Friday, June 22, 2007

Furor Over Rushdie's Knighthood

Oh dear. What has Mr. Rushdie's knighthood sparked off?

Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq (son of Zia) made a statement condoning suicide bombing, and students in the city of Multan, burnt effigies of the Queen and Rushdie on the streets.

(Of course lah, it's always the effigy burner who grab the headlines even if there are only 100 of them and the rest of the country's population and indeed other Muslims in every corner of the globe stays completely out of it: such is the way of the news ... focus on the loony element and declare them representative of the whole.)

Rushdie, celebrating his 60th this week must be pretty scared that he is facing the kind of threats that sent him into hiding in the late '80's, while apparently the committee that forwarded his name for knighthood did not consider the political ramifications but rather decided on the award for literary merit.

Here's what International PEN has to say about it.

18 comments:

Obiter Dictum said...

His politics shouldn't matter. He deserves the honor on merit alone.

nel said...

i was wondering "whatz t' fuzz?" on all this ... hummm ... :)

nel said...

sorry, i think i saw it on the news as well ... :)

Greenbottle said...

the old fucker doesn't deserve shit.

suppose some muslim country is to confer osama ben laden an honour the equivalent of a knighthood, what do you think the like of bush and the western world response would be?...

they won't burn effigies or threathen suicide bombing of course, but they very likely would do worse, bully the whole country, that's what they'll do, threathen sactions for example which will make the whole country miserable...

western countries need to remind themselves that we are now bopderless, what you do have repercussions elsewhere...so be a little bit more sensitive to muslim feelings...

saras said...

Salman Rushdie is one of the greatest writers of our times - he deserves honour for his writing - leave religious politics out of it. All this burning and choleric threats is frankly tiresome and overkill. Enough-lah. Get a life. Bet most of those concerned haven't picked up a single Rushdie book let alone completed reading it. Sharon, you mentioned that most Muslims have stayed out of it - maybe it's time they stood up to be counted - for literature.

nel said...

Interesting, guys and please forgive me if I happen to step on anybody's toe again. Yeah, "again" and it's not my first time. I only wish to be open to discussion or maybe debate. So, here goes ...

1. Osama is not a writer. He's different. I think this guy (Rushdie) is a writer. Forgive my ignorence, right?

2. I do agree to be sensitive to others, but don't you think it would be bad if it goes until one can't even speak or debate in a civilize form?

I personally think that if anybody do disagree in any disagreement, just have another author to write back with their point of views. We live in a knowledge society as well as borderless. I am very sure everyone would love to hear from both side and learn from each other.

Yes, I haven't read at all and don't understand what is it all about. Please forgive me again if I happen to step on anybody toe.

Greenbottle said...

firstly, i love salman rusdie's writings, i've read his satanic verses mindnight children etc and i have all his books including his essay collections... so i'm fairly informed about this guy...

having said that, it's irrelevant whether it's a writer of non writer...key thing is disrespect and insults to islam...and rushdie has done the unforgivable thing... he did not deserve to be awarded by the british government or any govt for that matter...

now, you must understand islam world view properly to understand why muslims are so incensed by his actions...

to give a simple example... an average man will not take kindly if anybody try to mess up with his wife... some people may be liberal and can allow others to flirt a bit with his wife, some are so damned liberal that they even allow others to screw their wives, but some will not allow others to even disrespect his wife...and such is muslim and islam...i don't know about other religions, they may be so liberal that anybody can be blasphemous as much as they want, but not with islam...

that does not mean to say that you can't criticise islam...do as much as you want...but in a proper manner...and discussion and debates on islam has been going on for centuries...this has never been a problem...

lil ms d said...

greenbottle! your language!

(ps buku khinzir you still with me. only about to read it. abah terperanjat!)

sympozium said...

One thing which always puzzles me is, when the mad mullahs and the extremists do all these crazy and barbaric things and get all the press, those who profess to be sane, moderate, modern, reasonable, logical Muslims stay conspicuously and deafeningly silent. Where are these people who can and should come out and speak against things like condoning suicide bombings, the use of threats and violence, the practice of honour killings, genital mutilation? Why aren't they standing up and saying, Hey, I AM MUSLIM (as someone would say so proudly) and I say that what these extremists are condoning or doing is NOT the ways of peace and reason of Islam.

By your silence you too are part of the violence perpetrated in the name of Islam.

Salman, I salute you.

Antares said...

Greenbottom, methinks, is a fascinatingly complex individual. His mind appears to be extremely cosmopolitan and eclectic (he's even a Monty Python aficionado who has probably guffawed heartily at 'The Life of Brian')... and yet, when it comes to Islam, he gets all touchy and grouchy. Compares those who poke fun at religion with pinchers of other people's wives' bottoms. Hmmm. I confess his "reasoning" has got me quite perplexed. While it's no skin off my teeth who gets awarded a Nobel Prize or knighthood and who doesn't, I feel that the Brits' decision to lionize Salman Rushdie does carry a distinct undercurrent of mullah-baiting. What's being signalled is: look, people, here's a well-bred Muslim who's sufficiently liberated to discuss apostasy and pork-eating in print, and in English more elegant than most Native speakers could ever manage. And, furthermore, he's a Westernized Muslim who was once the target of a fatwa issued by the ultimate Mad Mullah, that Sean Connery look-alike named Khomeini. In view of the widening rift between the Judaeo-Christian and Islamic worlds, dubbing Mr Rushdie "Sir Salman" would appear to be a deliberate act of provocation.
The anticipated outcry from the outraged Ummah, therefore, merely shows that the
Muslims have taken the bait by reinforcing the negative image most non-Muslims already have of them. The wisest response would have been none whatsoever. End of the day, Sir Salman is living testimony to the fact that even a Beast can win Beauty and Acclaim - provided he has a way with words!

Greenbottle said...

suicide bombings...

(1) the japanese did it a long time ago and i'm sure will do so again if the situation warrants it.
(2) Tamil tigers are still doing it right now
etc

(3) honour killings?.... never see any done lately and certainly nothing to do with islam...though widows being forced to jump into funeral pyres sometimes still do happen somewhere in india among some hindus, or wives killed because they can't pay dowries

4) genital mutilation. sounds very kinky to me. i wonder whether it's a preserve of muslims or just some kinky practise of some african tribes... not sure if any malaysian muslim girls suffer this...(though i know some do practise symbolic circumcision for baby girls...)

the point is...people tend to blacken islam with all kinds of things that have nothing to do with islam per se...please try to be objective .

and salman... well,he deserves what he gets - good and bad...

Greenbottle said...

untares;

you're damn right that it's a provocation , either intended or out of simple stupidity is beside the point. but i disagree that people should stand mute and ignore it.

the very fact that people become oh so liberal is the reason that give the license for people like salman and his ilks to walk all over other people's heads and sentiments...

do i sound like i'm against freedom of expression?...no, i love freedom of expression...but try writing accolades glorifying hitler...see what the western world response would be...

in other words...use your freedom of expression wisely...

sympozium said...

"Try writing accolades glorifying Hitler and see what hte western world response would be" - I think the Western world would immediately start burning flags, demonstrate via violence, chant, destroy public property, ask for the accolade writer to be killed by suicide bombers.

I don't think they'd a) study the text first, b) start a LAWsuit to stop the publication of the book c) have a reasoned, intelligent discussion as to the merits of the book. Nah, they probably wouldn't do it.

Still hear a deafening silence from the moderate Muslims.

Greenbottle said...

no symp,

what the western world would do is wworse... they will threathen sanction and bully the whole country...

when ahmadinejad questioned the truth about holocaust the whole country suffers...here's a mad guy that we must do something about...we can not allow this mad guy to have nuclear capability blah blah blah...

bibliobibuli said...

sorry ahmadinejad IS a mad guy with nuclear weapons, greenbottle.

and to show how totally politically incorrect i am, let me add what is on my mind every time i see him on TV (this is the level of my political debate btw) ... i do wish someone would tell him what a total scruff he looks in that ill-fitting suit with no tie! he needs a good tailor and a decent haircut. all world leaders could take lessons in sartorial elegance from hamid karzai. just my tuppence worth.

i believe rushdie deserves his knighthood. literature was totally changed by him.

Greenbottle said...

aaah miss bib;

love that you chipped in about one of my current fav guys ahmadinejad. Totally agree with you about him looking like a runt and yes hamid karzai looks damned elegant. (a very good choice for comparison!) but karzai is a god damned DONKEY...this guy would not last 3 minutes if the american dogs go out of afghanistan.

but ahmadinejad? probably we'll see him for quite a while yet.don't worry about his manic rantings and hyperbolic statements about all kinds of things. what we should worry is the like of america which has more than enough WMD to blow the whole wide world twenty times over and pointing their missiles every which way and bullying everybody including UN and ignoring anything which doesn't advance their interest (on global warming for instance).

pity that completely destroyed cities like dresden (conventionally bombed to rubbles by US bombers) , hiroshima and nagasaki were not kept as they were ...only this way can we show what dastardly did humans are capble of doing ...this is the only way humans can never forget what america in this case has done and is capable of doing again...and yet everybody worries about a runt like ahmadinejad...i put it because we are all children of cnn and bbc... they are our prophets now... we view things through their mirror...most people don't see other wise...how sad.

bibliobibuli said...

don't worry greenbottle, the US has been scaring me shitless for most of my life. iran is just a new kid on the block.

the only side i'm on is for total nuclear disarmament

sympozium said...

Thank you Ms. Bhutto...sadly you're one of the few...silence from moderate Muslims STILL deafening...