Salman Rushdie Quiet In Face of Suicide Bombing Threats

Posted on June 25, 2007

Sir Salman Rushdie hasn't said much after being recently knighted. The author of The Satanic Verses who is under yet another death threat from Iran's mullahs is keeping quiet, and who can blame him? Some Muslim imams have declared that all suicide bombings against British civilians are justified because England knighted the Booker Prize-winning author of The Moor's Last Sigh, Midnight's Children and Shalimar the Clown.

Rushdie responded Monday to an Associated Press query that asked if he had been urged by British authorities not to say anything because of security concerns or whether he had considered not accepting the honour. "The British authorities have not asked me to do or not do anything," Rushdie wrote in an e-mail. "I have simply chosen to remain out of this storm for the moment. And nobody is turning anything down."

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Iran's late spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie because "The Satanic Verses" allegedly insulted Islam. The threat forced Rushdie to live in hiding for a decade. Muslims have demonstrated against the knighthood in London, Pakistan and Iran. On Monday, top Indian Muslim clerics also criticized Rushdie and British officials. The Ulema Council of India said the decision to honour the Indian-born Rushdie reflects the anti-Islamic attitude of the British government.

"Salman Rushdie is a detested figure among Muslims. The British government has hurt Muslim feelings by honouring a person who is facing a fatwa for blasphemous writings," Maulana Abul Hasan of the Ulema council said.

Salman Rushdie is a brilliant writer and a very brave man. We certainly hope he's being offered appropriate protection from the zealots who want to silence his voice.


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