be retracted if he repents. Imam Khomeini has said:

    This is denied 100%. Even if Salman Rushdie repents and become the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent on every Muslim to employ everything he has got, his life and wealth, to send him to Hell.
    The Imam added:
    If a non-Muslim becomes aware of Rushdie's whereabouts and has the ability to execute him quicker than Muslims, it is incumbent on Muslims to pay a reward or a fee in return for this action.[29]
    Author and scholar on Islam, Anthony McRoy said that Khomeini's interpretation of the Islamic law that led him to refuse the apology follows the same line of reasoning as the eighth- and ninth-century Muslim jurist Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i. In Al-Risala (Maliki Manual) 37.19Crimes Against Islam, Shafi`i ruled that an "apostate is also killed unless he repents... Whoever abuses the Messenger of God … is to be executed, and his repentance is not accepted."[15]

    [edit]Support for Khomeini's fatwa

    In Britain, The Union of Islamic Students' Associations in Europe issued a statement offering its services to Khomeini. Despite incitement to murder being illegal in the United Kingdom,[30] one London property developer told reporters, "If I see him, I will kill him straight away. Take my name and address. One day I will kill him." [31]
    Other leaders, while supporting the fatwa, claimed that British Muslims were not allowed to carry out the fatwa themselves. Prominent amongst these were the Muslim Parliament and its leader Dr Kalim Siddiqui, and after his death in 1996, his successor, Ghayasuddin Siddiqui. His support for the fatwa continued, even after the Iranian leadership said it would not pursue the fatwa,[32] and re-iterated his support in 2000.[33]
    Meanwhile in America, the director of the Near East Studies Center at UCLA, George Sabbagh, told an interviewer that Khomeini was "completely within his rights" to call for Rushdie's death.[34]
    In May 1989 in Beirut, Lebanon, British citizen Jackie Mann was abducted, "in response to Iran's fatwa against Salman Rushdie for the publication of book the Satanic Verses and more specifically, for his refuge and protection in the United Kingdom."[35] He joined several Westerners held hostage there. Two months earlier a photograph of three teachers held hostage was released by Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine with the message that it "would take revenge against" all institutions and organization that insulted in one way or another "members of the Prophet Mohammed's family." [36] The Iranian supported and financed radical Shia group Hezbollah is considered to be the actual perpetrator of the kidnappings.
    Main article: Lebanon Hostage Crisis
    Anthony McRoy claimed that that "In Islamic society a blasphemer is held in the same hostile contempt as a paedophile in the West. Just as few if any people in the West mourn the murder of a child molester, few Muslims mourn the killing of a blasphemer."[15]

    [edit]Criticism of Khomeini's fatwa

    [edit]On Islamic grounds

    In the West, Khomeini's fatwa was condemned on the grounds that it violated the universal human rights of free speech, freedom of religion, and that Khomeini had no right to condemn to death a citizen of another country living in that country, but the death sentence was also criticized on Islamic grounds.
    According to Bernard Lewis, a death warrant without trial, defense, etc. violates Islamic jurisprudence. In Islamic Fiqh, apostasy by a mentally sound adult male is indeed a capital crime. However, Fiqh also:
    ... lays down procedures according to which a person accused of an offense is to be brought to trial, confronted with his accuser, and given the opportunity to defend himself. A judge will then give a verdict and if he finds the accused guilty, pronounce sentence…
    Even the most rigorous and extreme of the classical jurist only require a Muslim to kill anyone who insults the Prophet in his hearing and in his presence. They say nothing about a hired killing for a reported insult in a distant country.[37]
    Other Islamic scholars outside of Iran took issue with the fact that the sentence was not passed by an Islamic court, or that it did not limit its "jurisdiction only [to] countries under Islamic law."[24] Muhammad Hussan ad-Din, a theologian at Al-Azhar University, argued "Blood must not be shed except after a trial [when the accused has been] given a chance to defend himself and repent." [38] Abdallah al-Mushidd, head of Azhar's Fatwa Council stated "We must try the author in a legal fashion of Islam does not accept killing as a legal instrument." [39]
    The Islamic Jurisprudence Academy in Mecca urged that Rushdie be tried and, if found guilty, be given a chance to repent, (p. 93) and Ayatollah Mehdi Ruhani, head of the Shi'i community in Europe and a cousin of Khomeini, criticized Khomeini for 'respect[ing] neither international law nor that of Islam.'[40]
    There was also a question of the fatwa against Rushdie's publishers. According to Daniel Pipes: "The Sharia clearly establishes that disseminating false information is not the same of expressing it. 'Transmitting blasphemy is not blasphemy' (naql al-kufr laysa kufr). In addition, the publishers were not Muslim and so could not be "sentenced under the Islamic laws of apostasy." If there was another legal justification for sentencing them to death, "Khomeini failed to provide" it.[41]
    The Islamic Republic's response to calls for a trial was to denounce its Islamic proponents as "deceitful." President Khomeini accused them of attempting to use religious law as "a flag under which they can crush revolutionary Islam."[42]

    [edit]Questions of political motivation

    Some speculate that the fatwa (or at least the reaffirmation of the death threat four days later) was issued with motives other than a sense of duty to protect Islam by punishing blasphemy/apostasy. Namely:
    • To divide Muslims from the West by "starkly highlight[ing] the conflicting political and intellectual traditions" of the two civilizations.[3]Khomeini had often warned Muslims of the dangers of the West - "the agents of imperialism [who] are busy in every corner of the Islamic world drawing our youth away from us with their evil propaganda." [43] He knew from news reports the book was already rousing the anger of Muslims.
    • To distract the attention of his Iranian countrymen from his capitulation seven months earlier to a truce with Iraq (20 July 1988) ending the long and bloody Iran–Iraq War, (a truce Iraq would have eagerly given him six years and hundreds of thousands of lives earlier),[44][45] and strengthen the revolutionary ardour of Iranians worn down by the bloodshed and privation of that war. According to journalist Robin Wright, "as the international furor grew, Khomeini declared that the book had been a `godsend` that had helped Iran out of a `naive foreign policy`".[24][46]
    • To win back the interest in and support for the Islamic Revolution among the 90% of the population of the Muslim world that was Sunni, rather than Shia like Khomeini. The Iran–Iraq War had also alienated Sunni, who not only were offended by its bloodshed, but tended to favor Iran's Sunni-led opponent, Iraq. At least one observer speculated that Khomeini's choice of the issue of disrespect for the ProphetMuhammad was a particularly shrewd tactic, as Sunni were inclined to suspect Shia of being more interested in the Imams Ali andHusayn ibn Ali than in the Prophet.[47]
    • To steal the thunder of Khomeini's two least favorite enemy states, Saudi Arabia and the United States, who were basking in the glory of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. This withdrawal, seen by many as a great victory of Islamic faith over an atheist superpower, was made possible by billions of dollars in aid to the Afghan mujahideen by those two countries. Khomeini issued the fatwa on Feb. 14 1989. The next day came the official announcement of the completion of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, lost in the news cycle of the fatwa.[48]
    • To gain the upper hand from Saudi Arabia in the struggle for international leadership of the Muslim world. Each led rivals blocs of international institutions and media networks, and "the Saudi government, it should be remembered, had led the anti-Rushdie campaign for months." [47] Unlike the more conservative Saudi Arabia, however, Iran was ideologically and militantly anti-western and could take a more militant stand outside of international law.

    [edit]Questions of personal motivation

    • Despite claims by Islamic Republic officials that "Rushdie's book did not insult Iran or Iranian leaders" and so they had no selfish personal motivation to attack the book, the book does include an eleven-page sketch of Khomeini's stay in Paris that could well be considered an insult to the Imam. It describes him as having "grown monstrous, lying in the palace forecourt with his mouth yawning open at the gates; as the people march through the gates he swallows them whole." In the words of one observer, "If this is not an insult, Khomeini was far more tolerant than one might suppose",[49]

    [edit]Attempts to revoke the fatwa

    On September 24, 1998, as a precondition to the restoration of diplomatic relations with Britain, the Iranian government, then headed by moderate Muhammad Khatami, gave a public commitment that it would "neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Rushdie."[50][51] However, some in Iran have continued to reaffirm the death sentence.[52] In early 2005, Khomeini's fatwa was reaffirmed by Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message to Muslim pilgrims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.[53] Additionally, theRevolutionary Guards have declared that the death sentence on him is still valid.[54] Iran has rejected requests to withdraw the fatwa on the basis that only the person who issued it may withdraw it,[53] with Ruhollah Khomeini having died in 1989.
    On February 14, 2006, the Iranian state news agency reported that the fatwa will remain in place permanently.[55]
    Salman Rushdie reported that he still receives a "sort of Valentine's card" from Iran each year on February 14 letting him know the country has not forgotten the vow to kill him. He was also quoted saying, "It's reached the point where it's a piece of rhetoric rather than a real threat."[56]

    [edit]Social and political fallout

    One of the immediate consequences of the fatwa was a worsening of Islamic-Western relations.

    [edit]Heightened tension

    Rushdie lamented that the controversy fed the Western stereotype of "the backward, cruel, rigid Muslim, burning books and threatening to kill the blasphemer",[57] while another British writer compared the Ayatollah Khomeini "with a familiar ghost from the past - one of those villainous Muslim clerics, a Faqir of Ipi or a mad Mullah, who used to be portrayed, larger than life, in popular histories of the British Empire." [58] Media expressions of this included a banner headline in the popular British newspaper the Daily Mirror referring to Khomeini as "that Mad Mullah".[59]
    The Independent newspaper worried that Muslim book burning demonstrations were "following the example of the Inquisition and Hitler'sNational Socialists",[60] and that if Rushdie was killed, "it would be the first burning of a heretic in Europe in two centuries." [61] Peregrine Worsthorne of the Sunday Telegraph feared that with Europe's growing Muslim population, "Islamic fundamentalism is rapidly growing into a much bigger threat of violence and intolerance than anything emanating from, say, the fascist National Front; and a threat, moreover, infinitely more difficult to contain since it is virtually impossible to monitor, let alone stamp out ..."[62]
    On the Muslim side, the Iranian government saw the book as part of a British conspiracy against Islam. It broke diplomatic relations with UK on March 7, 1989 giving the explanation that "in the past two centuries Britain has been in the frontline of plots and treachery against Islam and Muslims", It accused the British of sponsoring Rushdie's book to use it as a political and cultural tact on earlier military plots that no longer worked.[63] It also saw itself as the victor of the controversy, with the European Community countries capitulating under Iranian pressure. "When Europeans saw that their economic interests in Muslim countries could be damaged, they began to correct their position on the issue of the insulting book. Every official started to condemn the book in one way or another. When they realized that Iran's reaction, its breaking of diplomatic relations with London, could also include them, they quickly sent back their ambassadors to Tehran to prevent further Iranian reaction".[64]

    [edit]Book sales

    Persian Samizdat edition of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses c.2000
    Although British bookseller W.H. Smith sold "a mere hundred copies a week of the book in mid-January 1989", it "flew off the shelves" following the fatwa. In America it sold an "unprecedented" five times more copies than the number two book, Star byDanielle Steel, selling more than 750,000 copies of the book by May 1989. B. Dalton, a bookstore chain that decided not to stock the book for security reasons, changed its mind when it found the book "was selling so fast that even as we tried to stop it, it was flying off the shelves." [65][66] Rushdie earned about $2 million within the first year of the book's publication,[67] and the book is Viking's all-time best seller.[68]


    However, the campaign and fatwa have had more "lasting importance", in intimidating individual "Muslim freethinkers and non-Muslim critics of Islam." Belgium-based writerKoenraad Elst has compiled a long list of civilians killed or imprisoned, death threats made, fines levied, products withdrawn, for actions following the fatwa that were deemed blasphemous to Islam or insulting to Muslims.[69] After the fatwa, many Islamic authors have been the targets of violence and censorship. In 1992, Farag Foda was killed in a terrorist attack in Cairo for speaking out against censorship. In 1994, Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz was stabbed, following controversy surrounding his novel Children of Gebelawi.Nawal El Saadawi was threatened by Islamists; she was imprisoned for writing political criticism and forced to flee Egypt because of death threats. Taslima Nasrin, a feminist writer and critic of Islam from Bangladesh, suffered a number of physical and other attacks and has been threatened with death and imprisonment; she was forced to leave Bangladesh.
    Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Satanic Verses controversy


    The author of the book himself was not killed or injured as many militants wished, but visibly frustrated by a life locked in 24-hour armed guard - alternately defiant against his would-be killers and attempting overtures of reconciliation against the death threat. A week after the death threat, and after his unsuccessful apology to the Iranian government, Rushdie described succumbing to `a curious lethargy, the soporific torpor that overcomes ... while under attack`;[70] then, a couple of weeks after that, wrote a poem vowing `not to shut up` but 'to sing on, in spite of attacks.' [71] But in June, following the death of Khomeini, he asked his supporters "to tone down their criticism of Iran."
    His wife, Marianne Wiggins, reported that in the first few months following the fatwa the couple moved 56 times, once every three days. In late July Rushdie separated from Wiggins, "the tension of being at the center of an international controversy, and the irritations of spending all hours of the day together in seclusion", being too much for their "shaky" relationship.[72]
    Late the next year Rushdie declared, "I want to reclaim my life", and in December signed a declaration "affirming his Islamic faith and calling for Viking-Penguin, the publisher of The Satanic Verses, neither to issue the book in paperback nor to allow it to be translated."[73] This also failed to move supporters of the fatwa and by mid 2005 Rushdie was condemning Islamic fundamentalism as a
    ... project of tyranny and unreason which wishes to freeze a certain view of Islamic culture in time and silence the progressive voices in the Muslim world calling for a free and prosperous future. ... along comes 9/11, and now many people say that, in hindsight, the fatwa was the prologue and this is the main event.[74]

    [edit]Explanation of different reactions


    The passionate international rage of Muslims towards the book surprised many Western readers because the book was written in English, not Arabic, Urdu, Persian or other languages for which the majority of mother tongue speakers are Muslims; it was never published or even sold in the countries where most Muslims lived; and was a work of fiction—a demanding, densely written novel unlikely to appeal to the average reader.[75]
    Some of the explanations for the unprecedented rage unleashed against the book were that:
    • Rushdie was living in the West and ought to be setting a good example for Islam and not siding "with the Orientalists." [76]
    • Translations of the book's title and some of the text into Urdu, Arabic and Persian, made the book sound more offensive than it was. The phrase "verses" was translated as "ayat", a term used only for verses of the Qur'an, leading Muslims to believe Rushdie's book called the Qur'an itself satanic, rather than two excised verses.
    • The view of many Muslims was that "Rushdie has portrayed the prophet of Islam as a brothel keeper." [77] "Rushdie accuses the prophet, particularly Muhammad of being like prostitutes."[78] "all who pray are sons of whores" [79] "The Prophet's wives are portrayed as women of the street, his homes as a public brothel and his companions as bandits." [80] The book, in fact, portrays prostitutes who "had each assumed the identity of one of Mahound's wives." [81]
    • Belief that fictional elements of the novel were not flights of imagination but lies. Complaints included that it was "neither a critical appraisal nor a piece of historical research",[82] that the novel failed to rely on "scientific and logical arguments",[83] its "lack of scientific, accurate or objective methods of research",[84] "unfounded lies", not being "serious or scientific",[85] "a total distortion of historical facts",[86] being "not at all an objective or scientific opinion.".[87]
    • Unfamiliarity with the concept of free speech. The belief among many Muslims in or from the Middle East is that every country "has ... laws that prohibits any publications or utterances that tend to ridicule or defame Islam."[88] It followed that permission to publish a book that ridiculed or defamed Islam showed an anti-Islamic bias in those countries that permit publication. Although not enforced, and abolished completely in 2008, the United Kingdom had laws prohibiting blasphemy against the Christian religion.
    • The view of many Muslims that Britain, America and other Western countries are engaged in a war against Islam and what might on the surface appear to be the product of the imagination of an individual iconoclast author was actually a conspiracy on a national or transnational scale. Then Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, for example, explained the alleged historical roots of the Rushdie book in a broadcast on Radio Tehran:

    Whoever is familiar with the history of colonialism and the Islamic world knows that whenever they wanted to get a foothold in a place, the first thing they did in order to clear their paths -- whether overtly or covertly -- was to undermine the people's genuine Islamic morals.[89]
    and claimed an unnamed British foreign secretary once told the British parliament, "So long as the Qur'an is revered by Muslims, we will not be able to consolidate a foothold among the Muslims." [89]
    • Campaign by the international Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami in retaliation for Rushdie's satire of them in an earlier book Shame. In Britain the group was represented by the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs."[90]
    • Among second generation Muslims immigrants in UK and elsewhere, a decline in interest in universalist "white Left" anti-racist/anti-imperialist politics, and rise in identity politics with its focus on the "defense of values and beliefs" of Muslim identity.[91]

    [edit]Western mainstream

    Despite passionate intensity of Muslim feeling on the issue no Western government banned the Satanic Verses. This is primarily because most Western governments explicitly or implicitly allow for freedom of expression, which includes forbidding censorship in the vast majority of cases. Western attitudes regarding freedom of expression differ from those in the Arab world because:
    • Westerners are less likely to be shocked by ridicule of religious figures. "Taboo and sacrilege are virtually dead in the West. Blasphemy is an old story and can no longer shock."[92] Examples of movies and books that aroused little or no protest in the west despite their blasphemy: Joseph Heller's God Knows, which turned "Biblical stories into pornographic fare";[93] Even The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book that was not only offensive and untrue but arguably very dangerous, having inspired killing of Jews in Russia and contributed to Nazi ideology, was "freely available in the west".[93]
    • The idea widely accepted among writers that provocation in literature is not a right but is a duty, an important calling: "it is perhaps in the nature of modern art to be offensive ... in this century if we are not willing to risk giving offense, we have no claim to the title of artists."[94]Rushdie himself said: "I had spent my entire life as a writer in opposition, and indeed conceived the writer's role as including the function of antagonist to the state."[95]

    The last point also explains why one of the few groups to speak out in Muslim countries against Khomeini and for Rushdie's right to publish his book were other writers.[96] Nobel prize winners Wole Soyinka of Nigeria and Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt, both attacked Khomeini, and both received death threats as a result.[97]
    Some writers did criticise Rushdie. British author Roald Dahl called Rushdie's book sensationalist and Rushdie "a dangerous opportunist".[98]

    [edit]Western religious figures

    Most religious figures in the United States and United Kingdom shared the aversion to blasphemy of pious Muslims (if not as intensely) and did not defend Rushdie like their secular compatriots. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, demanded that the government expand the Blasphemy Act to cover other religions, including Islam.[99]
    Michael Walzer wrote that the response revealed an evolution of the meaning of blasphemy; it moved away from a crime against God and toward something more temporal.
    Today we are concerned for our pain and sometimes, for other people's. Blasphemy has become an offense against the faithful -- in much the same way as pornography is an offense against the innocent and the virtuous. Given this meaning, blasphemy is an ecumenical crime and so it is not surprising ... that Christians and Jews should join Muslims in calling Salman Rushdie's [book] a blasphemous book.[100]
    Former United States president Jimmy Carter, while condemning the threats and fatwa against Rushdie, stated, "we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated and are suffering in restrained silence the added embarrassment of the Ayatollah's irresponsibility." He also held that Rushdie must have been aware of the response his book would evoke: "The author, a well-versed analyst of Moslem beliefs, must have anticipated a horrified reaction throughout the Islamic world."[101] He saw a need to be "sensitive to the concern and anger" of Muslims and thought severing diplomatic relations with Iran would be an "overreaction."[102] Some rabbis, such as Immanuel Jakobovits, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, opposed the book's publishing.[103]

    [edit]Reception timeline


    • September 26, 1988: The novel is published in the UK.
    • Khushwant Singh, while reviewing the book in Illustrated Weekly, proposed a ban on "Satanic Verses", apprehending the reaction it may evoke among people.
    • October 5, 1988: India bans the novel's importation, after Indian parliamentarian and editor of the monthly magazine "Muslim India" Syed Shahabuddin petitioned the government of Rajiv Gandhi to ban the book.[104][105][106] In 1993 Syed Shahabuddin tried unsuccessfully to ban another book (Ram Swarup's "Hindu View of Christianity and Islam").[107][108]
    • October 1988: Death threats against Rushdie compel him to cancel trips and sometimes take a bodyguard. Letter writing campaign to Viking Press in America brings "tens of thousands of menacing letters."[109]
    • October 20, 1988: Union of Muslim Organisations of the UK writes the British government pressing for a ban of The Satanic Verse on grounds of blasphemy.[110]
    • November 21, 1988: Grand sheik of Egypt's Al-Azhar calls on Islamic organizations in Britain to take legal action to prevent the novel's distribution
    • November 24, 1988: The novel is banned in South Africa and Pakistan; bans follow within weeks in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia,Bangladesh, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Qatar.
    • December 2, 1988: First book burning of The Satanic Verses in UK. 7000 Muslims attend rally burning the book in Bolton. Little press coverage.[111]


    • January 14, 1989: A copy of the book burned in Bradford. Extensive media coverage and debate. Some support from non-Muslims.[111]
    • January 1989: Islamic Defense Council demands that Penguin Books apologise, withdraw the novel, destroy any extant copies, and never reprint it.
    • February 12, 1989: Six people are killed and 100 injured when 10,000 attack the American Cultural Center in Islamabad, Pakistanprotesting against Rushdie and his book.[112]
    • February 13, 1989: One person is killed and over 100 injured in anti-Rushdie riots in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.[113][114]
    • February 14, 1989: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issues a fatwa calling on all Muslims to execute all those involved in the publication of the novel; the 15 Khordad Foundation, an Iranian religious foundation or bonyad, offers a reward of $US1 million or 200 million rials for the murder of Rushdie.
    • February 16, 1989: Various armed Islamist groups, such as Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp and Hezbollah of Lebanon, express their enthusiasm to "carry out the Imam's decree."[115] Rushdie enters the protection program of the British government.
    • February 17, 1989: Iranian leader Ali Khamenei says Rushdie could be pardoned if he apologizes.[116]
    • February 18, 1989: Rushdie apologizes just as Khamenei has suggested; initially, IRNA (the official Iranian news agency) says Rushdie's statement "is generally seen as sufficient enough to warrant his pardon".[117]
    • February 19, 1989: Khomeini issues edict saying no apology or contrition by Rushdie could lift his death sentence.
    • February 22, 1989: The novel is published in the U.S.A.; major bookstore chains Barnes and Noble and Waldenbooks, under threat, remove the novel from one-third of the nation's bookstores.
    • February 24, 1989: Iranian businessman offers a $3 million bounty for the death of Rushdie.
    • February 24, 1989: Twelve people die and 40 are wounded when a large anti-Rushdie riot in Bombay, Maharashtra, India starts to cause considerable property damage and police open fire.[118]
    • February 28, 1989: Two bookstores in Berkeley, California, USA, are firebombed for selling the novel.
    • February 28, 1989: 1989 firebombing of the Riverdale Press: The offices of the Riverdale Press, a weekly newspaper in the Bronx, is destroyed by firebombs. A caller to 911 says the bombing was in retaliation for an editorial defending the right to read the novel and criticizing the chain stores that stopped selling it.[119]
    • March 7, 1989: Iran breaks diplomatic relations with Britain.
    • March 1989: The Organisation of the Islamic Conference calls on its 46 member governments to prohibit the novel. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar sets the punishment for possession of the book as three years in prison and a fine of $2,500; in Malaysia, three years in prison and a fine of $7,400; in Indonesia, a month in prison or a fine. The only nation with a predominantly Muslim population where the novel remains legal is Turkey. Several nations with large Muslim minorities, including Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, also impose penalties for possessing the novel.
    • May 1989: Popular musician Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) indicates his support for the fatwa and states during a British television documentary, according to the New York Times, that if Rushdie shows up at his door, he "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." Yusuf Islam later denied giving support to the fatwa.[120] For more on this topic see Cat Stevens' comments about Salman Rushdie
    • May 27, 1989: 15,000 to 20,000 Muslims gather in Parliament Square in London burning Rushdie in effigy and calling for the novel's banning.[121]
    • June 3, 1989: Khomeini dies.
    • July 31, 1989: The BBC broadcasts Tony Harrison's poem The Blasphemers' Banquet in which Harrison defends Rushdie by likening him to Molière, Voltaire, Omar Khayyam and Byron.


    • 1990: Rushdie apologised to Muslims.
    • 1990: Rushdie publishes an essay on Khomeini's death, "In Good Faith", to appease his critics and issues an apology in which he seems to reaffirm his respect for Islam; however, Iranian clerics do not retract the fatwa.
    • 1990: Five bombings target bookstores in England.
    • Dec. 24, 1990: Rushdie signs a declaration affirming his Islamic faith and calls for Viking-Penguin, the publisher of The Satanic Verses, neither to issue the book in paperback nor to allow it to be translated.[73]


    • July 1991: Hitoshi Igarashi, the novel's Japanese translator, is stabbed to death; and Ettore Capriolo, its Italian translator, is seriously wounded.


    • July 2, 1993: Thirty-seven Turkish intellectuals and locals participating in the Pir Sultan Abdal Literary Festival, die when the conference hotel in Sivas, Turkey, is burnt down by a mob of radical islamists. Participating in the conference was Aziz Nesin, the Turkish translator of Satanic Verse, who the mob demanded be handed over for summary execution. The mob set the hotel alight when Nesin was not turned over. Nesin escaped the fire and survived.[69]
    • August 11, 1993: Rushdie makes a rare public appearance at U2's concert in Wembley Stadium on their Zoo TV Tour in London. Bono, donned as stage character/devil Mr. MacPhisto, placed a call to Rushdie only to find himself face to face with Rushdie on stage. Rushdie told Bono that "real devils don't wear horns."
    • October 1993: The novel's Norwegian publisher, William Nygaard, is shot and seriously injured.
    • 1993: The 15 Khordad Foundation in Iran raises the reward for Rushdie's murder to $300,000.
    • 9 June 1994: Rushdie takes part in an episode recording of the BBC's satirical news quiz Have I Got News for You,[122] which is broadcast the following evening. Rushdie later claimed that his son was more impressed at this than anything else he had ever done. According to comedian Paul Merton, one of the program's regular participants, Rushdie was only given permission to appear by the police on account of his protection officers being fans of the show. To ensure Rushdie's safety, his appearance was given zero pre-publicity. Official listings advertised a return appearance for The Tub of Lard (a famous substitute 'guest' for Roy Hattersley in a previous edition of the show).


    • August 26, 1995: Interview with Rushdie published where Rushdie tells interviewer Anne McElvoy of The Times that his attempt to appease extremists by affirming his Islamic faith and calling for the withdrawal of Satanic Verses was "biggest mistake of my life." [123]


    • 1997: The bounty is doubled, to $600,000.
    • 1998: Iranian government publicly declares that it will "neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Rushdie."[50] This is announced as part of a wider agreement to normalise relations between Iran and the United Kingdom. Rushdie subsequently declares that he will stop living in hiding, and that he is not, in fact, religious. According to some of Iran's leading clerics, despite the death of Khomeini and the Iranian government's official declaration, the fatwa remains in force. Iran's foreign minister Kamal Kharazi stated,

    "The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention, nor is it going to take any action whatsoever, to threaten the life of the author of 'The Satanic Verses' or anybody associated with his work, nor will it encourage or assist anybody to do so".[2]


    • 1999: An Iranian foundation places a $2.8 million bounty on Rushdie's life.
    • February 14, 1999: on the tenth anniversary of the ruling against Rushdie, more than half of the deputies in (Iranian) Parliament sign a statement declaring, `The verdict on Rushdie, the blasphemer, is death, both today and tomorrow, and to burn in hell for all eternity.` [124]


    • February 14, 2000: Ayatollah Hassan Saneii, the head of the 15th of Khordad Foundation, reiterates that the death sentence remains valid and the foundation's $2.8 million reward will be paid with interest to Rushdie's assassins. Persians take this news with some skepticism as the foundation is "widely known" to be bankrupt.[124]
    • January 2002: South Africa lifts its ban on the Satanic Verses.[125]
    • February 16, 2003: Iran's Revolutionary Guards reiterate the call for the assassination of Rushdie. As reported by the Sunday Herald, "Ayatollah Hassan Saneii, head of the semi-official Khordad Foundation that has placed a $2.8 million bounty on Rushdie's head, was quoted by the Jomhuri Islami newspaper as saying that his foundation would now pay $3 million to anyone who kills Rushdie."[126]


    • Early 2005: Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie is reaffirmed by Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message to Muslim pilgrims making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Iran has rejected requests to withdraw the fatwa on the basis that only the person who issued it may withdraw it.
    • February 14, 2006: Iran's official state news agency reports on the anniversary of the decree that the government-run Martyrs Foundationhas announced, "The fatwa by Imam Khomeini in regard to the apostate Salman Rushdie will be in effect forever", and that one of Iran's state bonyad, or foundations, has offered a $2.8 million bounty on his life.[55]
    • June 15, 2007: Rushdie receives knighthood for services to literature sparking an outcry from Islamic groups. Several groups invoking the Satanic Verses controversy renew calls for his death.
    • June 29, 2007: Bombs planted in central London may have been linked to the Knighthood of Salman Rushdie.[127]

    For more details on this topic, see Knighthood of Salman Rushdie.


    • January 2012: The vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, an Islamic school in India, issues a demand that Rushdie be denied a visa for his scheduled appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival at the end of January. The Indian government replies that there are no plans to bar Rushdie from entering the country, and that Rushdie, who has visited India several times in the past, does not need a visa because he holds a Persons of Indian Origin Card "that entitles holders to travel to the country of their origin without other documentation."[128]Rushdie ultimately decides not to attend the festival, citing reports of possible assassination attempts.[129]

    [edit]See also


    1. ^ Jessica Jacobson. Islam in transition: religion and identity among British Pakistani youth. 1998, page 34
    2. ^ a b Crossette, Barbara (September 25, 1998). "Iran Drops Rushdie Death Threat, And Britain Renews Teheran Ties". The New York Times.
    3. ^ a b Pipes, 1990, p.133
    4. ^ From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Aftermath By Kenan Malik, introduction, no page numbers
    5. ^ No ifs and no buts
    6. ^ Pakistan blasts Rushdie honour
    7. ^ Rushdie, Salman, Jaguar Smile; New York: Viking, 1987, p.50
    8. ^ a b Pipes, 1990, p.49
    9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ian Richard Netton (1996). Text and Trauma: An East-West Primer. Richmond, UK: Routledge Curzon.ISBN 070070325X.
    10. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.236
    11. ^ Rushdie, Jaguar Smile, Viking, 1987
    12. ^ "`The book's author is in England but the real supporter is the United States`" - Interior Minister Mohtashemi (IRNA Feb. 17, 1989) "An Iranian government statement called Rushdie `an inferior CIA agent` and referred to the book as a `provocative American deed`." (IRNA Feb. 14, 1989) (Pipes, 1990, p.129)
    13. ^ a b c John D. Erickson (1998). Islam and Postcolonial Narrative. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0511007698.
    14. ^ a b c Pipes, 1990, p. 65
    15. ^ a b c Anthony McRoy (1 July 2007). "Why Muslims feel angry about the Rushdie knighthood".
    16. ^ Michael M. J. Fischer; Mehdi Abedi (May 1990). "Bombay Talkies, the Word and the World: Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses".Cultural Anthropology 5 (2): 124–132.
    17. ^ Ibn Abi Sarh
    18. ^ Abdullah Ibn Sad Ibn Abi Sarh: Where Is the Truth?
    19. ^ a b Pipes, 1990, p. 67
    20. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.42
    21. ^
    22. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.169-171
    23. ^ "Ayatollah sentences author to death". BBC. 1989-02-14. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
    24. ^ a b c Joseph Bernard Tamney (2002). The Resilience of Conservative Religion: The Case of Popular, Conservative Protestant Congregations. Cambridge, UK: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
    25. ^ Bremner, Charles. The Times (London).
    26. Further information: Salman Rushdie#Failed assassination attempt and Hezbollah's comments
    27. ^ "Japanese Translator of Rushdie Book Found Slain", WEISMAN, Steven R., July 13, 1991.
    28. ^ Biography of H. E. Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei
    29. ^ from Moin, Khomeini, (2001), p.284, (Issued 18 February, Obtained by Baqer Moin from the Archbishop of Canterbury's aides.)]
    30. ^ Moin, Khomeini, (2001), p.284
    31. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.182-3
    32. ^ Newsweek, February 27, 1989
    33. ^ BBC, September 23, 1998
    34. ^ The Independent, 13 February 2000
    35. ^ TIME, Feb. 27, 1989, p.159
    36. ^ Ranstorp, Hizb'allah in Lebanon, (1997), p.103
    37. ^ "Iran: West to Blame Islam for Forthcoming Terrorism",Philadelphia Inquirer, February 24, 1989, p.5A
    38. ^ Bernard Lewis commenting on Rushdie fatwa in The Crisis of Islam : Holy War and Unholy Terror, 2003 by Bernard Lewis, p.141-2
    39. ^ Newsweek, Feb. 27, 1989
    40. ^ `Ab'ad Harb al-Kitab` Al Majalla, March 1, 1989, quoted in Pipes, 1990, p.93
    41. ^ Le Nouvel Observateur February 23, 1989
    42. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.91
    43. ^ Radio Tehran, March 16, 1989, quoted in Pipes, 1990, p.135
    44. ^ Khomeini, Islam and Revolution (1980), p.127
    45. ^ Moin, Baqer, Khomeini, (2001), p.267,
    46. ^ The Gulf War : Its Origins, History and Consequences by John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, 1989, (p.xvi)]
    47. ^ Wright, Robin In the Name of God, (c1989), p.201
    48. ^ a b Pipes, 1990, 133-4
    49. ^ Kepel, Jihad, (2001), p.135)
    50. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.207
    51. ^ a b Anthony Loyd (June 8, 2005). "Tomb of the unknown assassin reveals mission to kill Rushdie". London: The Times.
    52. ^ "26 December 1990: Iranian leader upholds Rushdie fatwa". BBC News: On This Day. December 26, 1990. Retrieved 2006-10-10.
    53. ^ Rubin, Michael (1 September 2006). "Can Iran Be Trusted?". The Middle East Forum: Promoting American Interests. Retrieved 2006-10-10.
    54. ^ a b Webster, Philip, Ben Hoyle and Ramita Navai (January 20, 2005). "Ayatollah revives the death fatwa on Salman Rushdie". London: The Times Online. Retrieved 2006-10-10.
    55. ^ "Iran adamant over Rushdie fatwa". BBC News. 12 February 2005. Retrieved 2006-10-10.
    56. ^ a b "Iran says Rushdie fatwa still stands". Iran Focus. 2006-02-14. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
    57. ^ "Rushdie's term". Retrieved 2007-02-15.
    58. ^ Marzorati, Gerald, "Salman Rushdie: Fiction's Embattled Infidel",The New York Times Magazine, January 29, 1989
    59. ^ Anthony Harly, "Saving Mr. Rushdie?" Encounter, June 1989, p. 74
    60. ^ February 15, 1989
    61. ^ The Independent, March 16, 1989
    62. ^ League for the Spread of Unpopular Views. West German organization, Bund zur Verbreitung unerwunschter Einsichten[Hamburg], "Der Fall Rushdie und die Feigheit des Westerns,"pamphlet, p. 3. quoted in Pipes 1990, p.250
    63. ^ Peregrine Worsthorne, "The Blooding of the Literati", Sunday Telegraph, February 19, 1989
    64. ^ Islamic Revolution News Agency, March 7, 1989
    65. ^ Kayhan Havai, April 18, 1989
    66. ^ Len Riggioi quoted in Publishers Weekly, March 10, 1989
    67. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.200-1
    68. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.205
    69. ^ RUSHDIE: Haunted by his unholy ghosts
    70. ^ a b Afterword: The Rushdie Affair's Legacy
    71. ^ Salman Rushdie, `Beginning of a Novelist's Thralldom` The Observer, February 26, 1989
    72. ^ March 6, 1989 published in Granta, Autumn 1989
    73. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.203
    74. ^ a b Daniel Pipes (December 28, 1990). "Rushdie Fails to Move the Zealots". Los Angeles Times.
    75. ^ The Iconoclast
    76. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.85
    77. ^ Syed Ali Ashraf, writing in Impact International, Oct 28, 1988
    78. ^ ad by the Birmingham Central Mosque in British newspapers
    79. ^ Dawud Assad, president of the U.S. Council of Masajid quoted inTrenton Times, February 21, 1989
    80. ^ a young French Muslim quoted in Le Nouvel Observateur, March 23, 1989
    81. ^ M. Rafiqul Islam, The Rushdie Affair: A Conflict of Rightsunpublished manuscript, April 1989, p.3
    82. ^ Salman Rushdie, "The Satanic Verses", Random House, 1988, p. 393
    83. ^ Mir Husayn Musavi, prime minister of Iran, quoted on Radio Tehran February 21, 1989
    84. ^ (Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah, Agence France Press, February 27, 1989)
    85. ^ (Shaykh Ahmad Kaftaru, mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic, source: Syrian Arab News Agency, March 1, 1989
    86. ^ Religious affairs director of Turkish government, Mustafa Sait Yazicioglu, Radio Ankara March 14, 1989
    87. ^ Sayed M. Syeed, secretary general of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists in the United States, Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb 14, 1989
    88. ^ Libyan ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
    89. ^ editorial in Jordan Times, March 5, 1989]
    90. ^ a b broadcast Radio Tehran, March 7, 1989 quoted in Pipes, 1990, p.124-5
    91. ^ From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Aftermath By Kenan Malik, chapter one, (no page numbers)
    92. ^ From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and Its Aftermath By Kenan Malik, introduction, part 5, no page numbers
    93. ^ Pipes, 1990 p.108
    94. ^ a b Pipes, 1990 p.108, 118-9
    95. ^ John Updike, Wall Street Journal, August 10, 1989
    96. ^ Rushdie, Salman, Jaguar Smile, p.50
    97. ^ "The Importance of Being Earnest About Salman Rushdie" by Sadeq al-`Azm, in M.D. Fletcher, Reading Rushdie: Perspectives on the Fiction of Salman Rushdie, Amsterdam, Rodopi B.V., 1994
    98. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.148, 175
    99. ^ The Daily News, March 1, 1989
    100. ^ Longworth, R.C. (1989-03-11). "Britain's blasphemy laws getting renewed attention". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia): p. 5. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
    101. ^ Michael Walzer, "The Sins of Salman", The New Republic, April 10, 1989
    102. ^ "International Herald Tribune", July 4, 2007
    103. ^ Jimmy Carter, "Rushdie's Book Is an Insult", New York Times, March 5, 1989
    104. ^ The Times, March 4, 1989
    105. ^ "Being God's Postman Is No Fun, Yaar": Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. Srinivas Aravamudan.Diacritics, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Summer, 1989), pp. 3-20
    106. ^ Postmodernist Perceptions of Islam: Observing the Observer. Akbar S. Ahmed. Asian Survey, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Mar., 1991), pp. 213-231
    107. ^ Shahabuddin, Syed. "You did this with satanic forethought, Mr. Rushdie." Times of India. 13 October 1988.
    108. ^ Arun Shourie: How should we respond? In The Observer of Business and Politics, New Delhi, 26 November 1993, also published in many other Indian newspapers and periodicals and reprinted in Sita Ram Goel (ed.): Freedom of Expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy, 1998 ISBN 81-85990-55-7.[1]
    109. ^ Statement by Indian intellectuals on Syed Shahabuddin's attempt to make the authorities impose a ban on the book Hindu View of Christianity and Islam by Ram Swarup, Delhi, 18 November. Reprinted in Sita Ram Goel (ed.): Freedom of Expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy 1998 ISBN 81-85990-55-7[2]
    110. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.22
    111. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.21
    112. ^ a b Pipes, 1990, p.23
    113. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.25
    114. ^ "Freedom of Information and Expression in India". London: Article 19. October 1990.
    115. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.26
    116. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.28-9
    117. ^ Article "Iran suggests an apology could save life of Rushdie; Rushdie controversy." The Times (London, England), 1989-02-18, accessed via Infotrac.
    118. ^ Article "Iranians in confusion after Rushdie apologizes; Rushdie controversy." The Sunday Times (London, England), 1989-02-19, accessed via Infotrac.
    119. ^ Mark S. Hoffman. World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1990. World Almanac Books. ISBN 0886875595.
    120. ^ Samuel G. Freedman (May 30, 2009). "Two Rabbis Find They're Separated Only by Doctrine". The New York Times.
    121. ^ R. Whitney, Craig (1989-05-23). "Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-01-22.
    122. ^ Pipes, 1990, p.181
    123. ^ IMDb entry for Have I Got News for You, 10 June 1994.
    124. ^
    125. ^ a b Sciolino, Persian Mirrors 2000, 2005 p.182-3)
    126. ^ "SA unbans Satanic Verses at library's request". Star. 2002-01-15.
    127. ^ Hamilton, James (2003-02-16). "Revived fatwa puts $3m bounty on Rushdie". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 2003-04-04. Retrieved 2003-04-04.
    128. ^ "Was London Bomb Plot Heralded On Web?". CBS News. June 29, 2007.
    129. ^ "Despite controversy, govt says won't stop Rushdie".Hindustan Times. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
    130. ^ Singh, Akhilesh Kumar (20 January 2012). "Salman Rushdie not to attend Jaipur Literature Festival". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2012.


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    • Shirley, Edward (1997). Know Thine Enemy. Farra. ISBN 0813335884.
    • Wright, Robin (1989). In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0671672355.
    • Bulloch, John (1989). The Gulf War : Its Origins, History and Consequences by John Bulloch and Harvey Morris. Methuen London.ISBN 0413613704.

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Salman Rushdie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Salman Rushdie

Rushdie at the 2011 Tribeca Film FestivalVanity Fair party
BornAhmed Salman Rushdie
19 June 1947 (age 64)
BombayBritish India
OccupationNovelist, essayist
Nationality British
Alma materCambridge University
GenresMagic Realism, satire, post-colonialism
SubjectsCriticism, travel writing
Spouse(s) Clarissa Luard (1976–1987)
Marianne Wiggins (1988–1993)
Elizabeth West (1997–2004)
Padma Lakshmi (2004–2007)


Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (Kashmiriअहमद सलमान रुशदी (Devanagari), احمد سلمان رشدی(Nastaleeq)play /sælˈmɑːn ˈrʊʃdi/[2]; born 19 June 1947) is a British Indian novelist and essayist. His second novel, Midnight's Children (1981), won the Booker Prize in 1981. Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism mixed with historical fiction, and a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western worlds.
His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of a major controversy, drawing protests from Muslims in several countries. Some of the protests were violent, in which death threats were issued to Rushdie, including a fatwā against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, on February 14, 1989.
He was appointed a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to literature" in June 2007.[3] He holds the rank Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. He began a five-year term as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emory University in 2007.[4] In May 2008 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2008, The Timesranked Rushdie thirteenth on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[5] His latest novel is Luka and the Fire of Life, published in November 2010. In 2010, he announced that he has begun writing his memoirs.[6]



[edit]Personal life

Actress Pia Glenn with Rushdie at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party.
The only son of Anis Ahmed Rushdie, a Cambridge University-educated lawyer turned businessman, and Negin Bhatt, a teacher, Rushdie was born in Mumbai, India, into a Muslim family of Kashmiridescent.[7][8][9] He was educated at Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, Rugby School, andKing's CollegeCambridge University where he studied history.
Rushdie has been married four times. He was married to his first wife Clarissa Luard from 1976 to 1987 and fathered a son, Zafar. His second wife was the American novelist Marianne Wiggins; they were married in 1988 and divorced in 1993. His third wife, from 1997 to 2004, was Elizabeth West; they have a son, Milan. In 2004, he married the Indian American actress and model Padma Lakshmi, the host of the American reality-television show Top Chef. The marriage ended on 2 July 2007, with Lakshmi indicating that it was her desire to end the marriage. In 2008 the Bollywood press romantically linked him to the Indian modelRiya Sen, with whom he was otherwise a friend.[10] In response to the media speculation about their friendship, she simply stated "I think when you are Salman Rushdie, you must get bored with people who always want to talk to you about literature."[11]
In 1999, Rushdie had an operation to correct ptosis, a tendon condition that causes drooping eyelids and that, according to him, was making it increasingly difficult for him to open his eyes. "If I hadn't had an operation, in a couple of years from now I wouldn't have been able to open my eyes at all," he said.[12]



Rushdie's first career was as a copywriter, working for the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, where he came up with "irresistibubble" forAero and "Naughty but Nice" for cream cakes, and for the agency Ayer Barker, for whom he wrote the memorable line "That'll do nicely" forAmerican Express. It was while he was at Ogilvy that he wrote Midnight's Children, before becoming a full-time writer.[13][14][15] John Hegarty of Bartle Bogle Hegarty has criticised Rushdie for not referring to his copywriting past frequently enough, although conceding: "He did write crap ads...admittedly."[16]

[edit]Major literary work

His first novel, Grimus, a part-science fiction tale, was generally ignored by the public and literary critics. His next novel, Midnight's Children, catapulted him to literary notability. It significantly shaped the course that Indian writing in English followed over the next decade, and is regarded by many as one of the great books of the last 100 years. This work won the 1981 Booker Prize and, in 1993 and 2008, was awarded the Best of the Bookers as the best novel to have received the prize during its first 25 and 40 years.[17] Midnight's Children follows the life of a child, born at the stroke of midnight as India gained its independence, who is endowed with special powers and a connection to other children born at the dawn of a new and tumultuous age in the history of the Indian sub-continent and the birth of the modern nation of India. The character of Saleem Sinai has been compared to Rushdie.