I have ordered a copy of The Satanic Verses, and when it arrives I will take it to the wokest cafe I can find in Bristol, and ostentatiously read it there. Then I will take it to the Central Library, and blatantly read it there too.
Careful. You might get stabbed.
But woke people don’t stab anyone. That’s the religious fanatics.
No, woke people don’t stab anyone – with knives.
The wokest cafe they will all give knowing smiles and friendly waves.
Now wear your MAGA hat there, wile reading ‘Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America’ by Donald Trump – and wile they won’t stab you unless they are holding an Anti-fa rally at that moment, they will likely hound you out of the place and down the road – and if you are recognized, try to get you fired from your job.
Or wear an “Adult Human Male” T-shirt that’ll get ANTIFA after you!!!
A couple of months ago my “I stand with J.K.Rowling” t-shirt got my lodger evicted after she shouted at me in my own home and called me a transphobic bigot.
How miserable are the woke.
Good. I gather that the very title is regarded as blasphemous as it refers to some mythical verses of the Koran that have been suppressed; they were allegedly dictated by Satan and not the angel.
Its a brilliant title. Fact is this canny merchant Muhammed saw how this new idea by now called Christianity was booming,he saw how the older way called Judaism was also attracting lots of Greeks and Romans in the then Hellenized world. He must been bright because he identified the winning elements and then plagiarised and synthesised both religions into a new Arab suitable style which also proved to be highly popular especially with a knife at your throat. In the early spread of Islam new converts were let off paying tax but as nearly EVERYBODY chose this option the new state saw it would go broke so they altered that. Everyone goes on about how wonderfully tolerant and multi- cultural the Islamic world was but that’s because if you were a Jew or Christian they didn’t let you convert and then charged you much higher tax for being of another religion so it was win-win for them. That’s how those Jewish and Christian merchant families got so clever and got rich despite this. I guess they learned all the tricks of keeping two sets of books and other dodges to keep your money hidden while still paying all the dues demanded of you.
I don’t know whether you have read the book, but the point of the Satanic Verses story is precisely what you raise in your first two sentences. Having questioned the habit of the people of Mecca of appealing to three goddesses, including al-Lat virtually the female counterpart of al-Lah, to intercede with the latter (rather like saints in RC), the offending verse removed from the Qur’an has the Prophet accepting that these three are exalted beings whose intercession is welcomed, and by so doing turning a hostile reception into a following.
Just as a matter of passing interest Richard, what’s your blood group?
A very generous offer if you are a Bristol resident standing by to replace any sudden blood loss Richard suffers in the event you are the same blood group.
Good point Doug. I should probably ascertain this matter before flinging myself on the tender mercies of the woke horde.
I’d make it an espresso rather than an XL cappucino – my recollection (heresy of its own kind though it may be) is that it’s not actually a very good book, so you might find yourself wanting an excuse to close it and leave.
Your memory lets you down. It is an excellent book. Warmly recommended.
Of course, we don’t all enjoy the same things. Even Tolstoy didn’t like Shakespeare. Don’t recall he ever issued a fatwa, however.
I look forward to the day that a public convenience is built over Khomeini’s grave.
There’s a car park built over Hitlers bunker in Berlin. Even better!
Then take it to your local mosque (Shiite, preferably) and read it there, out loud to the appreciative audience.
Everyone seem to forget that George Bush, when bombing and invading Iraq, a country that absolutely nothing to the US, publicly stated he was on a mission from god and even metioned the crusade. As a young student in catholic school in Belgium (I am now in the US) I was told those who do not accept Jesus will be doomed to hell. And to justify the atrocities committed by King Leopold in his private colony of Belgium Congo and then continued somewhat by the Belgium government, the history books excused this colony as bringing religion and civilization to the “savages”. If one reads about the genocides Leopold and Belgium perpetrated on the Congolese, one wonders who are the real savages.
Christianity became the largest religion in the world because it committed the most atrocities. Islam became the second largest religion because it committed the second most atrocities.
To this day, taqquia and fatwa is a thing.
When was the last time your herd of anyone being forced to go to Jesus?
You are comparing apples and oranges. Blasphemy may not be present in modern day Christianity unlike Islam. However, atrocities are still there. There are still countries where Christianity is a state religion. Still a few where the church interferes in the state matter.
Anyway, by comparing yourselves to the Islamists you feel vindicated and morally superior then go ahead. In many Western countries especially the US communists are still discriminated. Officially it may not be banned but de facto it is with all the restrictions.
If communists were discriminated against we wouldn’t have pantifa and the marxist faculty lounge destroying our children’s minds. It would seem you may have been one of those victims.
The torture and deaths attributable to religion is dwarfed by the religion of communism. Stalin and Mao alone were responsible for over 100 million deaths. No religion, even the self-admittedly violent Islamists, could never dream of such a calamity.
Dear Victor and kedar, you have both been down voted ….. many who have down voted should check history: the ottoman regime used to rule over people of many religions (including christians) living peacefully together. This was savagely destroyed by the Europe Christians in the 16th century due to hatred of the Muslims ( the rulers of the ottoman empire) . Their hatred was so bad that they extended their revenge by destroying populations in the Americas because it was thought they were Muslim as well , a hatred carried on in a hatred of the black people in the americas that may still be one of the reasons for the differences between white and black in North America. Much much later in history (very recent) the more human sides of christianism have become to the forefront….. and muslim culrtures become more intolerant….history is complicated,and we each prefer to remember that our side is best….
And the Ottoman Empire was just a club that half of Eurasia decided to join of their own free will! And so many Slavs decided to volunteer for free labor that their name became the modern word “slave”! Good ol’ Ottomans!
The only “side” to be on is the one where I may disagree with your opinion but I will defend to the death your right to have and express them.
Everyone follows that and we have peace.
I think communism committed more atrocities.
Christianity did commit atrocities but that was in less enlightened times.
Communism has its share of atrocities and no dispute about that. However, for a long, long time journalism and history writing has been dominated by people from predominantly White Christian nations. There is always the zero effect. That is when portraying your enemy/opponent’s atrocities add a few zeroes. When mentioning your own atrocities downplay them and remove a few zeroes. No surprise that it has been done with communists either. Guys like Stalin and Mao indeed killed millions. However, many war casualties were also added to that list. During the Vietnam War, the atrocities by North or communists are magnified but those by South are downplayed. Worst is trying to portray someone like Fidel Castro as a mass murderer. He was no doubt a tyrant and despot but hardly a monster. More of a run of the mill dictator. On the other hand the atrocities of the British Empire especially Churchill with his Bengal Famine have been downplayed. It is even ludicrous to suggest that he was fighting for freedom.
Even in recent times there were Christian atrocities on the Jews. Pogroms and Pale of Settlement was common in Czarist Russia. After the Bolshevik Revolution Jews were better off. Holocaust was a religious based atrocity. Stalin and his communist Russia made the most sacrifices in defeating Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Stalin helped Nazi Germany to rearm, and signed a pact with Nazi Germany to split Poland. Only when Germany broke the pact and proceeded further to the East, Stalin asked his people to sacrifice. Most of WWII’s Easter front was fought in Ukrainian territory, which had lost around 2-4 million during the Ukrainian famine.
Many in Western Europe especially the aristocracy including Edward VIII supported the Nazis. Many in the US including Prescott Bush were involved in funding and arming them. To many Westerners, communists were a bigger threat and even after the War started many of them dreamt of Britain, France, and Germany joining together and attacking Russia. Information has never been declassified but speculation is that Rudolf Hess had come with such a proposal.
Europe was full of murderous rouges during that time. Hitler, Churchill, Mussolini, Stalin, Franco. Some of them like Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy had colonies in Asia and Africa. I for one am glad that WW2 happened. US became the unopposed leader of Western world and USSR despite severe losses gained more prominence. For rest of them it was either a defeat or a pyrrhic victory. Practically all of them lost their colonies and that was a good deal.
Please spare me the poor Poland thing. It had no problems in conspiring with Germany to capture parts of Czechoslovakia called Zaolzie. Even after German occupation many of them collaborated in rounding up the Jews.
You also need to read up on Operation Barbarossa. It will tell you the extent of the German invasion of Russia.
The best outcome of the current conflict in Ukraine is if the tyrants kill each other.
If Christians attacked anyone who blasphemed against it, we would have murder on a gargantuan scale.
It’s only because Christianity is associated with the freest parts of the world (and therefore the most powerful) that the attacks in the West where most Christians are are relatively small in number whereas Muslims die at the hands of their so-called brethren every day in the lands they call home.
Many atrocities have occurred at the hands of religious fanatics but none more than Islamists and even that pales to insignificance compared to the death and destruction caused by secular extremists (fascists and communists).
Fascists may be regarded as secular by definition
But not communists. Their books, dogmas and faith do not leave much room for doubting and the quasi-divinity of their leaders confirm this!
One thing is certain, the biggest villains and murderers in history all had ‘socialist’ in their titles.
The spread of Islam comes a close second in murder, mayhem and cultural destruction.
Indeed. Stalinism was a sort of religion, with a cult of personality and an unquestionable dogma. Other cults were forbidden. Same applies to Maoism.
Big Sadam fan, are you?
Shiite: such an astonishingly apposite word
When the fatwa was in the headlines and book shops were removing it from the shelves, I went into the local branch of Waterstones where much to their credit it was still on the shelf and I purchase it.
Anyway that is not the point of this story. As I was searching the shelves I noticed, close to The Satanic Verses, a copy of 100 years of Sodom. Thinking it would be some sort of medieval jape I removed it from the shelf, opened it at a random page and started reading.
After less than a paragraph I quickly closed the book and put it back on the shelf hoping no one had seen me. That is one book that does deserve to be banned and burned.
To ban a book is to underestimate the intelligence of other would be readers. Middle Eastern Islamic scholars promote book banning because Islamic teachings in that region in the last few centuries have destroyed the critical faculties of muslims there. Hell, these muslims are encouraged to be proud of their ignorance about everything except a few select verses of Quran.
Much like the white saviours who think black people need their “help”.
The hubris of the prog knows no bounds.
You have obviously not looked at it. it is one man’s journey to the depths of depravity. It is a danger to the mental wellbeing of anyone who opens it.
As Voltaire pointed out in Micro Megas, government officials condemn free thinkers for writing books they have not read.
I know for a fact that Waterstones also sells Mein Kampf, because they banned me a couple of years ago for repeatedly reshelving the woke racist book Why I’m No Longer Talking To Crackers About Race next to it.
I too have a copy on order, and plan to read it in public university settings. Fortunately, I live in an open carry state.
It is probable that most people at today’s American universities will have no idea who wrote the book or what it’s about.
Good idea. I’ve got my old copy which I’m going to take on the tube to ostentatious read.
Have a read – or as much as you can stomach of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s ‘Little Green Book’ too!
It will make clear what a bat-sh-t crazy theocratic bully he was and underscores the fact that his millions of adherents must have been (still are) equally mad, but also psychotic and very dangerous .
I hope Rushdie survives and lives on to give enlightening videos like this one where with great humor he exposes the demented theocracy of the leadership of the Iranian Republic in all it’s insane absurdity.
Thanks Andy. I’ll have a peek once I’ve managed to get hold of a decent anti-emetic.
Are you brave enough to stroll down through Stapleton Rd carrying it. There are Somali cafes over at Barton Hill. You could order a meal in one of them and read it. My brother tells me they make am incredible good sort of lamb stew.
But I bet by “woke” you mean Bishopston or Montpelier or even Clifton
And does anybody still go to libraries. There always closed.
You’re absolutely right about what I mean by woke – I live in Montypee and am far too cowardly to brandish it on Stapleton Road. However, the Central Library is fully open, and is often used by Muslims including many Somalis.
I applaud your plan and wish you well.
It’s really somewhat a mix of two novels. The most controversial chapters are II and VI.
Excellent. I’ll do the same in the United States.
Big difference? I will have a firearm as is every human’s right if you want to call yourself free.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has the advantage that she understands the self-righteous fanaticism of the orthodox Muslim having been one. This is a mindset that those of us brought up in Europe find it difficult to comprehend as even the more enthusiastic Christians among us are not likely to wish to see a blasphemer against Christianity killed and are inclined to apologise for causing unintended offence to Muslims hence our craven approach.
Having abolished the criminal offence against our God we have now created much wider taboos against causing offence to new religions and social shibboleths. We should, of course, come down with the full force of the law against anyone calling for a fatwa against any of our citizens for apostasy so far as we can. We need to be a bit more fanatical in upholding our values.
Christians among us are not likely to wish to see a blasphemer against Christianity killed
Been to the USA recently?
Have you? Clearly not.
Allison I like your reply, however, IF it is a “Christian” who wishes the death of a blasphemer, they will be denied as a being a “Christian”. You see …. Christians have a couple of very big blind spots. They do not see the connection in Hitler’s Catholic upbringing and his ultimate damage to the Jewish population of Europe. And they do not see that it’s not enough to stand FOR Christianity. Christians must stand against evil – not only against the liturgy that brought the Holocaust, but AGAINST the Koran which brings us Islamic Hate Speech. The Koran is roughly 51% political speech against the Kafir and should be defined as such by secular law. The 49% of Islam which covers how to be a good Muslim is OK. It is the 51% which tells Muslims how to oppress the Kafir which needs to lose protection as a religious doctrine.
Being a Christian is merely following the ways of Jesus Christ, which is clearly spelled out in the new Testament. There is absolutely nothing that suggests that we should invoke violence to anyone, including our enemies. And claiming that Hitler’s Catholic upbringing had anything to do with his demonic tendencies against Jews is like claiming that his love of liverwurst was also to blame.
What Warren said (below).
Moh’d Mahmoud Taha tried to free the Quran from its Medinan surahs. He was executed in 1985, for sedition and apostasy.
OK- give us an example.
Don’t know why you got so many down votes for pointing out the US is fast becoming a theocracy.
A theocracy of woke racist intolerance has captured the media, universities, and the Democrats.
Though we do have the religious antagonism between so-called catholics and so-called Protestants in Northern Ireland and central Scotland – much more extreme I believe when I was a child in the seventies who was brought up across the divide, and where a failure to correctly identify with the area/group you were ‘alongside’ could result in rather negative outcomes.
I used to enjoy being a wee bit provocative depending on which territory I happened to be visiting. It didn’t go down well, especially with my relatives.
Have you been to Northern Ireland recently? In the areas where sectarian strife still happens, most of the churches have closed. The conflict in Ireland is about land (sovereignty), not religion. Only the uninformed think it’s about religion. I have lived in Northern Ireland all my life.
Totally agree. I’m afraid that the UK, US, Canada and UE governments are doing exactly the opposite: protecting all those who attack Human rights in the name of any foreign supremacist cult.
Especially if such cult is related to oil & gas.
thankyou – and much respect to you – may you live long and prosper Ayaan
It is for courageous articles like this one that I subscribe to Unherd. They are timely reminders that the freedoms that we take for granted must always be defended and stood upon- they do not survive if their adherents are not willing to defend them and stand on the principles they represent. This article is a booster, a shot in the arm of courage when it is easy to become cowed and weakened by dismay. Courageous authors who walk their talk, and warn against the malaise that will undermine and ultimately take down the freedoms we take for granted if we don’t recognise it in time and stand up for them. Way to go Ayaan – I hope if ever called, I may be just as brave and courageous as you are
Governments have a duty to protect their citizens. Unless Western governments start to use the power of the state to seriously oppose Islamist culture within their borders, the continued growth of Muslim populations in the West will surely result in either partition of the state or civil conflict (or both)?
Agreed, but clever, and cynical, use of the propaganda term “Islamophobia” has successfully restricted any meaningful discussion on the sort of government initiative you are correctly suggesting.
I confess that I have a profound respect for Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
I’m proud to say that I have a profound respect for Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Very well put.
Since 9/11, Western governments have accelerated Muslim mass immigration.
Western Europe will soon be nearing a time when it contains as many fighting-age Muslim men as there are fighting-age white Europeans. If free speech cannot be defended now, then imagine what it will be like then.
Incumbent rulers either cannot see a problem, or if they can, they have not got the stomach to address it.
If it is still possible, a democratic revolution is not just justified, it is necessary.
Um, the ‘rulers’ who make these decisions for the purpose of gaining votes have ALL got escape plans for if the results of their decisions cause chaos-did you not all know this ?? it is the gormless voters who are facilitating these decisions – and getting the results they voted for……… Totally insane situation – imbeciles should not be allowed to vote (boy is that going to get me in trouble…) – i am pretty sure the greeks did not let any Tom d**k or Harry determine their future…..Ah well democracy being the best of a bad bunch we are stuck with ongoing stupidity it seems – no point in being surprized tho….
I think you might be overstating the issue. While there’s been a lot of mass migration, the percentage of Muslims in most European countries is still in single figures
Islam encourages migration for the sake of eventual Islamic domination, it’s called Hijrah, https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2016/02/15/hijrah-immigration-the-islamic-practice-in-the-infidels-lands/
There is something hopeful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In0bpB7FyDA&t=19s
Let’s hope politicians, academics and the media listen to your voice; it is the voice of experience and of pragmatic reason.
We are faced with an enemy that never gives up, who thinks in terms of centuries rather than months or years, and who will wait patiently for an opportunity to strike. Only by understanding these different conceptions of civilisation can we begin to undo the damage wrought by the Iranian regime and other Islamists across the world.
Yes, there really are different ideas of civilisation — and yes, they are in conflict with each other. The sooner we realise this, the sooner we can recover our belief in Western civilisation, and stand up for it unflinchingly against its enemies, both foreign and domestic.
As well for China.
I have never understood the labeling of Shah Reza Pahlavi a “despot”, as Ayaan does here. Granted, she was a child caught up in a madness inflicted by adults when she was gleefully burning Rushdie book facsimiles, but she is an adult now, living in and benefiting from the freedoms of the West. Surely she knows that Persia, under the Shah, was a stunningly prosperous, modern country and that women – in miniskirts! – were enjoying a robust public life in all spheres, particularly universities and professional fields. Reza Pahlavi was a pro-Western modernizer and fervently anti-communist – the very opposite of a despot. When he was forced to flee and his flourishing, oil-rich country fell to the barbarism of the ayatollah, that’s when the horror of Iran’s modern despotism began.
He could be and probably ws, all these things and still be a despot, there are many anti-communist despots around the world, and some are even pro-western. Having said this, if I had to live in Iran, I wold rather live under the Shah’s despotic rule than in the present despotic regime.
I certainly don’t think Shah Reza Pahlavi was beyond criticism, but I know from the accounts of a number of friends who worked there as Engineers and some Iranians who worked here, that life there was good and improving even for the poor.
The ignorance and utter insouciance of the US and European Governments who facilitated the egregious Khomeini and his gang of thugs to take Iran over is a good candidate for the most idiotic policy failure 1950-2000.
But he made all those poor Persian ladies wear Western fashion and show off their hair. He made them wear mini-skirts and make up. It was so cruel. How could they feel liberated and empowered like that. Back when I had a TV I got my education on this matter from the Sunday morning discussion show hosted by Nicky Campbell. On every show there would be at least 3 Muslim ladies in full fig (buy oddly,usually western converts) explaining vociferously and forcefully that wearing the robes and face covering is not only pleasant and attractive bit it’s liberating and empowering and all true,real Muslim ladies want to. So I’ve been told and educated on the matter.
Yes. I’ve never got that either. I can see that he might have been an unpleasant person -, but so am I. I reckon I’d be a really cruel dictator if I was in power over a country but luckily I’m not and never will be. Of course he was deeply in with the Americans and the oil companies. Or I assume so, I wonder if in behind the scenes political terms he wasn’t so useful to them or something like that. As for using torture,pretty limp charge against him considering ISIS et al.
Nixon made this infamous quote about a Latin American dictator, “I know he is a son of a ***** but he is our son of a *****”. The Shah was our son of a ***** while the Ayatollah was simply a son of a *****.
You know who was better than the Shah? Mossagdeh and his secular democratic Iran. I doubt you have heard of Operation Ajax but for the sake of ARAMCO and other oil companies, CIA and MI-6 overthrew him and his government. The Shah carried out the coup with the assistance of none other than the Mullahs. Fast forward 25 years and they had a falling out and the Mullahs showed him who is the boss.
The Shah had SAVAK, the secret police, who murdered and tortured political opponents. Yes, he was a despot even if he westernized Iran.
Our state religion today is Our Most Holy Anti-White Church of Political Correctness, which is by far the most powerful religion being practiced — committing public heresy against it can cost you your job or your business. Free speech takes second place to the requirement of not committing blasphemy against Our Most Holy Church of PC, whose hidden core dogma is White Genocide.
We are with you Ayaan, hang in there xxx
Congratulations to Ayaan Hirsi Ali for standing-up for Enlightenment values and for demanding, rightly, that the West defends them.
I also agree with her that Islamism is an implacable opponent of the West; that does not mean though that Islam is itself incompatible with the West. If it is, it is only in the same sense that other religions (Christianity et ali) are also incompatible. This should not surprise as the Enlightenment grew out of opposition to religious obscurantism and attempts to constrain thinking.
How we ensure that the Islam that emerges in the West mirrors the attitudes of the ‘dear old Church of England’ and not the book-burning, fatwa-declaring Islamism of Iran, is a moot question. I don’t know the answers but, despite the horrors of the attack on Rushdie, many more of our fellow citizens just get on with life and, increasingly, want to take a full
part in it: we should encourage this.
If it is, it is only in the same sense that other religions (Christianity et ali) are also incompatible.
In what way is Christianity “incompatible with the West”? What did Jesus preach that doesn’t work for Western values? Please explain.
Not to hoard up money. Not to desire money or strive for it. If you’ve got it to give it all away. Not to own property,he doesn’t say directly,but He makes it obvious that owning stuff is a drag,man. Yes,the parable of The Talents goes against this but that’s because the saying attributed to Jesus are an anthology of sayings from the many stoic and cynic teachers about at that time,which is why they sometimes contradict. I was brought up with the “give all your money to the poor people Jesus”.
Other Jesus’s are available.
Believe me, the dear old C of E would be as bad as Islam if it hadn’t been chained up in the cellar in the last century. We would have witch burning, not to mention hundreds of years of abusing children and women.
I think you are confusing the Dear old C of E that knows hellfire burns and so rarely if ever bring up the topic with the not so dear RCC that for me, raised as a Catholic the men in skirts when ‘administering’ to their flock never missed an opportunity to bring up the topic of how eternal damnation would be the punishment for my sins.
Cor. In my neighbourhood if there was witch burning I’d be first up there at the stake. But then I do live in Bristol where your neighbours murder you with impunity if you garden. Only weirdos like gardening.
That’d be a good day out wouldn’t it. People could bring picnics or maybe there’d be catering vans,it’d be a jolly afternoon for the community.
Since the recent attack on Salman Rushdie, Voltaire’s memorable phrase ‘pour encourager les autres’ could be changed to ‘pour decourager les auteurs.’
So what do you think of the Anglo American fatwah that you and we now live in against those who argue about climate change, racism and LGBT, and most journalists are to cowardly to oppose?
What fatwa is this? I have not heard of any climate change sceptic being put under a death sentence, and although there are certaining some horrific people in the “trans community” who threaten all sorts of things no-one feels the need to have 24 hour police protections. Let’s not over dramatise this.
Cancel culture is fatwa light – with 90% less violence.
maybe ‘fatwa lite’?
First of all let me say that I applaud Salman Rushdie and Aayan Hirsi Ali for standing up to Islamism and in support of free speech. Especially for the author since she said that she is an atheist and in Islam apostasy is looked down very unfavorably and is even punishable by death. Of course conversion to Islam is fine and is even encouraged. Mr. Rushdie has endured a threat on his life for over three decades from some of the most fanatical and irrational people the planet has seen. Kudos to him and even if there are times I think he is wrong I still support his right to say it.
However, the words of English speaking left-leaning liberal intellectuals ring hollow. Be they be from India, Canada, US, or the UK. Normally they kiss up to Islamists and use the fear of Islamophobia to suppress free speech. Today they are shocked and speaking out only because Rushdie was one of them. Western educated, suave, award winning novelist, who moves in their own circle. If he could be attacked in New York then any of them could be attacked anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
The same empathy and support has not been given to others especially in developing world. Recently there has been a controversy in India about insulting Islamic Prophet Muhammad. The genesis is that on a TV discussion some Islamic scholars denigrated Hinduism. As a non practicing Hindu who doesn’t like religions I had no problems with that. However, two of BJP people i.e. Naveen Jindal and Nupur Sharma simply referred to an Islamic Surah. Immediately, there were howls of protest from the Islamic World. The same English speaking liberals did not support the free speech of Jindal and Sharma. On the contrary every article in the Western media was biased. Subsequently, Kanhaiya Lal a tailor from Udaipur was killed for supporting Nupur Sharma. No empathy towards him either.
I am struggling to find what Nupur Sharma actually said. All I get is innuendo, reports about reports, and huffing and puffing by BJP etc. I read that two people were murdered by Islamists even before Ms Sharma was killed, all despite her withdrawing the remarks ‘unconditionally’. Yet it seems impossible to discover exactly what was their crime. The only thing I think I know is that it had to do with the age of the Prophet’s wife Ayesha. I can see that it is foolish to judge 7th century customs by today’s standards, but it is equally absurd to demand that 7th century personages be inviolate to analysis and criticism after 1300 years.
It’s amazing how accommodating the West is with Muslims and their warlike religion when little or no such accommodation exists toward other religions in Islamic countries. Take the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff where even truth is held as not a defense in European courts. She had suggested that Muhammad was a pedophile. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld her conviction on inciting hatred toward Muslims and for having disparaged their prophet as unworthy of veneration
You’re awesome Aayan.
Easy now Benjamin.
Worth noting that Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes: “…of all the people in the Muslim world and the West who dare to challenge sacred dogmas…”
Let us not, from the West, cast stones from a greenhouse. The past 2.5 years have been defined by the preaching of untouchable dogmas, and vilification and cancelling of those who disagree. It is a human problem, not a Muslim problem. The Khomeini’s of the media and public health world also have much to answer for, and their followers are little different..
A very good point. And people may say you are exaggerating but during the lockdown many voiced opinions and wanted actions against the unvaccinated/unmasked/non compliers. See what was said and written and you’ll see it was only a step or two from apartheid, incarceration etc. After that who knows: ‘we were only following orders’.
I always liked Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I enjoyed her book about her childhood. But now I hate her. She was consistently vociferous on TV shows I saw about non-jabbed and non-mask wearers being made homeless,to teach them,being made unemployed,not being allowed into shops to buy food etc,and she had this idea that they (we) should have to wear a big colourful mark of some kind on our outer clothing so other people could identify us and avoid our contagion. How about a big yellow Star Yasmin,that suitable? I thought Mrs Woman,you’ve been to university,you didn’t do history then.
She’s not so sweet as she sounds and looks. She’s one of those dear sweet old grannies who sits at the front of the wrestling and thumps the wrestler with her brolly if he gets chucked over the edge or if asked by a vox pop in the street smilingly declares,”bring back hanging”.
She wrote for The Guardian and The New York Times. How could you have ever liked her?
Maybe Jane has not bought into the recent trend to despise those with an opinion opposite to our own. Perhaps you need to recognise the difference between a fact and an opinion.
The fact is that The Guardian and The New York Times sympathised with Islamists’ right to be offended and issue a fatwa against Salman Rushdie, but they did not respect Salman Rushdie’s right to offend Islam. That in my opinion is hypocrisy. These left-leaning establishments have become willing useful idiots in the hands of Islamofacists. Their opinions are not consistent with their philosophy.
She is an obnoxious woman who took refuge in our country and has made a good living out of hating us. She keeps promising to leave when we choose to do things she doesn’t like! All lies! She never leaves!
Salman Rushdie himself said, Islamists have carefully crafted a victim, minority narrative so it appears they are being victimised in the West but it is, in fact, a powerful political movement which is heavily funded. As an atheist, I do not think religious beliefs are “harmless.” They are capable of extreme harm given free reign. Just look at the US today and the rolling back of reproductive rights. Cause make no mistake, it’s women and girls they have it in for the most. Take care, Aayan.
Well you got this part right.
A thumbs up.
The reproductive right to abort a healthy foetus right up to term? Cos that’s what they do over there.
Thank you for an uplifting article. Western civilisation saw off religious dogma in its great enlightenment 3 centuries ago. The result was the unprecedented increase in everyone’s well-being of which our generation has been the latest beneficiary. It seems that new dogmas arise all the time like new strains of infectious organisms and I worry that our western immune system, rather than fighting these pathogens effectively, is becoming tired and worn out.
Here we are in the West, learning, progressing, changing every day and here are these frightened and frightening people, scared of the future. God help them. Suppression versus expression. We can only leave them behind and carry on regardless. Civilization is like a plant. It grows, it expands but a dead tree never leaves where it is mentally or physically. Defend the faith or move on to discover more, using it only as a foundation (a means to an end, not sacred).
I have a copy of The Satanic Verses from way back – it’s a first edition. I have now tried to read it, not easy as I lean more towards science than art, and I find nothing in it about ancient or modern history that is unjustified. The story of the Satanic Verses themselves was current with Islamic scholars in the 10th century, though I am not clear whether the Ayatollah also claimed to have made a night flight to Jerusalem. The fatwa and the general sensitivity of Islam seem to arise from a combination of resentment of the West and the internal contradictions and onerous baggage of a religion and culture that seems not so much mediaeval as pre-Biblical.
The author is strongly supportive of ‘the West’, but what is the West and what makes it special? It is essentially Europe, excluding Russia, and its offshoots in North America. Europe’s origins are in diverse cultures, city-states and subsequently countries identifiable as having national character which, helped by geography, resisted homogenisation. It has been subjected to home-grown and foreign empires, but the only remnant is the legacy of Roman Christianity, and we can argue about whether that was ever more than a veneer of expediency. Not since Rome, at least, has Europe been a collection of local peoples easily overwhelmed by an organised expansionary power. Empire has also not been sustained in South-East Asia and only to a limited degree in Greater India. This contrasts with the Russian, Chinese and Islamic spheres of influence, and again geography may have much to do with it.
‘The West’ is unique and uniquely valuable in that its cultural roots reach back without interruption not just to the rich cultures of the Mediterranean 2500 years ago, but to whatever forms of civilisation those cultures grew out of, including of course the Fertile Crescent. It can claim to be the most ancient as well as the most modern of civilisations. Other places in the world that harboured ancient civilisations, but whose peoples were displaced by invaders, may retain the monuments but not the spirit, nor the unbroken intellectual and literary tradition.
So ‘The West’ is more than just a place or even an idea, it is a paradigm of human civilisation. Its less commendable features, like internal wars, hubristic arrogance, imperialist exploitation of and extraction from other people and places around the world, over-consumption, and inequities of national and global capitalism, while certainly not independent of that paradigm, are not its essence. Curiosity and openness of mind, freedom of thought, expression, communication and debate are. It is a duty upon all its members to preserve these against autocrats, sectarian bigots and religious dogmatists of all colours.
It’s a shame Ayaan Hirsi Ali thinks invading Iraq was a good idea. Nevertheless, an important article. Despite all the exhortations to stand up for free expression etc. since the fatwa, only a tiny minority has ever published anything critical of Islam. Certainly after the stabbing of Salman Rushdie in Chautauqua nobody is going to publish their criticisms of Islam. The Ayatollah achieved what he intended.
It’s always worth re-reading the scintillating prose of Midnight’s Children, and the magical realism of the elusive Shame. I haven’t read The Satanic Verses so can’t comment.
Most authors and commentators are frightened of reprisals were they to publicly criticise Islam. Criticising Islam in polite company is normally verboten.
All over the world ordinary voters generally consider it important that their government: 1) refrains from interfering in the internal affairs of Sunni and Shia majority countries which are free to export fundamentalist ideology, 2) secures access to Middle East oil, and 3) protects jobs in the arms industry that generates profits.
In regard to exporting fundamentalism rulers of Sunni or Shia majority countries only fear the governments of Russia and China.
Khomeini wasn’t a fundamentalist, he was a weirdo mystic who was regarded as a bit odd by the Iranian ulema, many of whom found his political ideas shocking. I’m not going to defend the man, he was a tyrant, but he wasn’t the man westerners think he was, and the regime he created isn’t what westerners think it is.
That Khomeini was “definitely weird” is vey true.
Have a read of his ‘Little Green Book.”
But according to what I hear and know, Iran is a Theocratic Islamic Republic controlled by theocratic bullies.
Also this what the Iranians who have managed to escape have verified.
What do you think it is?
Well he isn’t what Ayaan thinks at least. One of the oddest things about him in view of his dogmatism was that he was a poet, including of the Ghazal form which are romantic, almost erotic love poems. His poems are available in English in a volume entitled “The Wine of Love”.
Most likely with thoughts of his favourite goat.
Fine to have carnal relationship with goat, but not to eat her subsequently.
And as he famously opined, “There are No jokes in Islam”.
See Little Green Book etc.
Dirty old man. Albert Steptoe comes to mind.
He liked austerity so he lived in Paris ha ha ha.
Author Ian McEwan pointed out: “People who are utterly secure in their God should be above taking physical revenge when offended. Perhaps the book-burners and placard-wavers were, paradoxically, troubled by the first gremlins of doubt.” And that doubt is the source of the Muslim outrage.
The reason the book offends Muslims is because they know the verses were originally in the Qur’an ( See book Before Orthodoxy: The Satanic Verses in Early Islam by Shahab Ahmed) and the doubt is deep in their sub-conscience that it wasn’t Satan who duped Muhammad and inserted it but that it was indeed Muhammad himself that put it in as he was trying a compromise with the Meccans to convert them. It didn’t work and so the verses were removed with the claimed about Satan. After all, how likely could the prophet be duped like this when the Qur’an itself says that Allah protects it? And how many other verses then could be Satan’s? The thought that’s hidden deep in probably every Muslim’s mind, that this book arouses, is that possibly M was a fraud.
“…highest ideals and values of the West: free speech, freedom of conscience, the emancipation of women, and a free press.”
I’ve never heard the West’s ideals described like that. The fact is there’s a reality that isn’t based on what anyone believes. History and clinging to updated “values” will not change what we’ll reap from our choices today. We are not going back.
As a Christian, I have no desire to try to fix a world in rebellion to God. Let the Muslims try, but they will fail. Let the atheist build his diverse kingdom, but he will fail as well. I believe in religious freedom, but I also know God will accomplish his will in the end.
Put your faith in the true Jesus where you can find peace with God and hope in what He is accomplishing. Or not, your choice.
I fail to see how the world is ‘in rebellion against God’, nor why an atheist, per se, should seek to build a kingdom, though they might seek to encourage diversity. The non-existence of God is at least something we can all share, and I doubt there is case for deep divisions over what form that non-existence takes.
Perhaps rule the world would be a better description. The non existence of God, or believing no God exists, is the religion of the atheist. It’s based on faith just like the faith of the theist. The theist will look to God for understanding of the world. He will seek an objective morality. The atheist will base his morality on his subjective understanding. The two will conflict. The Founders of the US based their understanding on Christian morality as taught by Christ – not our laws, but the morality of the people who will vote and determine the laws. This author is changing our founding values as atheists and those of other religions influence Western democracies. Who will come out on top? I believe in a God who will ultimately rule the world. It is not up to me to fix it.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali – the epitome of honesty and courage.
As a descendant of Irish Catholics, the religious barbarism in my home country was every bit as bad as that inflicted by the Taliban. Two of my aunties were incarcerated in the Magdalen laundries in the thirties. Not so long ago.
I was born in 1953, I had nothing to do with your aunties being ‘incarcerated’ in the Magdalen laundries.
That’s the worst example of grievance mongering, I’ve heard. and a pathetic attempt to weaponize history.
Just stop it.
This just grievance mongering and a pathetic attempt to weaponize history.
Stop playing the victim
“Two of my aunties were incarcerated in the Magdalen laundries in the thirties.”
The poor dears.
You don’t have to go that far back. Savita Halappanavar’s death is due to Irish Catholicism. Its decision to ban abortion was responsible for this lady losing her life. Andrea Prudente an American in Malta was going to meet a similar fate. Luckily, she was able to get to Spain to have the abortion required.
You are wrong. There is absolutely no truth in what you write. The young woman had undiagnosed sepsis.
She developed sepsis after she was refused an abortion. Doctors were not ready to perform an abortion because the fear and threat of criminal prosecution. Would an abortion have saved her life? I don’t know but that was a viable option that should have been available if not for religious interference. Wikipedia and Google are your friends. There are numerous articles on the issue including many from medical professionals.
Very clearly much more study is required on the history of the Taliban during their time in government in Afghanistan, together with the type of puritanical Islam upon which their savage rule is based. Your comparison lacks seriousness.
Whilst you are a great self-publicist, you are nothing compared to Salman Rushdie. He is a literary genius who has never lied to take advantage of Europeans. You have no hesitation lying to get what you want. Why would anyone pay you for your views?
so you’re saying this is a war of good against evil, and calling it freedom. and this “piece” (of cr.p) finds a place here, how? why, because any so-called “alternative” or “independent” media, like this one here, is complete rubbish. no such thing as “independent” or “alternative” media exists. in this pure “western” civilization of “yours” that finds it “secular” guarantee in the existence of “evil”, only propaganda can be free.”unherd” ha! not even ironic anymore. stupidity reigns. what an embarrassment.
You nailed it Burcu.
Exactly why Islamists like you (apparently) should, on no account, ever settle in the UK.
See my reply to the first poster at the top of the page.
Especially make sure to open the URL for the video.
I see you are the the translator of Foucault by Giles Deleuze into Turkish.
Also you have translated Derrida.
Much is explained.
“so you’re saying this is a war of good against evil…”
First few word and first strawman. No, Ayaan is saying we should take action against evil. Nobody is perfect but action against evil is always right.