Thursday, January 26, 2012

Salman Rusdhie: Back To The Future

On February 14, 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini personally read out, over state controlled Iranian radio, his fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie because the Indian-born writer had committed the crime of "blaspheming against Islam" in his novel The Satanic Verses.

Nearly 23 years later, the organizers of the Jaipur Literary Festival initially "wanted it to be a place where you could meet Salman Rushdie, not just read him." But by the time the festival (in the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan) got underway few days ago, not only was Rushdie not present, but a scheduled-at-the-last-minute video "appearance" by him was canceled at the urging of local police authorities.

But wait, there's more. For all festival attendees it is now forbidden to read aloud from any of Rushdie's writings during the proceedings. Four writers who dared to ignore that prohibition were forced to flee Jaipur or face arrest (or possibly worse). Even displaying Rushdie's picture has been banned from the festival!

The whole thing has turned into a slow-motion train wreck of the worst kind of politically correct capitulation to the demands of Islamism. But please, don't take my word for it. Here are several recent articles describing the unfolding debacle:

Why Salman Rushdie's voice was silenced in Jaipur, The Guardian, 26 January 2012

Jaipur festival cancels Salman Rushdie video link
, The Guardian, 24 January 2012

Rushdie Jaipur speech cancelled amid death threats, Reuters, 24 January 2012

Jaipur Literature Festival organisers stop novelists from reading Satanic Verses, India Today, January 20, 2012

Salman Rushdie, Islamic Critics Clash Over Jaipur Literature Festival, Huffington Post, 20 January 2012

Salman Rushdie Jaipur festival appearance in doubt, The Guardian, 19 January 2012

Salman Rushdie Jaipur trip in doubt after India protest,, 17 January 2012