Here is a small sample of calm and well-thought-out reactions to the recent knighting of British author Salman Rushdie:
The Senate of Pakistan expresses its strong condemnation on blatant disregard for the sensitivity of the Muslims of the World shown by the British Government by awarding a Knighthood to Salman Rushdie, who committed blasphemy against a pillar of Islam, the persona of Holy Prophet,” said the resolution moved by the leader of the [Pakistani parliament] Wasim Sajjad and supported by all opposition groups. [Times of India].
We will give 10 million rupees (165,000 dollars) to anyone who beheads Rushdie,” Islamabad traders' association leader Ajmal Baluch told around 200 people in one of the Pakistani capital's main bazaars.[AFP]
Not to mention this heart-warming photograph:
C'mon, “Biggest Evil of the World”? Did you guys forget about the whole invasion and occupation of Iraq, a (mostly) Muslim country, where lots of people are actually dying? And you wonder why you guys have such a bad rep…
The ironies of course are that The Satanic Verses didn't seem all that blasphemous when I read it years ago – it was mostly about a snooty anglophile from Bombay, with occasional interludes – and that Salman Rushdie has written many other works. One of my favorites was Haroun and the Sea of Stories, a childrens book. We did a children's theatre play based on the book while I was at Yale, for which I composed several original works – everyone's favorite was the disco soundtrack for the chase scene. It was a fun exercise in how to make a children's tale something dry and off-beat while keeping it suitable for a young audience.
I think this lolcat is particularly apropos:
salman rushdie knighthood protests pakistan embarrassment muslims shriner cat lolcat