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"Whenever I write something, I always want to make sure that what I write is defensible. That doesn't seem to be the case here."
On February 14, 1989, a fatw? requiring Rushdie's execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran at the time, calling the book "blasphemous against Islam" (chapter IV of the book depicts the character of an Imam in exile who returns to incite revolt from the people of his country with no regard for their safety). A bounty was offered for Rushdie's death, and he was thus forced to live under police protection for years afterward. On March 7, 1989, the United Kingdom and Iran broke diplomatic relations over the Rushdie controversy.
The publication of the book and the fatw? sparked violence around the world, with bookstores being firebombed. Muslim communities in several nations in the West held public rallies in which copies of the book were burned. Several people associated with translating or publishing the book were attacked, seriously injured, and even killed. Many more people died in riots in Third World countries.
protect the one or the manay ;)
you protect the right to freedom from religious intolerance.
The violent reaction to almost any criticism of Islam by some small sectors of the Muslim world is deplorable, and certainly shouldn't restrict our freedom to discuss flaws and failures in theology or ideology.
That is worth protecting.
By protecting the one the many are secure, it's a fundamental foundation of a free society.
The option you suggest opens the door to anarchy.
but of protecting a principle - that of the right of an auhor to write, and a publisher to publish books freely, provided the content doesn't break the law in the country in which it is published.
Salman Rushdie was protected because he was an ordinary citizen who wrote a book which was deemed 'blasphemous' by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who pronounced a death sentence on Rushdie in 1989. Our government (quite rightly in my view) took the view that the sentence was likely to be carried out by Muslim fanatics if they got the chance, and so Rushdie was given police protection.
Thank goodness we live in a society that isn't so paranoid that it brooks no criticism of its beliefs and traditions. I want nothing to do with reigious fundamentalists who believe they can silence any criticism - real or imagined - by killing the critics.
I'm living in a time warp, the FE's post came before mine, now it follows mine. :-))
editors rights ;)
think Fahrenheit 451 has already reached most of the middle east ;(
I am sure that Salman Rushdie is more than capable of looking after himself in a matter like this. If there are any downright lies in ex. policeman Ron Evans book then S.R. not only can but must take the matter to court.
Policemen usually have a reputation for looking after their own but according to the BBC "Mr Evans was convicted on nine counts of false accounting and ordered to pay £6,280.85 in fines and costs".
So perhaps not so squeaky clean Mr Evans`s ex workmates may not be so willing to back him up if this matter goes to court.
I agree with you that Salman Rushdie is perfectly capable of deciding about any action for defamation, but I fail to see what possible connection convictions for false accounting might have with a person's ability to recall past events.
Those convictions would certainly have absolutely no bearing on a judge's decision in a libel action. That decision would be based entirely on whether or not the allegations are true, and that depends on supporting evidence being presented.
I thin you know perfectly well what I am referring to when I mention Mr. Evens`s past history in court and support for him from his ex workmates at the Met.
Any defence MR. Evans puts forward re. S.R. taking him to court may well depend on support for him from other policemen who worked with him at the time. As you say
"that depends on supporting evidence being presented"
I simply doubt if his ex workmates will want to testify on his behalf.
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