The Price of Dissent (Part 2)

rushdie_2330213bThe God of Islam must certainly be a puny and helpless figure, perched in the heavenly realms this Disgruntled Dictator is deeply troubled by those humans who challenge his integrity and employs an ever-growing mob of devoted followers to silence these detractors on his behalf. The creator of the universe is under threat by a Somalian woman named Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who after leaving Islam has warned the world of the insidious tactics of the religion she knows all too well.

One wonders why it is the God of Islam is incapable of removing his enemies without the aid of the zealous mobs or why he has particular distaste for the Jewish race. Ayatollah Ruhollah Komeini, theocratic ruler of Iran, received an order from Allah in 1989, calling for the the death of the novelist Salman Rushdie because of something less than congenial  Rushdie had written in his book The Satanic Verses.

Ayatollah Khomeini quipped,

“Even if Salman Rushdie (author of The Satanic Verses ) repents and becomes the most pious man of all time, it is incumbent upon every Muslim to employ everything he has, his life and his wealth, to send him to hell.”

For a head of state to decree a death warrant for a civilian of another country might arouse some form of objection or defense of free expression from civilized rulers, but you would be wrong – the response was unmistakable cowardice. The Vatican, the chief rabbi of Israel, the cardinal archbishop of New York and many other lessor religious figures offered no form of condemnation for this sanctioned homicide, but rather aired frivolously that blasphemy against the divine should be taken very seriously, thus Rushdie had brought this calamity upon himself.

Of course there was the usual book burnings, firebombed book stores and riots that illustrate the reactionary barbarism we’ve come to expect.  Although Rushdie managed to escape death with some concerted effort on his part, a Japanese translator was slain as it seemed only fair to Islamic clerics of justice  that publishers and translators be meted punishment for their hand in the blasphemy.

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