Thursday, June 21, 2007

Deo Vindice

I'm pretty certain that there's a statute of limitations on the number of times one man can be the target of an entire faith's collective ire. At least, I believe there should be.

Allow me to clarify, if I may.

Salman Rushdie, a prodigious author, well respected by his peers and by most of those who've bothered to read his work, is being honoured by the British Monarchy for his impressive accomplishments in the field of literature. In essence, they're giving him the right to sign his cheques under the name of Sir Salman Rushdie which, in and of itself is meaningless but does, in my experience, make people stop and go 'hmm...'

Now Mr. Rushdie is known for his impressive literary talent, certainly, however, he is most well known for the Fatwa that Khomeini issued for his death after his 1988 Novel, the Satanic Verses, sparked a massive outrage in those muslim countries which grace our television sets ever so often these days (and they are such lovely places, aren't they?). Millions of muslims, outraged because their Imams & Mullahs told them to be (a Novel loosely based around one of the books of the Qu'ran is an affront to Islam, don'tchaknow) seethed and shouted and basically made asses out of themselves because of one man's critically acclaimed work of fiction (in one of the lovely paradoxes which holds that there is no such thing as bad advertising, the Fatwa sent sales of Mr. Rushdie's novel through the fucking roof).

Eventually the outrage & uproar & the danger to Mr. Rushdie's life abated and the fundamentalist Muslims of the middle east got uppity about something else for a while. Until now.

Because their former target is being honoured for his "insult to Islam," he and Great Britain have been threatened with suicide bombings. The entire fundamentalist muslim world is in an uproar over a book they haven't read (it is banned in some of these countries) because their Imams told them to be and it all has to do with a three letter word that conveys no power or money but is simply intended as an acknowledgement of accomplishment, which even the most fervent opponent to the Satanic Verses must surely, albeit grudgingly admit is represented within Mr. Rushdie's body of work.

The world we live in is thoroughly fucked.

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