Salman Rushdie knighthood is causing a stir. They selected an Apostate who criticized the Islamic faith to be a knight? And they did so during a war against radical Muslims? Immediately, Radical Muslims in Iran, Pakistan and across the world called for Rushdie’s murder and retaliation against Britain. The British are braver than I thought.
Except they were clueless. The Selection Committee “never imagined that the award would provoke the furious response” by Muslims. How? Seriously. How can they be so insulated and deluded? Salman Rushdie has faced death threats for insulting Islam for decades, how could knighting him be anything but controversial?
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett fell over herself to apologize to angry mobs that want to murder a man for writing a book.
Freedom of Speech cannot be given away lightly. We cannot allow angry mobs to dictate what is acceptable speech.
So where are the defenders of Free Speech in the Newsmedia? Silence. Much like the Danish Cartoon controversy, journalists sacrificed their freedom of speech to appease an angry mob of religious fanatics.
Tim Rutten asks “Where is the West’s Outcry?”
“If you’re wondering why you haven’t been able to follow all the columns and editorials in the American press denouncing all this homicidal nonsense, it’s because there haven’t been any. And, in that great silence, is a great scandal.
Is there something beyond the solidarity of the decent that ought to have impelled every commentator and editorial page in the U.S. to express unequivocal support for Sir Salman this week?
Yes. . . . Equally to the point, what is the societal cost of silence among those who have not simply the moral obligation but also the ability to speak — like American commentators and editorial writers?
If Western and, particularly American, commentators refuse to speak up when their obligations are so clear, the fanatics will win and the terrible silence they so fervently desire will descend over vast stretches of our world — a silence in which the only permissible sounds are the prayers of the killers and the cries of their victims.”
Bloggers called attention to this and demonstrated far more bravery than supposed journalists. Butterfly and Wheels has been covering this controversy fairly well.
I do not believe a man should be murdered for writing a novel. Nor do I think we should appease an angry mob who would murder for so superficial a cause. This seems so absurdly obvious, yet in our world today, many do not agree with these principles.