by Arshad Ahmedi
Almost the whole of the Western world was outraged at the pronouncement of the edict of the Fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, on the author Salman Rushdie after the publication of The Satanic Verses.
The entire issue was diverted from the deep insult and injury it caused to Muslims all over the world to a simplified matter of “freedom of expression”. The Western media in particular had a field day in renewing its attacks on Islam and the whole fabric of Muslim society. All the latent fires of anti-Islam were rekindled, which have been instrumental in creating a bigger rift between Islam and the West.
In the aftermath of the grave episode of “The Rushdie Affair” a lot of questions needed to be, and were, asked. Who was, or were, to blame for threatening the very real prospects of bringing the whole world together under the banner of peace? Does the right of freedom of “expression” give one the license to wilfully injure the feelings of millions of fellow citizens? Is it permissible to deliberately cross the bounds of decency while hiding behind the guise of “fiction”? Was Salman Rushdie really a Muslim? What was his knowledge of Islam, and what indeed are his true feelings towards Islam and how have they changed over the years? Was The Satanic Verses a religious controversy or was it a political time bomb right from the start?
Even after being forewarned that The Satanic Verses would be- come an item too hot to handle, how could a single man like Rushdie take on the whole of the Muslim world on his own and expect to get away with it? What was it that clouded his decision to go ahead with its publication regardless?
Rushdie : Haunted by his unholy ghosts goes in depth to answer all these questions and much more, with relevant quotations from authentic sources. The book, in fact, starts at the very inception of Islam and traces the anti-Islamic conspiracy right through to the present day.
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