Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Radical literary criticism

From the Times:
"Today, Pakistan's religious affairs minister suggested that the [Rushdie] knighthood was so grave an offence that any Muslim anywhere in the world would be justified in taking violent action.

"If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified," Mr ul-Haq told the National Assembly.

The minister, the son of Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator who died in a plane crash in 1988, later retracted his statement in parliament, then told the AFP news agency that he meant to say that knighting Rushdie would foster extremism.

"If someone blows himself up he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West?" he said."
We've been here before: the problem is not people advocating murder for the crime of writing a book, the problem is blasphemy. I'd have thought it'll be a little difficult to combat extremism when there's apparently so many people who seem to think blowing yourself up is a reasonable way of expressing your disapproval of a book.

See also this.

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