Friday, June 22, 2007

Iranian cleric reaffirms call for the killing of Salman Rushdie

I hadn't planed on coming off my hiatus until Monday, but this AP story made my typing fingers too itchy:


A high-level Iranian cleric said Friday that the religious edict calling for the killing of Salman Rushdie cannot be revoked, and he warned Britain was defying the Islamic world by granting the author knighthood.

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami reminded worshippers of the 1989 fatwa during a sermon at Tehran University, aired live on state radio. Thousands of worshippers chanted "Death to the English."

Khatami does not hold a government position but has the influential post of delivering the sermon during Friday prayers once a month in the Iranian capital. He did not directly call for the fatwa to be carried out.

"Awarding him means confronting 1.5 billion Muslims around the world," Khatami said. "In Islamic Iran, the revolutionary fatwa ... is still alive and cannot be changed."

Then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued the fatwa in 1989, calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie because his book "The Satanic Verses" was deemed insulting to Islam. Rushdie was forced into hiding for a decade, and the edict deeply damaged Britain's relations with Iran. In 1998, the Iranian government sought to patch up ties by declaring that it would not support the fatwa but that it could not be rescinded.

Queen Elizabeth II's decision to knight Rushdie drew a complaint from the Iranian government and protests around the Muslim world.
The continued existence of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie is more than just a threat against one man and his publisher; it is a threat against a fundamental tenant our civilization, which is that each individual is free to express himself and his ideas without fear of threats or physical coercion. That Iran's clerics continue to attack the very cornerstone of our civilization reveals yet again that Iran itself continues to be uncivilized. No one had the right to coercively edit Salman Rushdie or any citizen of the West. No government cleric had the right to call for any free man's murder.

Rather than continue to sit idly by while Iran's clerics boast of their savage edict, it's high time that the West respond in kind. At bare minimum, if a jihadist issues a fatwa threatening the life and freedom of a citizen of the West, that jihadist must die.

I think a few 1,000 lb bombs would do the work nicely.

15 comments:

USpace said...

Good one! Of course the very peaceful 'Muslims' are justified for destroying the whole world over this. What? The Queen can't knight someone she likes? She can't knight someone that other people don't like?

But I'm sure Sir Rushdie has mixed emotions on this; the Queen has put him in much greater danger. Maybe he'll wish he had turned it down.

At least this incident will lose the terrorists at least a few more of their dhimmidiot appeasers.

Islam in it's extreme is more political ideology than religion. In that way, it is only a 'Religion of Peace' in that when Islam rules the planet, there will be no one to be at war with. Where they are given an inch, they demand a mile. Islamic countries are becoming more extreme, extremists rule, they just keep quoting the Koran to justify their Jihad.


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
appease religious killers

continue to spoil them
violent tantrums pay off
.

dan rohr said...

I'm sure you recall Leonard Peikoff's letter in the NY Times (in '89); he really pegged what an incredibly terrible problem was facing the west. Too bad it wasn't acted upon then, nor will it likely be confronted now.

JR said...

Personally, I could care less what happens to a leftist puke like Rushdie.

The problem is that the West allows Muslims to enter Europe and the US. If we booted out every Moslem we could, that would do more to secure our safety than bombing Iran.

Burgess Laughlin said...

"jr," are you saying that you would exile anyone -- citizen or not -- from the U. S. A. (for example) because he declares himself to be a Muslim?

Do you see a problem here with respecting individual rights?

JR said...

BL,

I say that anyone who is a Moslem and may legally be deported from the US should be. That's not ideal, but what about bombing Iran (and the violation of rights caused to innocents who would be killed)?

My solution does not result in anyone being killed. If the US had this policy prior to 9/11, 9/11 wouldn't have happened.

Burgess Laughlin said...

JR: "I say that anyone who is a Moslem and may legally be deported from the US should be."

I am glad I asked. Your position, as you have now stated it, is much narrower. What you seem to be saying is that anyone illegally in this country, who is also a Muslim, should be deported. That would seem to be a much smaller group -- perhaps a few hundred? -- than the millions of Muslims in the country, citizen and noncitizen, but legally so.

JR: "That's not ideal, but what about bombing Iran (and the violation of rights caused to innocents who would be killed)?"

There seems to be a leap in logic here. I don't follow it. Perhaps you could explain. Are you thinking of the possibility of the U. S. attacking Iran in order to annihilate its regime and all those who support it (willingly or not)?

If so, then, yes, innocents will die. So what? Millions of innocents died in World War II. Other governments, especially those that sanction attacks on the U. S., are responsible for protecting their citizens. The U. S. is not responsible for them.

JR: "If the US had this policy prior to 9/11, 9/11 wouldn't have happened."

Why is that? Were all of the attackers here illegally?

Burgess Laughlin said...

JR: "Personally, I could care less what happens to a leftist puke like Rushdie."

I care a great deal about what happens to any individual in this country in terms of the law. All individuals are obligated to follow the law, and the law is obligated to protect the rights of all but convicted criminals.

A society that protects the rights of even the most despicable (like Bible-thumper conservatives) has a government of laws not of whimsical men who pick and choose those who are protected by the law and those who become victims.

JR said...

BL,

I wasn't clear. I am saying that all Moslems that we can legally expel from the US, we should. So if we can change the law and revoke student visas for Moslems, then I think we should. If we had done this then 9/11 wouldn't have happened. For example, none of these guys so far as I know were citizens and at least some had overstayed their visas.

That some civililians will die in a war is inevitable, but I think it is a tragedy that innocents die in war, so it is a big deal that, say, Germans who were too young to vote in 1933 were incinerated at Dresden. Do you also think it wasnt a "big deal" that millions of Americans were enslaved (drafted) to fight a war that FDR lied us into and to some extent (the Japanese war) provoked?

As far as Rushdie goes, he is not a US citizen. If he wants to provoke Moslems by accepting this honor, that's his business and that of the UKs.

dr said...

Cat Stevens on SR in '89
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7KnWHDFsjo
***
Let's not forget that book stores in the US were under threat at that time.

Burgess Laughlin said...

JR: "So if we can change the law and revoke student visas for Moslems, then I think we should."

Christians are an even greater immediate threat, so perhaps the solution is not to specify a particular religion (which is one type of worldview), but to specify a type of ideology (which is an application of a [universal] worldview to a [particular] milieu) -- that is, any ideology that threatens the fundamental values of Western civilization in general and the U. S. and allied governments in particular. The takfiri ideology would qualify. So would communism and nazism and so forth.

Burgess Laughlin said...

JR: "That some civililians will die in a war is inevitable, but I think it is a tragedy that innocents die in war, [...]"

It is indeed very sad that innocents -- including children and adults who are actively working to stop the enemy regime -- get killed sometimes in a war against that kind of nation-state. So what? I do not think military policy should change to protect the innocent among the many guilty, if such a change would entail any additional loss for the morally superior countries.

JR: "Do you also think it wasnt a "big deal" that millions of Americans were enslaved (drafted) to fight a war that FDR lied us into and to some extent (the Japanese war) provoked?"

Yes it was a "big deal" that some Americans were drafted in WWII and some of those died in fighting they might not have chosen. It was morally and therefore politically wrong to draft anyone. The draft is a form of slavery, as forced labor.

That fact (and the unconscionable act of setting up racist concentration camps for Japanese Americans) does not invalidate a relatively ruthless fight against a far worse enemy than the FDR administration. If the issue here is evaluation of the past rather than advocacy for the future, then one must always remember that history is messy. Even relatively good actions often were packaged with bad actions.

Thank you for the new information, about the student status of the attackers.

Burgess Laughlin said...

JR: "As far as Rushdie goes, he is not a US citizen. If he wants to provoke Moslems by accepting this honor, that's his business and that of the UKs."

Yes, and here is another example historical messiness. The monarchy of Great Britain (which gave the award) should be abolished. The award, as a statist activity, should never have been assigned.

Anyone speaking freely in this country and being threatened for it is the "business" of the U. S. government. That is what governments are for: to protect the rights of all those who are here (as always, excepting convicted criminals).

I do not take the anarchist approach of letting disreputable people fight their own battles to protect their rights. That is the "business" of government and it must apply to all.

JR said...

BL,

But given that FDR lied to Americans ("your boys aren't going to war") and provoked the Japanese into war, doesn't the blame belong primarly on him (and the chump voters who elected him)?

It seems to me that a policy of neutrality (which Rand supported) was morally appropriate.

In other words, if the US had minded its own business, the question of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden would be a moot point.

I see a parallel with the Middle East because at least part of the opposition to the US is due to our meddlesome foreign policy in that area. If we didn't suppor the Saudi kleptocracy, tax citizens to support Israel, attack Iraq, I dont' think there would be such animosity to the US.

Jack Galt said...

Salman Rushdie's life is not threatened because he received a title under the British honors system; it is threatened because he wrote a novel that blasphemed Islam, a crime punishable by death under Islamic law. To claim the West should sit on its hands is to claim that western governments have no responsibility to recognize and defend against threats to their citizens' lives. And to claim that America is to blame because the Islamic fascists hate us is to ignore the last 50 years of Western-Islamic relations.

After all, what incident enraged the Islamic world more in recent years--America's so-called meddlesome foreign policy, or when a small European newspaper ran cartoons depicting Mohammad in a negative light?

Dave Mann said...

Blaspheming Islam is absolutely not justification for these uncivilised morons to issue a fatwa on poor Sir Salman Rushdie.

But the greater crime of his terribly turgid overblown and frankly boring prose style is another matter altogether. Perhaps death is warranted after all. Is there a category for 'crimes against literature' perhaps?