Friday, February 06, 2009

The Lingering Chill of Rushdie's Fatwa

How far has the fall-out from the fatwa chilled the literary muse in Britain? asks Boyd Tonkin in The Independent today, the latest in a succession of writers to consider the knock-on effects ahead of the twentieth anniversary on February 14th. He finds ;
From time to time, extreme reactions from self-appointed guardians of faith do hint at a tinder-box mood of outrage without and caution within.
Other authors also contribute their views, including Hanif Kureishi :
One of the effects of Obama is that people are more aware that the white phase is over. In the future, we'll all be in nations made up of a number of minorities. Everything is going to have to be argued for: questions of language, honour and insult. Literature is the space where all of this can be taken seriously and thought about deeply... The problem is, if you become too respectful, there's no real contact...
and Suhayl Saadi :
The Rushdie Affair was a wholly negative phenomenon... It empowered both Islamism and liberal imperialism and set up the "straw man" dualism in which, globally, writers of Muslim origin are perpetually expected to display loyalty to one or other of these extremist positions... All novels are political, but this book became a political football in which the only winners were the hooligans.


Tunku Halim said...

The tragedy is that since the fatwa writers of all persuasions have, whether consciously or subconsciously, self-censored their work. It does not matter which country they live in for the threat of physical harm is borderless in today's world.

Anonymous said...

Down with religions!