Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Religion of Peace: Exhibit 2215

Queen Elizabeth II, to her credit, has knighted literary icon Salman Rushdie. The history of Rushdie's seminal work, The Satanic Verses, the death fatwa issued against him by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the rioting against Rushdie that followed Khomeini's proclamation
should be well-known. Rushdie's ordeal in the nine years following the fatwa until the Iranian government vowed that it would not seek to kill him as condition to re-establishing relations with the UK in 1998, should be too: he lived in hiding, needed full-time security, disguised his movements and did not appear in the open without first attempting to divert surveillance. His tribulations were a precursor to the ones Ayaan Hirsi Ali has suffered more recently.

Despite promises of protest, cries of outrage in Pakistan, and vows of violence, Queen Elizabeth knighted Rushdie. She did not back down in response to irrational threats and behavior. That's fitting, because neither did Rushdie.

No comments: