lovers of #peace
call for murder ???
It is worth remembering here that the Qur’an is not in even roughly chronological order. It is also worth noting that some verses of the Qur’an (which Allah himself is said to have inspired, not Satan) are abrogated or superseded by later verses. This is clearly taught in the Qur’an itself in verses such as this one:https://www.christianconcern.com/our-issues/freedom/from-fatwa-to-fear-30-years-on-from-the-satanic-verses-affair
“We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one]better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?” (Q 2:106, cf. Q 16:101)
The point here is that Salman Rushdie did not invent the concept of ‘Satanic verses’, or of some verses which Muhammad recited, having been inspired by Satan. This is part of standard Islamic tradition, as is the idea that Allah has abrogated some of his own inspired verses. Rushdie used this idea to inform the provocative title of his book. Of course, this incident raises serious questions about the source Muhammad’s revelations and the trustworthiness of Allah.
The book was published on 26th September 1988. On 5th October, the Indian government announced that the book would be banned in India. This was quickly followed by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Bangladesh, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, and South Africa. Meanwhile, back in England the book won the Whitbread “best novel” award in November and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
Salman Rushdie wrote an open letter to the Indian prime minister complaining about the ban and arguing for the importance of the right to freedom of expression. This was responded to by Sayed Shahabuddin, an Indian MP. Some representative statements from his response are:
“Yes, I have not read it, nor do I intend to. I do not have to wade through a filthy drain to know what filth is.”
“No, your act is not unintentional or a careless slip of the pen. It was deliberate and consciously planned with devilish, forethought, with an eye to your market. Here in India our laws are very clear... Whoever with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India … shall be punished with imprisonment … or with a fine ... or with both. I wish you were in India Mr Rushdie, to face the music.”
“To sum up, your magnum opus is objectionable on three grounds: it is a crime against human decency; it is an insult to Islam; it is an offence under Indian law. And tell your British advisors that India shall not permit ‘literary colonialism’, nor what may be called religious pornography.”
Back in England, Muslim outrage mounted, culminating in a demonstration in Bradford on January 14th where copies of the book were ceremoniously burned, followed by 8,000 Muslims demonstrating at Hyde Park on 27th January. Amongst the placards were some reading: “Islam – Our Religion Today, Your Religion Tomorrow.” Many others simply called for Rushdie to be killed. A petition was submitted to Penguin Books asking for the book to be withdrawn and pulped, and for Penguin to apologise for publishing it. Penguin also received threats and hate mail. Penguin stood firm, though WH Smith withdrew the book from its stores.
The first deaths followed shortly afterwards with five killed in rioting in Islamabad, Pakistan, and then another killed and 100 injured in Kashmir on 13th February 1989.
Reactions after the fatwa
Media in Tehran claimed that the book was published at the request of the British Intelligence services as part of a deliberate attempt to confront Islam. A reward of £1,500,000 was offered to kill Rushdie.
Rushdie went into hiding, but said in an interview:
“Frankly I wish I had written a more critical book, religion that claims it is able to behave like this, religious leaders who are able to behave like this, and then say this is a religion which must be above any kind of whisper of criticism, that doesn't add up.”
From fatwa to fear: 30 years on from 'The Satanic Verses' affair
In 1989, an Iranian 'fatwa' was issued calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie following the publication of his book, 'The Satanic Verses'. 30 years on, Tim Dieppe looks into how this event has caused the fear of religious offence - particularly fear of appearing Islamophobic - to
In 1989, an Iranian 'fatwa' was issued calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie following the publication of his book, 'The Satanic Verses'. 30 years on, Tim Dieppe looks into how this event has caused the fear of religious offence - particularly fear of appearing Islamophobic - to censure our freedom of speech and expression.www.christianconcern.com