Rushdie Is Not Two Verbs

« June 2007 »

Memo to Pakistan, Iran, and other Muslim fundies: THAT'S ENOUGH.

There once was a verse so satanic
It threw Muslims into a panic.
Two decades later
They're still player-haters

They cannot let the goddamn Salman Rushdie thing go, can they? I honestly thought they were over it. They stopped trying to kill him, they found a bunch of other, slightly more valid things to be constantly pissed off about, and the whole thing had become a side note, the kind of thing they talk about on VH1.

"Remember that guy, and he wrote that book, and he had to go into hiding/ What was up with that? Man, I love the eighties! Woo!"

I think all of us in even Outer Saneland figured that was where it stood, and any lingering resentment held against Salman Rushdie had long ago been transferred to Danish cartoonists and, well, America. I know fundamentalists of all stripes can keep a grudge going for millenia - case in point, Mel Gibson - but come on. Dude wrote a book in 1988, and you didn't like the book. It's long past time to move on.

But they're not moving on. The governments of Pakistan and Iran are making formal complaints about Britain's plan to give Salman Rushdie a knighthood. Which is completely fucking ridiculous.

First, a knighthood is a big fakey award anyway. Elton John has one, for fuck's sake. They hand them out like popcorn. It was a lot like when Akiva Goldsman won an Oscar. You can't even pretend to take them seriously after that. So the author gets tapped on the shoulder by their fake leader woman? Whoop-de-shit.

I mean, I can understand the average dude on the street being a bit cranky about it. Sort of. I'd probably be a bit miffed if Dubya invited Geena Davis to the White House and gave her a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work in "Earth Girls Are Easy"*. But I wouldn't expect, say, Japan and Ghana to file a formal protest over it, no matter HOW bad the dub was over there. Apparently, however, I'm more reasonable than Iran's foreign ministry director for Europe. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The British government's insulting, suspicious and ill-considered act is an obvious sign of Islamophobia which has terribly hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims." - Ebrahim Rahimpour.

Is it? Is it really? You know, maybe in 1990, while the fatwa was still fresh and the world wasn't filled with many REALLY obvious signs of Islamophobia, I could maybe see the point. Maybe. And that's only allowing for the assumption that the initial reaction to "The Satanic Verses" was reasonable, proportionate, or instilled with an iota of marketing savvy, which it wasn't. But in 2007? Get over yourselves.

Also, they didn't hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims. Trust me on that one. The regular folks, especially over here, I'm pretty sure most of them don't give a shit about The Satanic Verses, knighthood, or this brief Venn diagram showing where the two intersect. If they've got the slightest fucking clue, they realize that the prospect of Sir Salman Rushdie is the least of their problems. And if they don't have the slightest fucking clue, then I guess a stellar political career awaits them in in Iran and Pakistan.

*Work with me here. There aren't a lot of artistic works from 1988 that pissed me off. "Mrs. Doubtfire" was five years too late, and I never saw "Critters 2".

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