MCB: Rushdie increases alienation


by Sunny
19th June, 2007 at 2:40 pm    

There’s no other way to respond to this but with a laugh. The Muslim Council of Britain have released a statement saying: “The MCB considers it yet another example of insensitivity to Muslim opinion that will only result in their further alienation.”

Alienation has become the MCB’s favourite word now. Why? Because ‘alienation’ leads to suicide bombers of course. Hence Rushdie’s knighthood will lead to more young, angry Muslim men and more suicide bombers if the MCB is to be believed. They don’t have much faith in the Muslim youth do they? Maybe the MCB could respond by getting Sir Iqbal Sacranie to give up his knighthood in protest. Plus, it looks like the Pakistani minister too has backtracked. I don’t understand why our govt is being so apologetic. If a Pakistani minister is encouraging suicide bombings here then we should respond by cutting off all their foreign aid.


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  1. Free Political Forum » MCB: Rushdie increases alienation

    [...] Original post by Sunny [...]


  2. Robert Sharp » Blog Archive » Rushdie diplomatic row escalates

    [...] seems to be fashionable to complain about what a smug bore Rushdie is. I can’t speak for the man himself, but I’ve always enjoyed reading his [...]




  1. Chairwoman — on 19th June, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

    Right, got it. Cut off foreign aid for Pakistan, but placate Hamas when they say something similar.

    Actually, I’m with the MCB on this one.

    Apart from Rushdie being a dreadful writer, a crashing bore, and an arrogant man who doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as a knighthood, giving him such a prestigious honour would certainly seem to me, were I Muslim, like at best, a lack of empathy, and at worst, a severe kick in the teeth.

    I dread to think who Blair’s going to nominate in his resignation honours.

  2. Leon — on 19th June, 2007 at 2:53 pm  

    Maybe the MCB could respond by getting Sir Iqbal Sacranie to give up his knighthood in protest.

    Very well said. Now that would make headlines and actually show the guy having some integrity.

  3. Ahmad — on 19th June, 2007 at 2:59 pm  

    Lets make no bones about it, I like many Muslims aren’t jumping for joy because he got his knighthood, but they’re separate reasons. However, if we judge from previous events what has actually happened. The release of the book caused protests on the streets of Bradford (which was stupid). The MCB are merely saying to show restraint on the matter and deal with it in a common sense fashion. If people have done it in the past, there’s a good chance that they’ll do it again.

    “If a Pakistani minister is encouraging suicide bombings here then we should respond by cutting off all their foreign aid.”

    It aint the first time Britain has been threatened and nothing has been done about it. If it was to do that with everyone Britain wouldn’t have many mates.

  4. Ahmad — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:01 pm  

    Agree with Chairwoman whole heartedly.

  5. Ravi Naik — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:06 pm  

    “Apart from Rushdie being a dreadful writer, a crashing bore, and an arrogant man who doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as a knighthood, giving him such a prestigious honour would certainly seem to me, were I Muslim, like at best, a lack of empathy, and at worst, a severe kick in the teeth.”

    I bet that the vast majority of muslims who complain about the book, have not read it, and do not really understand why it is blasphamous. They get furious because they think that’s what a good muslim should do. The political elites of Iran and Pakistan are using this event for political reasons, to turn the attention away from their own internal problems. So, basically they are the ones that are inciting violence and terrorism.

    I am sick and tired of the same tired narrative. I agree with Sunny: there should be consequences.

  6. Soso — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:17 pm  

    Apart from Rushdie being a dreadful writer, a crashing bore, and an arrogant man who doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as a knighthood, giving him such a prestigious honour would certainly seem to me, were I Muslim, like at best, a lack of empathy, and at worst, a severe kick in the teeth

    Hmmm…..eyes downcast, head bowed.

    Perhaps you should stuff a headscarf in it, Chairwomen, because no amount of appeasement and/or wishful thinking will ever turn Pakistan’s nukes, as second-rate as they be, into bombe praelines

    I think that Pakistan’s ambassador to the UK should be sent paking.

    It’s the only way to respond to such vulgar, Bronze Age threats.

    That said, Islam means “peace”.

  7. Chairwoman — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:21 pm  

    SoSo- You’re ridiculous. Understanding why people feel insulted doesn’t mean one wants to join them.

    I have a feeling you are quite capable of feeling slighted.

  8. Ismaeel — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:34 pm  
  9. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:36 pm  

    It aint the first time Britain has been threatened and nothing has been done about it. If it was to do that with everyone Britain wouldn’t have many mates.

    This is a minister from a supposedly friendly country with close historical and physical links inciting suicide bombing against British citizens and the British state. Can you inform me of any other government minister of a country, apart from that with a basket-case regime like Iran or Taliban era Afghanistan, that has made similar comments?

  10. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:40 pm  

    I don’t know about cutting off foreign aid, after all, that will just affect the poor people of Pakistan who need help, not the fat and prosperous over-priveliged shalwaar-kameez clad dauphins of Islamabad in their gleaming mansions and Mercedes who populate Musharaffs parliament. But at the very least you would hope that the British government registers a strong complaint on a diplomatic level.

  11. lithcol — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    The statement by the MCB will further alienate them as an organization that purports to speak on behalf of British muslims ( whoever they are ). Arrogant doesn’t begin to describe their collective mindset.

    I was appalled that the reactionary Sacranie was knighted, master of alienating non-muslims. Rushdie deserves his knighthood and contrary to Charwoman’s opinion he is a fine writer.

  12. Kismet Hardy — on 19th June, 2007 at 3:50 pm  

    I actually think Rushdie (before he became a rock star trying to keep up with his model girlfriend) can be rightly rated as a very good writer indeed. If I may add to Ravi Naik’s “I bet that the vast majority of muslims who complain about the book, have not read it”, there are also many that claim to have read it for right-on reasons just to tag onto the easy summary “It should be banned for boring me death”. It’s not any more boring than it is blasphemous. It’s just a book. And anyone that wants to kill the freedom of literature is a wanker

    Salman Rushdie came up with the slogan “go to work on an egg”

    You didn’t see chicken champions calling for his head on a platter

  13. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

    Yeah but his last two novels were terrible Kismet. He’s lost his way. I’m not attacking him, still support him and all that, but I sometimes think that maybe his literary value is slightly overstated.

    Anyway, off topic, why was there no weekend open thread this week. I’ve discovered an amazing soul singer from Germany (yes Germany!) and wanted to share her video with you all.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=jYUodOUXEoQ

    Her name is Joy Denalane.

    Linking it into this topic, I definitely think that the Pakistani religious minister would disapprove of a woman singing with so much soul and wearing dresses and tops off the shoulder.

  14. SCARton — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

    I’m all for being on the side that supports a “martyr for free speech” than the side that supports martyrs for religion.

  15. sonia — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:16 pm  

    did anyone ever actually read the Satanic verses? Personally I cant see what everyone found so offensive – and he hardly invented the phrase Satanic Verses.

    We might not like him as a writer but i can barely see how he is so ‘offensive’ to Islam. the man is generally irreverent but then writers tend to be.

  16. Chairwoman — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    How about a martyr for fame, fortune and (sorry lithcol)undeserved honours.

  17. ChrisC — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:26 pm  

    “Salman Rushdie came up with the slogan “go to work on an egg””

    He would have had to have been a very young copywriter to have come up with that.

    Wasn’t it Fay Weldon, before she became a novelist?

  18. Eremos — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:31 pm  

    Chairwoman, great comments. I agree completely with you.

    Sonia, you’re right about the phrase. If anything, for me, it led me onto a deeper appreciation of Islamic history and thought. The reason that many found him offensive is bacause of the style in which he wrote the book. At times it felt like he was looking to offend.

    Contrast this with, say Hanif Kureishi’s “Black Album” where he said things like it’s not possible to know everything that in the world from one book, that all Muslims subjugate their women, that Muslims believe that Allah exists because of cryptic messages found in vegetables, etc, etc. How come he didn’t get a fatwa? The God Squad would have seizd onto this surely? I mean he is a Kureishi after all, which makes his statements worse, right? But how come he managed to get more lucrative work off the back of his book?

    I suppose the devil is in the detail.

  19. http://modernityblog.wordpress.com/ — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

    just because some politicians shout and scream (making good PR for themselves) then you are saying that aid should be cut off? a bit extreme?

    why should the poor of a country suffer simply because of some windbag politicians?

    if that happen in the real world, then there would be little trade between countries, and even less aid

  20. Chairwoman — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

    Sonia – I tried, several times. As I speak, it is on one of the bookshelves opposite me eyeing me accusingly, and I am eyeing it similarly in return.

    *It is accusing me of not reading it, and I am accusing it of being unreadable*

    ChrisC

    Didn’t you know? Baby Salman’s first words were ‘Goo to work on an egg’.

  21. ZinZin — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:41 pm  

    Apart from Rushdie being a dreadful writer, a crashing bore, and an arrogant man who doesn’t deserve to be in the same room as a knighthood, giving him such a prestigious honour would certainly seem to me, were I Muslim, like at best, a lack of empathy, and at worst, a severe kick in the teeth.

    Whats is going on here has CW become a muslim community leader/literary critic?

  22. Galloise Blonde — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:42 pm  

    Eremos, I’m pretty sure the fatwa didn’t come from the ‘satanic verses’ aspect at all but from the character of the Imam, which is so plainly a portrait of Khomeini.

  23. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

    Personally I cant see what everyone found so offensive – and he hardly invented the phrase Satanic Verses.

    There is a sequence in which a man is having doubts about his belief and religion. He has a dream in which he imagines some women who are the wives of a prophet in an allegorical parallel to the main narrative inside a brothel.

  24. DavidMWW — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:47 pm  

    I think Sir Sal also came up with the slogan “Naughty, but nice”.

  25. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:49 pm  

    Eremos, I’m pretty sure the fatwa didn’t come from the ’satanic verses’ aspect at all but from the character of the Imam, which is so plainly a portrait of Khomeini.

    The whole novel was brought to the attention of Khomeini by a man called Kalim Siddique from London who was one of the first and most prominent firebrand self declared leaders. It was the allegorical narrative dealing with a prophet and his wives that incensed him and those are the aspects of the novel that he took, cap in hand, grovelling to the Ayatollah to complain about. That Khomeini is satirised in the book may have been an irksome additive to the controversy, but it certainly was not the sole motive for the fatwa.

  26. Galloise Blonde — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

    The women aren’t the wives of the prophet though, they are prostitutes who take on the identities of the prophet’s wives as a gimmick.

  27. Chairwoman — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:51 pm  

    Diversity is my middle name :-)

  28. sid — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:52 pm  

    But Sir Iqi Sacranie came up with the slogan
    “Naughty but Halal”

  29. Don — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:53 pm  

    It was ‘Naughty but nice’! For cream cakes.

    And I agree with Kismet et al, it is totally irrelevant whether individual readers find his prose style to their taste or not. I’m not a fan, but it is not the critic’s circle calling for blood in the streets.

  30. Don — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:53 pm  

    Damn, too slow.

  31. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:54 pm  

    The women aren’t the wives of the prophet though, they are prostitutes who take on the identities of the prophet’s wives as a gimmick.

    Yes, but that got rather lost in the red mist.

  32. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:57 pm  

    I suggest a Knights duel between Sir Iqbal and Sir Salman, jousting, chainmail, axes, like in the old days of king Arthur and all that. Let’s finish this once and for all. One on one. Mano a mano.

    Fight to the death. Swords and daggers.

    If Sir Iqbal wins, no novel is allowed to be published without his permission.

    If Sir Salman wins, he gets a lifetime supply of Prada and Gucci handbags and Victorias Secrets lingerie for Padma Lakshmi.

  33. Ismaeel — on 19th June, 2007 at 5:59 pm  

    19th June 2007
    PRESS RELEASE

    MUSLIM ACTION COMMITTEE DEPLORES THE HONORING OF
    “A DESTROYER OF COMMUNITY COHESION”

    The Muslim Action Committee, a faith based coalition of over 700 Mosques and Imams strongly deplore the honoring of Salman Rushdie. The Muslim Action Committee which led 50,000 Muslims in a mass demonstration February 2006 during the Danish Cartoons Crisis, are extremely disappointed in a government which has failed to uphold the principles of civility by honoring an author whose works have only contributed to division in British society. Rushdie has maliciously promoted stereotypes and has abused the name of the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him.

    MAC convenor Shaykh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi said “To honor a man who continues to insult 1.25 billion Muslims worldwide with the continued publication of his vile book is to send a message to Muslims that their religious sensitivities are of no value or consequence. This does nothing to promote community cohesion and does everything to promote community tensions and resentment. Rushdie is an ill mannered character who lacks all the virtues traditionally associated with knighthood and it is a travesty of British values to honor him in this manner.

    It is not the intrinsic nature of the honor which is the question here but rather it is deeply symbolic of antipathy and arrogance towards the Muslim world. At a time when the British government is attempting to promote the values of Britishness and integration, they are undermining their position by giving this title to a malicious individual who profits off the pain and insult given to Muslim sensibilities. This move will only fan the flames of radicalization and help to further alienate those on the fringes of our community.”

    MAC calls upon the British government to:
    Engage in responsible dialogue with the Muslim community before making such unhelpful decisions;
    To withdraw the knighthood to Salman Rushdie;

    END

    For further information contact MAC on 07947218529
    http://muslim-action-committee.blogspot.com
    http://www.globalcivility.com globalcivility@yahoo.co.uk

  34. Chairwoman — on 19th June, 2007 at 6:00 pm  

    Sir Iqbal gets a much better deal, that affects all our lives, whereas Sir Salman just gets to spend some time in Saks Fifth Avenue.

  35. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

    Ismaeel, you are making Rushdie what he is. Your protests just give him more attention, more volume, more readers.

  36. size3feet — on 19th June, 2007 at 6:09 pm  

    How injudicious and unfortunate is it that the MCB and Pakistani officials have piped up to make claims that Salman Rushdie’s knighthood will “alienate” more young Muslims, and that the decision is an “utter lack of sensitivity”.
    How many Muslims have actually read Satanic Verses, Midnight’s Children, The Ground Beneath her Feet or even Shailmar the Clown?
    Haven’t many just been fobbed off after the 80s book burning fiasco, which was nicely followed up with a fatwa slapped on the man’s head.
    It needs to be highlighted, for all those who are not acquainted with his books that Rushdie takes the so-called “mick” out of every religion in his books – and what?
    After reading Rushdie’s literature it is clear that only people who have the ability and intelligence to read and understand the wit and humour he portrays through his writing, can appreciate it.
    It’s a joke to see that in relation to the knighthood the Pakistani government is scuffling for a withdrawal of the decision on legal grounds.
    Right, well let’s take a look at the legal framework of Pakistan shall we?
    The treatment of women, children and lower castes – a system which is supposedly forbidden in Islam, but still exists, is abhorrent. There are virtually no laws to protect them and village idiot rules win.
    As Amnesty International points out that the lives of millions of women in Pakistan are circumscribed by traditions which enforce extreme seclusion and submission to men. Male relatives virtually own them and punish contraventions of their proprietary control with violence. For the most part, women bear traditional male control over every aspect of their bodies, speech and behaviour with stoicism, as part of their fate.
    In the Name of Honour that tells us Mukhtar Mai’s story of gang rape and how her 12-year-old brother was sodomised by four men, which is the reality for thousands of people in the villages. Oh, but lets look at respect, decency and sensitivity here.
    The British high commissioner in Pakistan met with foreign ministry officials in Islamabad and was told that the knighthood showed an “utter lack of sensitivity on the part of the British government,” said Tasnim Aslam, spokeswoman for Pakistan’s Foreign Office.
    The U.K. diplomat, Robert Brinkley, expressed “deep concern” about Pakistan’s position, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office in London said.
    What deep concern? Is that not an indirect threat to say they will continue to allow Muslims to train in camps to carry out their bombings?
    Well according to BBC reports Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, Pakistan’s religious affairs minister, said in his speech to parliament that the knighthood could provoke suicide attacks. He said later his comments were aimed at stressing the origins of terrorism and not condoning or inciting attacks. Of course Mr ul-Haq, that is what you meant.
    It is laughable that such a country, like Pakistan, spends more of its time hiding its ills and Neanderthal behaviour that is an everyday part of its functioning, but comes forward to condemn an educated man who has chosen to use the power of the pen to get his message across rather than rape, debauchery, oppression and abuse.
    Britain should not give in to these stupid demands and retract the knighthood. This is a free country. It is a democracy. Freedom of literature and expression is a right. If anyone wants to go and live in Pakistan – then the rancid men who make up the village councils (like the ones that believe raping women and children is essential to their everyday life) then feel FREE to go.
    Although Rushdie would be an idiot to accept it and he should say no following Zephaniah Benjamin’s example.

  37. Don — on 19th June, 2007 at 6:11 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    Yes, of course, that goes without saying. But what do think of his prose style?

  38. sonia — on 19th June, 2007 at 6:14 pm  

    yeah i can see that he is a bit irritating and he is irreverent, but if anything, all this sort of ‘we find it offensive’ plays into the hands of writers.

    it wouldn’t be much good if writers etc. were so concerned about conventions and not offending, we’d never have anything to read and chuckle over :-)

    personally i find a lot of the Hadiths much more shocking and offensive than anything Rushdie ever wrote. but there you go

  39. joeygrimlock — on 19th June, 2007 at 6:18 pm  

    What’s really funny is that the MCB website has a link to a story about a “coalition to defend religious and cultural expression” running across the screen on the same page as its denunciation of Rushdie’s knighthood.

  40. Jagdeep — on 19th June, 2007 at 6:19 pm  

    personally i find a lot of the Hadiths much more shocking and offensive than anything Rushdie ever wrote. but there you go

    Right, that’s it.

    I’m reporting you to Ismaeel’s Action Commitee.

    You’re in trouble now, young lady.

  41. Ismaeel — on 19th June, 2007 at 7:15 pm  

    Don,
    before i converted i tried to read Midnight’s Children and found it almost impossible to get beyond the first chapter- self-indulgent smug drivel i think sums it up.

  42. Twining or Black in Blue — on 19th June, 2007 at 7:37 pm  

    Jagdeep a dual between Sir Iqbal and Sir Sushdie! May I referee?

  43. Twining or Black in Blue — on 19th June, 2007 at 7:37 pm  

    OOps Rushdie even.

  44. size3feet — on 19th June, 2007 at 7:37 pm  

    Midnight’s Children is hillarious peeps!
    Sorry about the super long rant – just trying out my writing skills…

  45. size3feet — on 19th June, 2007 at 7:39 pm  

    PS. I’ve read the many Hadiths and I have to agree with Sonia on this one too.

  46. Don — on 19th June, 2007 at 7:41 pm  

    Ismaeel,

    Really? I rather liked it, but found his later works not to my taste. How far did you get into Satanic Verses?

  47. lithcol — on 19th June, 2007 at 8:31 pm  

    Rushdie is infinitely more erudite than the authors of the Koran. What is more he also appears more humane. Can’t see a movement swearing blind allegiance to his writings and thoughts forming though.

  48. Don — on 19th June, 2007 at 8:31 pm  
  49. Clairwil — on 19th June, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

    Maybe it was an attempt to make Muslims feel more included. Now they too can look at the honours list and say ‘not that gobshite’ and feel grumpy for a couple of hours.

  50. ZinZin — on 19th June, 2007 at 8:52 pm  

    Bunglawala has spoken and it is a nauseating a mix of paranoia about islamophobia and an insincere commitment of freedom of thought and expression. The bizarre analogy between spycather and the satanic verses confuses me?

    Still quite revealing.

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/inayat_bunglawala/2007/06/not_surprisingly_the_awarding.html

  51. Billy — on 19th June, 2007 at 9:20 pm  

    I don’t much like his writing but he didn’t exactly deserve what has happened to him.

    Oh and I agree with Clairwil.

  52. Ysabel Howard — on 19th June, 2007 at 9:42 pm  

    Eheu. I was around for Round One. I didn’t figure on being told what I may read. From the Enlightenment through to Marx, Darwin and the counter-culture, people have expressed themselves freely on the subject of religion, which is to say they have said what they want to say not what Master finds acceptable.But we have moved on! Now it’s whom the government may ‘honor’. Why is this declaration spelled in American? A lot of people didn’t thrill to Sir ‘death is perhaps too good for him defender of the Jamaat-i-Islami Iqbal, or Icky Iqbal, as he is known. So it’s one-all.

    50,000 Muslims, gosh. Are they aware there are a good ten million atheists in the country? In the week in which the murder of Banaz has been highlighted, it rather seems to me that there are religious people who ought to be having a little talk among themselves about the extreme difficulty they have with the concept of individual sovereignty, individual autonomy. Instead they go on the offensive. What was that about sensitivity again?

  53. Puffy — on 19th June, 2007 at 9:42 pm  

    Didn’t Sir Iqbal Sacranie get a knighthood despite calling for Salman to be burned at the stake?

    So… it’s ok to give a kinghthood to someone who incites hate and terrorism, yet its offensive to give it to a writer?

    Why are Muslims so offended by a writer getting a knighthood when non-Muslims are silent when a barbarian like Sacranie gets honoured in place of decent citizens?

  54. Puffy — on 19th June, 2007 at 9:44 pm  

    And as for that rabble-rousing racist “Lord” Ahmed…

  55. Brian Havelock — on 19th June, 2007 at 10:13 pm  

    Why should anyone care whether Rushdie is knighted or not?

  56. pounce — on 19th June, 2007 at 11:48 pm  

    Yet again the world bares witness to the bullying nature of a faith which refuses to acknowledge the oppressive nature of its very existence.
    I am sick to death of hearing how Muslims are offended
    I am sick to death of the duplicity displayed by these so called moral guardians of the faith.
    So Muslims feel offended do they?
    Tell me does that include the worlds Muslims who drink alcohol. (Just visit the Nightclubs of West Yorkshire to see what I mean)
    Does that include those who have no problem killing their own for Honour. (Usually entails a runner to Pakistan)
    How about those who deal in drugs.
    Lets not forget all our Uncles and aunties who have no problem handing out loans with a huge chunk of interest added on. (But lets not call it interest shall we)
    Any faith which supports burning books rather than writing them doesn’t get my vote.
    Of course the usual suspects will try to character assassinate me. All I have to say to them is. If you hate the way of life in the UK so much. What’s stopping you from leaving. All you are doing is making it a lot harder for me to integrate with my fellow country men be they White, Black or Brown. Funny how those who wish to live by the rules of the Koran here in the UK usually have a big problem actually living under its rules.

  57. Tahir — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:21 am  

    There was an article in today’s Guardian on this issue. They quoted the predictable responses but there were these two – I am a bit partial to Will Self myelf

    Will Self
    “Given the furore that The Satanic Verses occasioned, it does strike me that any responsible writer might ask himself whether the fallout from accepting such an honour was really worth the bauble … it is surely better that writers decline any form of honour.”

    Ruth Dudley Edwards
    “There is only one explanation why Rushdie has been singled out. It is that Tony Blair … wants to put two fingers up to Iran as well as to extremist Islam everywhere.”

  58. Tahir — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:23 am  

    I might add after Self that this argument might’ve applied when he originally wrote the text in question. But ego is a strong motive for propelling writers forward into sea of hostility – not bravery.

  59. Tahir — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:26 am  

    http://www.ruthdudleyedwards.co.uk/Journalism07/DMail_18Jun_07.htm

    I don’t know much about this author but agreed with her views.

  60. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 20th June, 2007 at 8:49 am  

    Izzy! Your back!!!

    Seeing as how you know all about respect I was wondering if you could explain why you linked your article: “POPE’S REMARKS IRRESPONSIBLE, NAÏVE AND CONTRARY TO THE PROCESS OF CIVILITY” was hyperlinked to this picture?

    http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2119/3352/1600/ratzinger2.jpg

    You are so truely respect, I could learn much from your two faces.

    TFI

  61. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 9:13 am  

    It seems to me that after a lot of stuttering, aheming, apologising, etcetera, that the British State has at last got it’s bottle together. The right to offend is a fundamental right. So stuff the lot of you :-)

    My knighthood should be in the post.

  62. saqib — on 20th June, 2007 at 9:31 am  

    I persoanlly really couldn’t care less about Rushdie getting a knighthood, it really is an irrelevant matter. MCB probably feel they have to pass comment on this, which i can understand, but indivdiual Muslims really are not concerned. Clearly he has won the award for his literary work, and not for deliberately offending Muslims. However i feel some serious thought should have been given to all the negative effect he has had on community relations.

    I say this as i pressume that the resaon why someone like Iam Botham got his knighthood so late was because of his of field antics, especially when you consider that another famous cricketer like Richard Hadlee, a contemporary of Botham’s got his when we wasn’t even 40.

    My point is that if these issues are taken into consideration, which they appear to have been done for ‘Beefy’ then they should have been taken into consideration for Rushdie. I suppose supporters of Rushdie will argue they have…hence the delay!

    About the book, then i have read through the offending remarks, and they were offensive, as he was abusing the Prophet (pbuh) and his wives by deliberately using vile language against them, for no other reason than he wanted to. This was similar to the Danish cartoons. Intellectually it had no challenge.

    Ironically, books like the one written by Tariq Ali, i.e. ‘Clash of Fundamentalisms’ which are very critical of Islam, and in fact ask more difficult questions did not draw the same condemnation, infact no one seriously ever said it should be banned.

    Hence i think a sense of persepctive is needed here, Muslims as a body don’t cry wolf whenever they are criticised, otherwise nothing would ever be published, as books and newspaper colunms are full of this.

  63. Chairwoman — on 20th June, 2007 at 9:43 am  

    He simply didn’t deserve the knighthood.

    He’s pretentious and bumptious, but most of all his books are boring. Let’s face it, had the Ayatollah Khomenei not declared the fatwah, how many people would have bought the damn book?

    Perhaps the late Ayatollah should be given an honour for services to book sales.

  64. Katy Newton — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:02 am  

    Salman Rushdie is not the person I would have chosen for a knighthood, but I don’t think it’s anything to do with Pakistan. There are plenty of people I find offensive who were made knights for no apparent reason and you don’t see me out there burning their effigies. Admittedly that’s only because it had never occurred to me to make an effigy, but my point stands.

  65. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:07 am  

    Saqib,

    It is, as they say, a rallying point. Let us all get behind the flag, let us all fight to the death.

    Inayat Bunglawala has a very interesting post on CiF:

    here:

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/inayat_bunglawala/2007/06/not_surprisingly_the_awarding.html

    So why, exactly, did Muslims take offence to Salman Rushdie? Rather than this?

    http://www.jesusandmo.net/

    I am amongst the benighted minority that thinks freedom of speech is more important than the offence it might cause.

    Quite apart from the fact they are quite funny. They are, bloody hell, cartoons! Let’s organise a demo!

    If you are doing a thesis on the age of enlightenment, you might care to consider the pamphleteers of that era, who used every invective, every satire to point out the wrongs, as they saw it, of their ‘betters’. They, possibly advanced that era more than the more known, published writers. Now, that would be interesting.

  66. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:15 am  

    Katy,

    Your lack of effigy construction ability is either the construct of a superior brain, or a failure of us both to smell the coffee. :-)

  67. Katy Newton — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:17 am  

    I think it would be quite easy to make an effigy. I’d just take a picture of Salman Rushdie from a magazine and pin it onto a cheap teddy bear or something.

  68. Katy Newton — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:18 am  

    But why would you? That’s what I don’t get.

  69. Gibs — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:20 am  

    Katy,

    You are right about it not having “anything to do with Pakistan”.

    I sometimes do wonder if it wouldn’t be better if Britain generally did not have “anything to do with Pakistan” AND vice versa.

    Perhaps it should be boycotted like aparteid South Africa ought to have been in the 80s. And this time, it could be done without any real harm to the UK economy.

    After all, is there REALLY anything (legitimate) we currently import from Pakistan which we couldn’t just as easily import from China instead ?

  70. saqib — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:33 am  

    ‘After all, is there REALLY anything (legitimate) we currently import from Pakistan which we couldn’t just as easily import from China instead ?’

    Well you have the Pakistani cricketers down at Sussex…I’m sure Chris Adams woulnd’t be too pleased.

  71. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 10:55 am  

    saqib,

    You are avoiding the question at 66, are you not? Cricketers notwithstanding.

  72. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 11:06 am  

    Katy at 69,

    Me neither.

    Perhaps Sunny could explain.

    Effigies-r-Us, as a franchise, seems to be a release of tension, perhaps?

  73. saqib — on 20th June, 2007 at 11:34 am  

    douglas clark

    Actually i didn’t read that post, i was just having a cursory glance and saw certain comments…i do apologise Douglas.

    After i deliver my talk later this evening i will go through my backlog of comments. I am currently typing out response to the ‘challenge’ and hopefully will have something posted soon. I believe i first should do this then engage in any more ‘heavy’ PP stuff.

  74. justforfun — on 20th June, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    Brides? – who can cook without using monosodium glutamate.

    Bridgrooms? – who know how to treat a woman in traditional manner.

    Justforfun

  75. justforfun — on 20th June, 2007 at 11:44 am  

    ops – that was my suggestion for Gibs

    Justforfun

    Sunny – Freedom of choice – you can’t force us to use the preview function.

  76. MashUp — on 20th June, 2007 at 11:56 am  

    Actually, MCB’s response has been eminently sensible. MCB has urged fellow Muslims to chill out. I wonder why Sunny boy forgot (or chose not) to add the rest of the MCB statement: “In the face of such provocation, the MCB urges Muslims everywhere to exercise calm and restraint. The best way to honour our beloved Prophet is to remember him, and tell fellow human beings of his love, compassion and mercy.”

    And of course, there is Inayat Bunglawala’s piece today, saying we should champion freedon of speech and let Rushdie be. Someone admitting they were wrong. Would any of you self-righteous bloggers and posters admit YOU were wrong. Doubt it.

  77. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    Saqib,

    Fair enough. Are you putting your reply up on your own blog, or what?

  78. saqib — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:05 pm  

    Douglas, i have just read the post.

    Certainly from amongst the philosophes satire was used as a means to try to criticise establsihed authorities through irony. Voltaire was perhaps the foremost exponent of this.

    I take your point about the pamphleteers, that would be interesting actually, as i am very interested in how knowledge was transmitted through media. I’ll look into this Douglas.

    What is also interesting is when you read some of the Enlightenment works they speak sometimes in a very understated manner about certain subjects, an indication of how they were careful in addressing contentious issues. It was a case of making arguments which led to a particular path, however they themselves would not state their conclusions.

  79. saqib — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:12 pm  

    Douglas, it will be on my blog, which i know i haven’t updated for a bit now. Perhaps you may want to get some odds on the 2050 prediction? Scary stuff. take care.

  80. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:16 pm  

    Again, apologies for intruding.

    Saqib/doug

    re Enlightenment: Having studied the Enlightenment at length, and after having been a fully paid up disciple of Kant et al, I would just like to say a few things.

    Don’t take it at face value and don’t fall for the hagiography of people like Andrew Marr; ‘oh these wonderful people were so clever and great and knew everything’.

    For example, Hume was a racist (see his comments on Africans) and Rousseou was a hardcore misogynist.

    Their ‘egalitarianism’ applied only if you were white and a man

    Thanks.

  81. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:18 pm  

    MashUp,

    I’d be quite delighted if Inyats piece was peace in our time. It is emminently sensible. Why can reasonable folk like him not be the mouthpiece of the MCB?

    So, if I was wrong about Inayat, despite being amongst the first to recognise his virtues, where does the MCB go from here?

    Do they expel him? For being sensible?

  82. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    Muzamadar,

    Thanks, you are not wrong.

    However it was a process, was it not? Much as we are seeing here with Muslim women claiming personal rights?

    Legitmancy, even.

    The point is the outcome, not the process.

    Or are prejudices to overcome reason?

  83. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 12:56 pm  

    douglas

    However it was a process, was it not?

    Absolutely, Hume, Rousseau were products of their age and their savoury opinions should be seen in ‘context’. All I’m saying is that their racism, misogyny and ignorance is too often overlooked as their other ‘Enlightened’ stuff overshadows it.

    I look at Islam with its (many) warts and I also think that people should look at other ideologies with their warts.

    As for the immediate outcome, I’m afraid you’re on a loser there my old Presbyterian chum; these were capitalism, imperialism and Napoleon.

    Thanks.

  84. saqib — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    No worries Muzamdar, you make some very valid points.

    When/where did Andrew Marr make these comments Muzamdar?

    I guess the arguemnt in their defence would go like this. They, like their predecessors were men of their times, and hence were affected by the prejudices and false ideas of their own era.

    I guess what it shows is that the Enlightenment was not a ‘project’ in the sense it had fixed goals or values which it was trying to advance through reason.

  85. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    saqib

    There was a programme on BBC late last night about the Scottish Enlightenment (Hume, Smith et al) and I thought to myself, are you going to mention Hume’s disgusting remarks regarding Africans Andrew?

    Suprise suprise, he didn’t.

    I guess what it shows is that the Enlightenment was not a ‘project’ in the sense it had fixed goals or values which it was trying to advance through reason.

    Spot on.

  86. sid — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:26 pm  

    Good one Mazumdar. I hope you’re consistent enough to look at the warts on the underbelly of the Khalistani Movement (not saying there are any ;-) ) without resorting to ‘whataboutery’.

  87. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    sid

    The Khalistan movement of the 80s is full of warts, huge ones.

    But we were having an intellectual discussion about the Enlightenment.

    Go burn a KFC.

  88. Chairwoman — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:39 pm  

    Muzumdar – I, as you probably know, am a Jewish woman who was married to a Catholic atheist :-)

    He had totally rejected religion, and my practice was desultory to say the least.

    After my mother died, I had prayers said for her in the synagogue that my aunt and uncle (the last remaining relatives of her generation) attended. The late Chairman, though an unbeliever, was happy to stand up and sit down at the right times, and read the prayers (the English translation) along with everybody else.

    On the way home he said to me, “Well, I looked through your prayer book, and the opinion I’ve arrived at, is that your crap is pretty much the same as our crap”.

    And that pretty much sums up ideoligies in general.

  89. sid — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:45 pm  

    My dad, who was atheist, had to endure a lifetime of being forced through the paces, stand ups, sit downs, by my dear mother on “religious days” too.

  90. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:46 pm  

    Chairwoman

    I did know that you are a Jew, but I didn’t know that you were married to a Catholic atheist. But thanks for sharing.

    That’s a great story, but I beg to differ.

    Some ideologies are crapper than others.

  91. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:48 pm  

    My atheist old man gets extremly bored whenever my mum forces him to go to the Gurdwara.

  92. soru — on 20th June, 2007 at 1:58 pm  

    As for the immediate outcome, I’m afraid you’re on a loser there my old Presbyterian chum; these were capitalism, imperialism and Napoleon.

    capitalism is progress, when compared to mercantilism or feudalism.

    Mongol, Roman and Islamic imperialism all came before, not after, the Enlightenment. So it’s a mistake to say imperialism was an outcome of the enlightenment – Ghangis Khan never read Voltaire or Mills.

    Napoleon presumably did, but I doubt that is any way an especially significant fact.

  93. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

    Soru

    capitalism is progress, when compared to mercantilism or feudalism

    Regulated capitalism would have been real progress, but I take your point.

    it’s a mistake to say imperialism was an outcome of the enlightenment

    I meant European imperialism, and you know I did.

  94. MashUp — on 20th June, 2007 at 2:34 pm  

    Douglas:
    “I’d be quite delighted if Inyats piece was peace in our time. It is emminently sensible. Why can reasonable folk like him not be the mouthpiece of the MCB?”

    Erm… he is the mouthpiece of MCB. Media Secretary and now Assistant Sec Gen? He’s also been on the telly? Not sure what you mean.

    Anyway, there will be a lot of noisy uncles demanding MCB does something about this business. That statement that Sunny chose to half quote and mis-contextualise recogises their fears but ends by saying: relax, be calm. Chill.

  95. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 2:48 pm  

    Muzumdar,

    Thanks for your response. I note it had nothing to do with refections on the status of women. All ideoligies seem to me to be about that..

    Re 92

    Your dad sounds like a good bloke, really. Put upon, etc.

  96. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 2:53 pm  

    MashUp,

    My point, and this is not the web site to make it on, is that Inayat has grown up, and is no longer the radical he once was. If he really is the new mouthpiece of the MCB and he continues to talk the talk, and perhaps walk the walk, what is the issue?

  97. Sunny — on 20th June, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

    That statement that Sunny chose to half quote and mis-contextualise recogises their fears but ends by saying: relax, be calm. Chill.

    I’m not misquoting them. Of course the MCB is going to call for calm, they’re no longer the idiotit firebrands they were. They are part of the establishment. My amusement was with the first part of that quote.

    And Lord Ahmed’s quote that Rushdie had destroyed community cohesion was quite amusing too.

  98. Jean-Luc Gascard — on 20th June, 2007 at 3:30 pm  

    Better than a damehood or knighthood would be an armband that reads “Queen’s Choice[st]” or “King’s Choice[st]” worn by approved ethnics.

    The only good capitalism is a free market capitalism without any regulations whatsoever. It’s the most healthy way.

  99. Jagdeep — on 20th June, 2007 at 3:30 pm  

    My atheist old man gets extremly bored whenever my mum forces him to go to the Gurdwara

    At least we have the langar to look forward to, often with lashings of creamy rice pudding after wholesome and delicious dhall sabzi roti, saag if you’re lucky, and on kids day, chips and beans.

    Even makes an atheist or agnostic look forward to a Gurdwara visit sometimes.

  100. Jagdeep — on 20th June, 2007 at 3:31 pm  

    Bunglawala’s article is fascinating to read. He basically says everything about Rushdie being the catalyst for all that has happened since, and it’s always interesting to have a man present his mashed-up and stunted mind to the public so articulately.

  101. douglas clark — on 20th June, 2007 at 4:33 pm  

    Jagdeep,

    I thought it was a mea culpa piece. Inayat said what has to be said, I think. And he recognised he was in the wrong. What more do you want from him?

    Can no-one seperate themselves from their past?

  102. Jagdeep — on 20th June, 2007 at 4:40 pm  

    I said it was fascinating douglas, and he doesnt dissasociate himself from his past, as much as he acknowledges the idiocy of what he used to assert.

    The fascinating and most truthful part is that this idiocy is what made him the man he is — this he states, and not only that, the entire British Islamist movement was birthed in its present form from this idiocy. To simultaneously loathe, despise, hate what gave you your meaning and the entire reason for your existence and identity accounts for many of the contradictions, hypocrisies, confusions and alarm at the core of the Bunglawalas, Sacranies, and all of the rest of them — read the MCB statement on the Knighthood of Sir Salman for a plain and startling example of this.

  103. Muzumdar — on 20th June, 2007 at 5:47 pm  

    At least we have the langar to look forward to, often with lashings of creamy rice pudding after wholesome and delicious dhall sabzi roti, saag if you’re lucky, and on kids day, chips and beans.

    Too true. My old man laps it up.

    (Although I am not, I repeat not, a fan of saag).

    Thanks.

  104. Ismaeel — on 20th June, 2007 at 7:30 pm  

    TFI as you well know i have not hyperlinked the MAC article to any such article. Stop being silly and grow up.

  105. dilliman — on 20th June, 2007 at 8:27 pm  

    I concur with Douglas Clarke.

    ZinZin (No. 51) and others are suspicious of Inayat

    an insincere commitment of freedom of thought and expression

    Over at CiF, those posting on Inayat’s article have been especially busy. Worth pointing out one comment by AllyF

    Most of the rest of you. You hold Inayat Bunglawala to standards that are not demanded of any other CiF blogger. If, say, Gordon Brown were to write a piece saying ‘I was completely wrong about PFI, it was a mistake and this is what I am going to do to rectify it’ nobody would turn around and say ‘that’s not good enough, Gordon. You must also accept that you were completely wrong on pensions, Iraq, Independence of the Bank of England and all your other policies. You must prostrate yourself before us, agree with everything I believe and declare yourself to be a worthless piece of shit. Then and only then will we believe a word you say.’

    It’s been bugging me all morning trying to work out who it is you lot remind me of. I’ve finally got it. It is Ian Paisley during the NI peace process. Point blank refusing to accept any concession from the other side, disbelieving every statement, revealing himself to be a delusional bigot – right up to the point when he had no option but to accept that actually he’d been wrong all along.

    He made himself look an idiot. Which is precisely what many of you are doing.

  106. ZinZin — on 20th June, 2007 at 8:42 pm  

    The paradox of the entire Rushdie affair is that these reactionary community leaders, while gaining a great deal of power and prestige from this episode have done their co-religionists a great deal of harm.

    Bunglawala and his cabal are thugs and bullies who have suppported murder and play the victim card at the merest hint of criticism. Inayat does not apologise for supporting murder or recant his call for censorship supporting as he does the right to offend (which he contextualises by acknowledging that book burning is offensive).

    He is a good PR man as his non-apology as his post on Cif indicates.

    Good point Jagdeep#104 pretty much nails it.

  107. lithcol — on 20th June, 2007 at 9:33 pm  

    Two bastions of human rights criticize the awarding of a knighthood to Rushdie. When will we see blood on the streets aka the Danish cartoons? Another excuse to demonize the infidel and indulge in bloody mayhem. Religion of peace my arse.

    Bunglawala is better at PR than Bari, and Bari is more acceptable than Sacranie. But for your average Brit none have a message that is relevant to their daily lives. The Arch Bish gets a pasting when he sounds off but who cares what Bungy and his mates say. Yawn.

  108. Don — on 21st June, 2007 at 12:30 am  

    Bunglawala’s piece struck me as smug, rather than contrite. He’s pleased as Punch that his antics, which contributed to actual deaths, helped his crew gain access to power and compelled ‘respect’. But it’s time to move on, that phase served its purpose and now he wants to enjoy the benefits of being at top table. So he’ll concede that book-burning was bad. Hasn’t condemned the fatwa outright, though.

    Now put the genie back in the bottle, please. Or be irrelevant.

  109. Sunny — on 21st June, 2007 at 12:39 am  

    That is EXACTLY what I was thinking Don, you put it better than I would have.

  110. sonia — on 21st June, 2007 at 11:01 am  

    interesting what you say sid ( and muzumdar) i bet there are loads of people’s parents etc who were atheists and who had to pretend they werent and go off and pray and what not. i dont think i could even pretend i remember how to pray anymore, luckily im not a man.

  111. Fe'reeha Idrees — on 21st June, 2007 at 2:40 pm  

    If a Pakistani minister is encouraging suicide bombings here then we should respond by cutting off all their foreign aid.

    I think this is a bit extreme Sunny. Considering Andrew Marr has said the simmilar thing.

    While I agree what the Pakistani government minister said was highly offensive reflecting the ireesponsible behaviour of the government of Pakistan anyway, yet, just because a country gives aid to another, it does not mean they have right to kick them in their backside as well.

    As most of the people have agreed, the decision was not a clever one, but probably not something worth easting too much time on and we need to move on.

  112. Kismet Hardy — on 21st June, 2007 at 2:43 pm  

    “If a Pakistani minister is encouraging suicide bombings here then we should respond by cutting off all their foreign aid.”

    Consider: “A Pakistani minister”

    and “cutting off ALL their foreign aid”

    Who’s being extreme now old chap?

  113. Soso — on 21st June, 2007 at 6:54 pm  

    SoSo- You’re ridiculous. Understanding why people feel insulted doesn’t mean one wants to join them.

    I have a feeling you are quite capable of feeling slighted

    Of course I’m capable of feeling slighted, but when it happens I don,t threaten the *slighters* with suicide bombers.

    Have militant Catholics bombed Dan Brown, lately?

    And as for you critique of Rushdie’s writings; are you NOW classing them as mediocre merely as a means to escape taking a stand on the controversy?

    Rushdie was considered *brave, courageous and brilliant* by many western writers; that is, of course, until he was fatwa’d.

    Had Rushdie been Christian and written something less polished than The Satanic Verses about Christianity, you’d be squealing with joy and jumping up and down in your seat, the way you did during Beatlemania.

  114. Twining or Black in Blue — on 21st June, 2007 at 9:29 pm  

    Who is this Bunglawala fellow?

    “Rushdie was considered *brave, courageous and brilliant* by many western writers; that is, of course, until he was fatwa’d.”

    PRICELASS LAST QUOTE, PRICELESS.

  115. Cossor — on 22nd June, 2007 at 1:01 pm  

    It is interesting to compare responses in 1989-91 and those today.

    For example see
    http://www.salaam.co.uk/themeofthemonth/september03_index.php?l=1

    for one of the most insightful analyses of how Muslims in Britain responded to ‘Satanic Verses’ when it was first published.

    Sixteen years later the response from Muslim quarters -for example the Muslim Council of Britain – is now more nuanced: “The granting of a knighthood to him can only do further harm to our country’s image in the Muslim world…in the face of such provocation, the MCB urges Muslims everywhere to exercise calm and restraint. The best way to honour our beloved Prophet is to remember him, and tell fellow human beings of his love, compassion and mercy”.

    see
    http://www.mcb.org.uk

  116. Arif — on 22nd June, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    Sunny, since you think that the MCB uses “alienation” as a code word for suicide bombing, what alternative word can they use which will not make you suspicious? “feeling picked on”, “sense of being despised”? I don’t think it is the MCB alone, but a lot of people who want a non-violent conciliation between east and west who will prefer a battle over hearts and minds over battle through bullets and bombs. And that is why the political class might use words like alienation as a code for saying something will be a setback in the battle of hearts and minds.

    I am not part of any of this. I don’t care about the honour, the Rushdie saga had a precisely opposite impact on me than it did on Mr Bunglawalla, alienating me from Islam as it was being represented to me before I re-connected to it in a very different way. And though I support Rushdie as a writer, he clearly does not support the ideals or values by which I do so, so I personally don’t rate his honourable side.

    What I get out of this is that the powerful will always dictate terms to the powerless of what they should feel, and the powerless will always have to pander to the feelings of the powerful. And this will seem just to oneside and feel alienating to the other. The expression of alienation will be taken as ingratitude and rudeness by the powerful. The self-righteous reaction from the powerful will then be seen as something even more sinister by the powerless. It is a bullying dynamic, and I don’t want to be part of it, but it is hard to know how to persuade others to leave it as well.

  117. sonia — on 22nd June, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

    did you guys read about how Bin Laden has been knighted by the ‘Pakistani council’ ( in Pakistan!) as a response? heh.

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