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Reclaim moderate Islam, says Rushdie (RELIGION OF PEACE ALERT)
The Times ^
| November 28, 2002
| Roland Watson
Posted on 11/27/2002 4:03:52 PM PST by MadIvan
SALMAN RUSHDIE has appealed to moderate Muslims around the world to reclaim their religion from fanatics or see it spiral deeper into bloody cultural oppression.
He said that this weeks fatwa, or religious edict, ordered against a Nigerian journalist was the latest example of abuses by extreme Islamic authorities that had to be confronted.
The Deputy Governor of the northern state of Zamfara compared the journalist, Isioma Daniel, to Mr Rushdie for writing that the prophet Muhammad, Islams founding father, might have married one of the Miss World contestants gathered in Nigeria.
Mr Rushdie also cited the death sentence passed against an Iranian academic for criticising the mullahs who run his country, aggressive anti-Semitism in Egypt and the case of a Dutch Muslim woman who has fled the Netherlands after complaining that Muslim men oppress their women.
Where . . . is the Muslim outrage at these events? he wrote in The New York Times. As their ancient, deeply civilised culture of love, art and philosophical reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists, tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?
Mr Rushdie, the subject of a 1989 fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran for alleged blasphemies in his novel The Satanic Verses, used to detest the sloganisation of his name by Islamists. But, he wrote: Maybe its not so bad to be a Rushdie among other Rushdies. For the most part Im comfortable with, and often even proud of, the company Im in.
He said that, Iran apart, where the fair-minded, tolerant Muslim majority did make its voice heard, Muslims largely stayed silent. The Islamic world is being held prisoner, he said, not by Western, but by Islamic captors who are fighting to keep closed a world that a badly outnumbered few are trying to open.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: New York; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: blair; bush; islam; osama; religion; rusdie; uk; usa
Mr. Rushdie, they had better speak up pretty quickly; they did not speak up when Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered.
Click for video of Daniel Pearl: WARNING STRONG CONTENT
Better hurry up right quick.
posted on 11/27/2002 4:03:52 PM PST
To: Delmarksman; Sparta; Toirdhealbheach Beucail; TopQuark; TexKat; Iowa Granny; vbmoneyspender; ...
posted on 11/27/2002 4:04:21 PM PST
posted on 11/27/2002 4:08:33 PM PST
His was an excellent opinion piece. Salman Rushdie is my frigging hero.
Salman Rushdie has appealed to moderate Muslims around the world to reclaim their religion from fanatics or see it spiral deeper into bloody cultural oppression.
"Moderate Muslims" (a.k.a. - Islamic psychos who kill infidels, but don't scream "Allah Akbar" and foam at the mouth.)
Of course if it was upto moderate American islamic groups, he'd still be dead.
There is no moderate islam, it seems. Dignity has to overcome fear. Unwillingness is a harder issue to deal with. If they don't condemn it, then they accept it. Just a simple, clear denunciation of the violence perpetuated in the name of jihad.
It'condoned by the silence of mainstream islamiarabipaki media organs when they're always citing extentuating circumstances when the islamis pull stunts of mass murder and attack bombings.
Is this an oxymoron?
posted on 11/27/2002 4:27:26 PM PST
Rushdie is telling it like it is.
ONe can only hope the so-called moderates listen to him and attempt to reform Islam before it is destroyed.
I cannot and will not envision Islam triumphant,
that would be a religious tyranny
to make even communism pale in comparison.
posted on 11/27/2002 4:30:18 PM PST
Click the video - then you'll realise Moderate Muslims don't exist. They had a chance by objecting to this murder and the events of September 11th. With a few exceptions, they didn't.
posted on 11/27/2002 4:31:40 PM PST
There is no moderate islam, it seems.
A moderate Muslim is somebody who's not motivated to kill infidels, but will sit back and contentedly watch other Muslims do so.
A Muslim MAY NOT oppose Jihad and remain a Muslim. The attitude that it is OK for an infidel to oppose a Muslim is incompatible with Muslim theology
What in the hell is moderate Islam? Is it the same as a moderate Nazi? Islam is a fascist ideology and should be treated as such.
posted on 11/27/2002 5:46:51 PM PST
"....paranoics, racists, liars, male supremists, tyrants, fanatics, violence junkies....."
Let's see if Rushdie raises the frenzied hackles of the liberal media, religious, entertainment and political establishments when the Reverends Falwell, Robertson and F. Graham uttered more muted words along the same line.
I think Mr.Rushdie is setting himself up for a second Fatwa.
posted on 11/27/2002 7:41:06 PM PST
He'll be ignored. Or spoken of disparingly as a writer whose sales have been dropping steadily or on a lingering bitterness at having a fatwa on his head and conequently, unable to get "over it and move on".
No More Fanaticism as Usual
By SALMAN RUSHDIE
It's been quite a week in the wonderful world of Islam.
Nigerian Islam's encounter with that powerhouse of subversion, the Miss World contest, has been unedifying, to put it mildly. First some of the contestants had the nerve to object to a Shariah court's sentence that a Nigerian woman convicted of adultery be stoned to death and threatened to boycott the contest which forced the Nigerian authorities to promise that the woman in question would not be subjected to the lethal hail of rocks. And then Isioma Daniel, a Christian Nigerian journalist, had the effrontery to suggest that if the prophet Muhammad were around today, he might have wanted to marry one of these swimsuit hussies himself.
Well, obviously, that was going too far. True-believing Nigerian Muslims then set about the holy task of killing, looting and burning while calling for Ms. Daniel to be beheaded, and who could blame them? Not the president of Nigeria, who put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the hapless journalist. (Germaine Greer and other British-based feminists, unhappy about Miss World's decision to move the event to London, preferred to grouse about the beauty contest. The notion that the killers, looters and burners should be held accountable seems to have escaped notice.)
Meanwhile, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hashem Aghajari, a person with impeccable Islamist credentials a leg lost in battle and a résumé that includes being part of the occupying force that seized the Great Satan's Tehran embassy back in the revolution's salad days languishes under a sentence of death imposed because he criticized the mullahs who run the country. In Iran, you don't even have to have cheeky thoughts about the prophet to be worthy of being killed. The hearts of true believers are maddened a lot more easily than that. Thousands of young people across the country were immature enough to protest against Mr. Aghajari's sentence, for which the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, duly rebuked them. (More than 10,000 true believers marched through Tehran in support of hard-line Islam.)
Meanwhile, in Egypt, a hit television series, "Horseman Without a Horse," has been offering up antiSemitic programming to a huge, eager audience. That old forgery, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" a document purporting to prove that there really is a secret Jewish plot to take over the world, and which was proved long ago to have been faked by Czar Nicholas II's secret police is treated in this drama series as historical fact.
Yes, this is the same Egypt in which the media are rigorously censored to prevent anything that offends the authorities from seeing the light of day. But hold on just a moment. Here's the series' star and co-writer, Mohammed Sobhi, telling us that what is at stake is nothing less than free speech itself, and if his lying show "terrified Zionists," well, tough. He'll make more programs in the same vein. Now there's a gutsy guy.
Finally, let's not forget the horrifying story of the Dutch Muslim woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has had to flee the Netherlands because she said that Muslim men oppressed Muslim women, a vile idea that so outraged Muslim men that they issued death threats against her.
Is it unfair to bunch all these different uglinesses together? Perhaps. But they do have something in common. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was accused of being "the Dutch Salman Rushdie," Mr. Aghajari of being the Iranian version, Isioma Daniel of being the Nigerian incarnation of the same demon.
A couple of months ago I said that I detested the sloganization of my name by Islamists around the world. I'm beginning to rethink that position. Maybe it's not so bad to be a Rushdie among other "Rushdies." For the most part I'm comfortable with, and often even proud of, the company I'm in.
Where, after all, is the Muslim outrage at these events? As their ancient, deeply civilized culture of love, art and philosophical reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists, tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?
At least in Iran the students are demonstrating. But where else in the Muslim world can one hear the voices of the fair-minded, tolerant Muslim majority deploring what Nigerian, Egyptian, Arab and Dutch Muslims are doing? Muslims in the West, too, seem unnaturally silent on these topics. If you're yelling, we can't hear you.
If the moderate voices of Islam cannot or will not insist on the modernization of their culture and of their faith as well then it may be these so-called "Rushdies" who have to do it for them. For every such individual who is vilified and oppressed, two more, ten more, a thousand more will spring up. They will spring up because you can't keep people's minds, feelings and needs in jail forever, no matter how brutal your inquisitions. The Islamic world today is being held prisoner, not by Western but by Islamic captors, who are fighting to keep closed a world that a badly outnumbered few are trying to open. As long as the majority remains silent, this will be a tough war to win. But in the end, or so we must hope, someone will kick down that prison door.
posted on 11/29/2002 3:33:56 AM PST
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