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It's a good first step.

Reader comment on item: Salman Rushdie and British Backbone

Submitted by Pat (United States), Jun 26, 2007 at 11:46

If the knighthood was granted "without heed of its implications" that should be considered a step forward. Why should the British government have to answer to anyone in the Muslim world for honoring a British citizen? That they didn't think about implications means they weren't going to let others decide for them. That should not be considered wrong.

Look at the Pakistani reaction. Muslims in London (primarily Pakistanis) are demonstrating and burning the queen in effigy and calling for her death. The Pakistani minister is making threats against Britain. How does Britain insist it has "a very good relationship" with Pakistan?

Does Britain have no laws against treason? When have Muslims shown their loyalty to the British people who have accepted them in their country? By bombing their mass transit? By plotting to destroy airliners flying across the Atlantic from Britain? Why doesn't Britain point to the kidnapping of Alan Johnston and the detention of British citizens in Muslim countries?

SOME Muslims have decried these calls to violence. Why haven't MOST Muslims all over the world? How does any Western country grant admission to people whose religious beliefs give them the right to decide when they are offended and offending them gives them license to respond with acts that can only be considered barbaric? Muslims have no cause to complain about insults to their culture when they debase Western cultures and all religions other than Islam every single day.

What is meant by "business as usual"? Government to government contacts don't mean much and they have no recognizable impact on the people. The first thing the British can do is ban all travel to Britain by Pakistanis and deny reentry to Pakistanis who leave the country, until the Pakistani government retracts its statement. That would be backbone. It's the kind of backbone I'm still looking for from Washington.

Next London can tell Islamabad that, in light of the minister's public statement, an act of jihad against Rushdie would be considered an act of war by Pakistan against Britain and would be treated accordingly. Either the British government is willing to defend its citizens or it isn't.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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