"The Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in New York

Originally published at: "The Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in New York | Boing Boing




Fundie religion is a helluva drug. I hope Rushdie wasn’t too seriously injured and has a quick recovery.


Well shit.

I read The Satanic Verses years ago, it was (from my perspective at least) an illuminating glimpse into the South-Asian immigrant experience in the UK set against a background of magical realism that incorporated various faiths and mythologies. Blasphemous? Sure, but no moreso than Neil Gaiman or Garth Ennis or countless other writers who poke around themes related to theology.

These religious fundamentalists need to take a chill pill. At the very least they should realize that these kinds of attacks only draw more attention to the works they’d like to censor.


Yup. I remember seeing stacks of The Satanic Verses in book stores. Certainly never saw that many copies of his other works.


He was stabbed in the neck…

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I used to think that, unlike misguided Muslim extremists, at least Christians wouldn’t physically attack authors they considered blasphemers. But with US christofascists recently emboldened and not seeming to suffer any consequences for their demonstrably-false beliefs and unconscionable actions, I’m less sure now that that’s true.

Although I guess they’d have to start reading books first, sooo…


A hopefully speedy recovery and that this is the last attack or death related to his book.


I was kind of surprised anybody still cared about that fatwa 33 years later. I’ve heard that a huge range of fatwas are handed out all the time by different leaders about different things. But then I saw the cash reward.


I think people who didn’t read the book – which probably includes most of those who’d like to kill its author – imagine that the book mocked Mohammed and Islam. The ironic thing is that the scenes in “The Satanic Verses” that deal with the Prophet are, in my opinion, some of the most engaging writing in the book and, again in my opinion, respectful and even moving. It’s a very humane and sympathetic portrayal of an ordinary man coming to terms with the discovery that he is literally the Messenger of God, and Rushdie’s fictional Prophet is shown as serious, dignified and brave.

At the same time, I realize that it would be all but impossible for a very devout Muslim to see it that way. Rushdie’s evocation of a fragment of Islamic tradition that has been ruled as diabolically-inspired – the ‘Satanic verses’ of the title – is technically blasphemous already. For a secular, atheistic author to attempt a portrayal of the holiest human figure in Islam is even more so.

I hope Rushdie is not seriously hurt, and recovers fully.


Live updates from the Guardian UK

Watched CNN for half an hour and nothing re: Mr Rushdie, nor his condition.


“It is hard to find words to express the emotions occasioned by today’s shocking attack on Salman Rushdie. As a former President of our organization, Salman means so much to us. His leadership in the wake of 9/11 set the course for the two decades which have followed. He has been and remains a tireless advocate for imperiled writers, for unfettered intellectual and creative exchange, and one of the last half-century’s great champions of freedom of expression. But it is in his own truly seminal, challenging body of work that Salman has stood most powerfully for the values of PEN America — work that has questioned founding myths and expanded the world’s imaginative possibilities, at great cost to himself. On a more personal note, as a writer whose own work is fundamentally shaped by an early encounter with The Satanic Verses, it is particularly horrifying to me that the nightmare set in motion by the fatwa in 1989 is still with us. We are thinking of Salman today across the PEN America community, and praying for his recovery.”


Except for all the devout Muslims who did indeed see it that way. The very small minority of people who believed it was blasphemous was just that… a tiny minority of over a billion people. And of course, the threat was real to Rushdie, but there are plenty of devout muslims who rejected the fatwa by Khomeini and were angered by the bounty he offered for Rushdie’s murder. But of course, since the western media has long treated muslims as an undifferentiated mass, any criticism was an assumption of support for the bounty. After all, that particular Fatwa was a single ruling in a single legal tradition in a religion that has many legal traditions.

I think we all agree on that.


Well, many of those attacking Salman Rushdie’s work and calling for his death had not read his book, so I don’t suppose reading is a prerequisite for these fuckwits whatever religious fascism they wish to impose.

Yeah - but few call for anyone’s death. A fatwa is just a religious proclamation, AFAIK.

For ultra-fanatic muslims it seems that claiming to be such a messenger of god is itself blasphemy. Writing about such a thing is no less blasphemous in their misguided eyes, and it is irrelevant how sympathetic a portrayal it might be. As also noted in your following paragraph.


It would make ironic sense if the shariah fatwah were fulfilled by a fundamentalist (islamophobe) christian.

Really? I think your understanding of how far gone some of them are is lacking.


Chirstofascists in the US have been directly funding and lobbying for death penalties for homosexuality in numerous countries in Africa for the past 40 years and do it to this day. They’ve been bombing and calling in threats to abortion clinics since Roe was first decided. None of this is recent, and none of this is isolated to religions like Islam.


Your selective quoting chops off the “used to think” part, which makes me seem like I haven’t been paying attention!

You can rest assured I have long ago disabused myself of such a quaint notion.


Fuck fundamentalism, and that goes double for that damn bastard Khomeini, whose theft of a revolution is still killing people to this day.


Unfortunately the bigger story ate the smaller story in this case.