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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Salman Rushdie’s remarkable 1988 novel is perhaps remembered now more for the violent and radioactive uproar that occurred in its wake than for its literary merit. That would be a terrible shame. The Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for Rushdie’s assassination gave The Satanic Verses the dubious distinction of being the opening salvo in an ongoing battle pitting religious fundamentalism against freedom of expression in Denmark, France, and anywhere art is answered with murder.

In the wake of last week’s horror in Paris, we urge a return to the book itself — a trenchant satire and an earnest reflection of a world in transformation, and its myriad unmoored peoples.

You can purchase the book here.

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • Joe T

    The Qur’an was an oral text throughout the lifetime of Muhammad; it was also a fluid text. The complete text resided only in the memories of Muhammad and his followers. As he added verses and reorganized the text, his followers would rememorize the text in the light of the additions or edits. This means that the Qur’an was a living text during the lifetime of Muhammad. Certain verses revealed to Muhammad were later repudiated by him as “satanic” verses revealed not by Gabriel but by Satan. These verses were expunged from the text that so many had memorized.

    • johninPCFL

      An interesting factoid: while most Bible believers quote the phenomenally small number of changes in the Bible (as verified by the Dead Sea scrolls) as proof of “divine inspiration”, the Quran has absolutely no changes.
      Of course, that was because the followers gathered up all copies and destroyed all except for the few “approved copies”…

  • tallen387

    One of the things I found interesting when I read The Satanic Verses: the portrait of Mohammed is interesting and quite sympathetic.

    The portrait of Khomeini is not. That was when I finally understood the motivation for the fatwa. Khomeini (or one of his followers) wanted to make sure no one in Iran ever read the book. Quite effective, that fatwa. It accomplished its objective precisely.

    The fatwa also revealed a bit of another truth: blasphemy is not a religious crime; it is a political crime. The punishment for blasphemy is carried out by governments (or governing entities) under the cloak of religion. But the punishment itself is an impious act.

  • Ambas Ador

    Obama lied to a joint session of Congress in October, 2009 when he claimed that no Federal money would be used to fund the murder of the unborn.