Sir Salman Rushdie has claimed that the people who defended his most controversial work would not have done so today because of creeping political correctness.
Leading literary figures rallied to Rushdie’s defence after The Satanic Verses incurred the wrath of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa for blasphemy against the author in 1989, which forced him into hiding.
Rushdie said he was dismayed by the protests that followed a decision by the American branch of the PEN writers’ association to award a prize for courage to Charlie Hebdo after many of its staff were murdered by two Islamists.
Barely three months after the attacks, more than 200 writers, including Michael Ondaatje, Peter Carey and Junot Díaz, signed a letter complaining that PEN was rewarding the satirical magazine for publishing “material that intensifies the anti-Islamic, anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments already prevalent in the Western world”.
“It seems we have learnt the wrong lessons [from the reaction to The Satanic Verses],” Rushdie told the French magazine L’Express.
“Instead of realising that we need to oppose these attacks on freedom of expression, we thought that we need to placate them with compromise and renunciation.”
Oddly enough, the tortured rationalizations for not denouncing every act (or threat) of Islamic violence all undermine the main contention of those doing the rationalizing, the idea that it’s just a few lone-wolf fringe whackos out there giving Islam a bad name. Working in tandem with this lunacy is the Ron Paul idea that we bring the crazy jihadist violence on ourselves.
It has been less than thirty years since the thoroughly unhinged Ayatollah Khomeini issued the fatwa against Rushdie for writing a book that hurt his feelings, yet people who were already adults then and should remember it have managed to either purge it from their minds or convince themselves it was simply a circumstance of a bygone age.
OK, they could be incredibly stupid too.
Whatever the case is, one thing is certain: those who pretend that the violent people aren’t violent are just as dangerous as the violent people. If you open the locked door for a murderer and he kills someone in the room, you’re part of the murder. It matters not that you convinced yourself that the murderer was different.
The MSM and entertainment media are complicit in this march to fatal political correctness, but people ultimately have to be clear thinking and responsible.