Friday, June 22, 2007


Government In On the Fatwa

Rushdie fatwa looms again amid new protests: "Earlier Pakistan's national assembly -- the lower house of parliament -- unanimously passed a resolution again calling for London to revoke Rushdie's honour. It issued a similar call on Monday.
'This house again demands the British government take back the award from blasphemer Rushdie and apologise to the Islamic world', said the new resolution, moved by parliamentary affairs minister Sher Afgan Niazi.
And a legislator from the party of exiled former premier Nawaz Sharif called for Rushdie to be murdered. 'Whosoever kills him will be the hero of Muslims,' Khwaja Saad Rafiq told the assembly."

I wasn't surprised to see the headline, thinking that I would be reading of idiots in the street with mini-torches and signs, but the Lower House of Parliament? In fact, it doesn't matter that it is Pakistan's so much as it is ridiculous for any governmental body in any land on this Earth to be taking time to denounce a man who wrote a novel. Granted, Rushdie has been critical of their religion, but this situation reminds us of just how in defiance of freedom our enemies are.
When the time passes on these things, we sometimes get cozy with the thought that we have learned something, turned over a new leaf, begun a new era, where we will all know a little better, be a little smarter. We like to think those things can't happen again, that as the world modernizes and as we all get to know each other a little better that mistakes like fatwas for a novelist are useless and only serve to make the people who issue them seem backward. Really backward. That clearly is not the case here.
Is there a way to symbollically support this man? Is there a way to show solidarity?

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