Salman Rushdie

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Islam Needs Reformation from Within

“Would you permit me to teach my children that God is greater, more just, and more merciful than all the (religious) scholars on earth combined? And that His standards are different from the standards of those trading the religion” — Nizar Qabbani, Syrian poet.

Much has been said about the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and its slain cartoonists and their provocative cartoons about Muslims. Satirical representations of the Muslims in Europe do merge with racism and evoke destructive passions. But the barbaric killing of journalists exercising their right of free speech is beyond condemnable. It strikes at the heart of press freedom.

Muslim communities in most Western countries view themselves as besieged collectives. Issues of integration, racism and the colonial baggage resonate each day. But in the past two decades especially with the rise of violent extremism as global phenomena, these complexities have become even more intractable.

By brutally killing staffers of Charlie Hebdo magazine, the violent extremists have offended their faith far more than the perceived blasphemy of the magazine. Theirs is a political ideology — of using terror as a weapon — to avenge a history, to settle grievances and to assert power through violence.

Billions of men and women who practice Islam often have little input in shaping such narratives of hatred. Such violent ideas emanate from the minority schools of thought within Islam, which rationalize the killing of ‘infidels’ and their ‘associates’. This ideology is the same that hounded Salman Rushdie, and killed Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam for a film.

Ironically, the main targets of this ideology have been Muslims themselves. From the mass killings of Hazara Shias in Afghanistan and Pakistan to the ongoing killing spree in Syria and Iraq, it is the Muslims that bear the brunt of this violent mindset.

Dozens of Sufi shrines and hundreds of schools have been blown up in Pakistan by extremists. Most of the 50,000 Pakistanis killed in the last decade were Muslims. And in this day and age this ideology prevents the majority of Pakistanis to access YouTube simply because somewhere, someone lampooned the holy figure of Islam.


Sir Salman Rushdie’s fatwa against freedom of expression


SIR Salman Rushdie, that beloved symbol of freedom of expression, has now turned Khomeini, so to speak, exposing, in an ironic twist of tale, the hypocrisy and double standards that marked the entire liberal case for unqualified and unrestrained freedom of representation.

The man, in whose defence the world’s intelligentsia mounted an intellectual blitzkrieg against the alleged medievalism of the Muslim masses, has threatened to sue the publishers of a book about him by a former police officer, Ron Evans. In his forthcoming book, On Her Majesty’s Service: My Incredible Life in the World’s Most Dangerous Close Protection Squad, Evans dares to paint a rather unflattering portrait of the writer, whose unflattering ways stirred up controversies ever since he began to write. Rushdie alleges that the book “destroys his character” and “presents wholly made up incidents as facts.” […]

August 17th, 2008|Islam, Islamophobia|4 Comments