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presse

Khomeini’s blood terror targets Salman Rushdie

Article paru dans Workers Hammer, No 105, March 1989, p. 12-9

Tehran, Iran: Young students march in the streets of Tehran chanting, ‘Death to Salman Rushdie and America’ while holding posters of Ayatollah Khomeini and Salman Rushdie, condemning him to death. Thousands of people demonstrated in Tehran after a religious decree or “Fatwa” was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, calling Salman Rushdie a blasphemer and his book the Satanic Verses an insult to Islam and Prophet Mohammad, and therefore condemned to death. (Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)

CENSORSHIP BY ASSASSINATION

When Ayatollah Khomeini issued his decree of death against novelist Salman Rushdie and the Viking/Penguin publishers of his Satanic Verses, a shudder spread around the world. Here was the ultimate statement of theocratic totalitarianism: not only must the book be banned, but its author executed for the “crime” of having written it. It was a throwback to the days when heretics were burned at the stake and witches boiled in oil. Suddenly the dark past of the Inquisition was no further than the local shopping centre. There it was, the benighted superstition of the Middle Ages in the middle of the Computer Age.

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presse

Correspondence: The Satanic Verses Affair (2)

Lettre d’A. El Noor parue dans Solidarity. A Journal of Libertarian Socialism, 24, Summer 1990, p. 15-16

01/03/1989. “LES VERSETS SATANIQUES” DE S.RUSHDIE. (Photo by Pool LOUNES/VIOUJARD/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Obsessed with God’s Will

From A EL NOOR, London:

In my article ‘Who is afraid of Satan?‘ (Solidarity #21), I put forward the following ideas:
1. Capitalist technology undermines all traditional cultures and belief systems; 2. A traditionalist culture or belief system under threat will often defend itself by regressing to fundamentalism; 3. Religious fundamentalism is reactionary – spiritually, culturally, socially and politically; 4. A historical (and psychological) interpretation of religion is an essential component of the struggle against religious fundamentalism; 5. In the absence of a historical interpretation of religion people will accept a religious interpretation of history; 6. Atheist socialists and nationalists in Islamic societies have failed to produce and promote a historical interpretation of Islam; 7. Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses is a contribution to the struggle against Islam, which forms the major obstacle to spiritual, cultural, social and political progress in Islamic societies.

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presse

Correspondence: The Satanic Verses Affair

Correspondance parue dans Solidarity. Journal of Libertarian Socialism, 22/23, Winter 1989-90, p. 20-22

Indian Moslem writer Salman Rushdie in cluttered study going through book before going into hiding after writing SATANIC VERSES for which the Ayatollah Khomeini would soon sentence him to death. (Photo by Terry Smith/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Less than a great historical service

From ALISON WEIR, London:

In an extremely diffuse and ill-thought-out article (‘Who is Afraid of Satan?‘, Solidarity, Autumn 1989), ‘A El-Noor’ purports to address the possibility that Salman Rushdie has “set off a chain reaction of cultural criticism of religion in Islamic countries”. In addition, Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses has apparently “rendered Islamic civilisation a great historical service”. A El-Noor clearly wishes the Islamic countries well, and by ‘well’ he means that they should accommodate their need for scientific knowledge and technological expertise within the framework of Islam, or else abandon Islam. Not a very helpful or illuminating suggestion, if I may say so.

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revues

Trends in Arab Thought: An Interview with Sadek Jalal al-Azm

Entretien de Sadik Jalal al-‘Azm par Abu Fakhr, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Winter, 1998), p. 68-80.

 

 

Abu Fakhr: You have stated that one of the errors of the Left was that it neglected the importance of civil society, democracy, human rights, secularism, and so on. At present, many are giving up the mantle of Marxism and enlisting in the ranks of the secularists as though they believed secularism could serve as a shield against religious fundamentalism [salafiyya]. Where do you believe we are headed in the near future?