• Fred

People Still Care About The Satanic Verses???

In 1988, I bought the book the Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie as a symbolic gesture to support free speech.



Then I actually tried to read the damn thing and it was impenetrable. It won a few awards, but I believe those awards were also symbolic gestures to support free speech. Here's an abridged version of what happened, almost 35 years ago: Some Muslim clerics in Iran claimed that the book the Satanic Verses blasphemed the Prophet Muhammad. According to some adherents of the Quran, blaspheming the Prophet is punishable by death. But British/Indian writer Salman Rushdie wasn't an Iranian citizen, he was clearly a product of the West. His condemnation was also a symbolic gesture, no Ayatollah was reading that book, they used the occasion to place a death sentence on a citizen outside of their sphere of control to expand power. Rushdie's death sentence was more about international relations than literary acumen. In 1988, the best selling books in the Western World were by authors like Tom Clancy, Danielle Steel, Ann Rice, and Stephen Hawking. The Satanic Verses were simply "notable."


For years and years, Rushdie lived his life in hiding. The stress of the fatwa placed on Rushdie eventually ended his second marriage. As decades churned by, the British Government tired of protecting him and Rushdie eventually stopped traveling with security. In America, few cared about the events of 1988....


Until today.


Earlier in the day, a lone assailant stabbed Salman Rushdie while he was giving a lecture in Chautauqua, New York. Because the story is still developing, Rushdie's condition is still not known.


Let's try to take the emotion out of it for a moment and talk nuts and bolts. Salman Rushdie had a death sentence placed upon him and it took Iran almost 35 years to catch him? Long after he was protected by a government or private security company? Rushdie is a feeble man in his mid 70's, not James Bond-ish in his elusiveness.


Man Iran sucks at espionage.


Editor's Note: Oh, and by the way, the Iranian government owes the attacker $3,000,000.


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