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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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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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A. El-Noor: Who is affraid of Satan?

Article d’A. El-Noor paru dans Solidarity. A Journal of Libertarian Socialism, 21, Autumn 1989, p. 38

Anti Rushdie protestor’s move down St. Peter’s street Derby 15th March 1989. (Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

By setting off a chain reaction of cultural criticism of religion in
Islamic countries, writes A EL-NOOR, Salman Rushdie has rendered Islamic civilisation a great historical service