Sympathy for the community
More sinister crap.
Jack Straw today sympathised with the hurt feelings of the Muslim community over the knighthood awarded to the author Salman Rushdie – and disclosed that he too is no fan of Sir Salman’s writing.
Ah – he too. He too like…? He too like Ijaz ul-Haq who thinks strapping on a bomb is the right response to novels one is not a fan of? He too like Khomeini who thought novelists who write novels unworthy of fandom should be murdered forthwith? Is that what Straw meant? If not, what did he mean? Well, maybe nothing, since maybe it was the reporter who put it that way. But why say it at all? An effort to throw a bone to a dog? ‘Well, dear members of the community, I can’t quite promise to snatch back the gong, or extradite Rushdie to Iran, or have him arrested and executed, but hey, at least I am no fan of his novels, so is that any help? Please say it is – I do so sympathize with the hurt feelings of the Muslim community over the knighthood awarded to Rushdie, and I do so long to cuddle the Muslim community until it stops crying.’
Why does he sympathize with the hurt feelings of the Muslim community over the knighthood awarded to Rushdie? No, really; why? What business do they have having hurt feelings about it at all? Why don’t they instead have abashed embarrassed exasperated feelings over 1) the attempts to get Rushdie killed and 2) the grossly disproportionate reaction to one passage in one novel? Well, some of them probably do, but you’d never know it to listen to all the moaning about hurt feelings and outrage and hoof huffff foomp waha.
Mr Straw…condemned the idea that Rushdie should be the subject of a revived fatwa, or Islamic death sentence, for the offence he caused to Muslims in his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses. But, questioned by MPs about concern in the Muslim community and asked how the knighthood came to be bestowed, Mr Straw said that he found Rushdie’s books heavy going.
So the Times can’t get it right either. The Times too says Rushdie caused offence to Muslims. Can no one over there get it right? Is there not one journalist in the UK who can manage to mention Rushdie without saying he caused the offence and the fatwa and global warming? (Yes, Johann Hari; any more?) Is there not one journalist in the UK who can dredge up a little skepticism about ‘concern in the Muslim community’? Concern about what, they don’t ask sharply – so let us ask it. Concern about what? About the fact that someone once wrote a novel that said something about the prophet that they don’t like, and to this day that someone has not been murdered or executed and now he even has a K? Is that what the concern is about? But given how obvious the stupidity of such concern is, why are MPs asking questions about it? Why aren’t they instead making statements about how footling it is, and then moving briskly on to other business?
Of course I understand the concerns and sensitivity in the community. That said there can be no justification whatever for suggestions that as a result of this a further fatwa should be placed on the life of Mr Rushdie.
Well you shouldn’t, Mr Straw – you shouldn’t understand the concerns and sensitivity in the community. They’re bad concerns, they’re not worth understanding, they have to be resisted and disputed, not understood. They’re wrong. They’re coercive, and dangerous, and wrong, and the more people understand them and sympathize with them and weep salt tears over them, the more coercive and dangerous they will become.
The Satanic Verses was condemned across the Islamic world on its publication and led to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issuing a fatwa, encouraging Muslims to kill the author.
The Satanic Verses was condemned across the Islamic world without having been read by most of that Islamic world, and it did not ‘lead to’ Khomeini issuing a fatwa, Khomeini did that of his own volition. (Either that or a buttefly made him do it; anyway it wasn’t Rushdie.)
Isn’t it kind of common knowledge to everyone who’s ever had or met a toddler, that you don’t make a big sympathetic fuss over every single whimper if you don’t want to end up with the Spoiled Monster From Hell who weighs 800 pounds and won’t leave? I’d have thought it was. So why is everyone falling over each other in the rush to treat ‘the Muslim community’ like the most demanding petulant screaming toddler that ever was on land or sea? I leave it to your wisdom to determine.