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About the Media on Rushdie and the Fatwa, etc.

Reader comment on item: Salman Rushdie and British Backbone

Submitted by Jascha Kessler (United States), Jun 26, 2007 at 20:24

On Saturday, 2 June, Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten published a scathing condemnation of the lack of comment on the Muslim assaults around the world, demonstrations and fulminations, etc.

I wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times that remarked on Rutten's courage and apparently lone voice, but added something he had not said in his characterization of the Media as demonstrating "moral bigotry." The LAT seldom if ever chooses to print my letters, being the mediocre and hypocritical paper it is.

I take this opportunity therefore to put my letter to readers online via the Pipes Newsletter, if they will take it on.

"Tim Rutten's "Regarding Media" [23 June] might justly have been captioned "The Silence of the Sheep." He castigates the media in general for their "moral bigotry" in failing to decry Muslim hysteria and murderous proclamations of blasphemy because of Queen Elizabeth's knighting of Salman Rushdie, author of the infamous "The Satanic Verses."

When that novel was published in English in India, hundreds of thousands marched and rioted there, dozens killed by trampling —but which of them could read it? — and it was withdrawn. Few readers in the US seem to have read it through, for that matter. When I finished that most-Swiftian satire, I wondered about Rushdie's arbitrary interpolation of the section called "The Satanic Verses," since it seemed quite unrelated to the contemporary plot. It was obvious he was "cruisin' for a bruisn'." What temerity!

The essential point in all this, as our hyper-religious America well knows and has demonstrated politically in recent decades, is that there is no arguing faith. Beliefs may be discussed and fought about, as Martin Luther and the Thirty Years' War showed centuries ago. Faith never! And in point of fact, Islam, with a history replete with martyrs from its first days, brooks no dissent whatever. Its never-ending Sunni-Shiite warfare seems never-ending. As a result, Muslims cannot and will not compromise. For dissent, deviation, and dissidence, Islam knows death and only death.

What Rutten didn't say in condemning Western media is that there's something far more shameful than moral bigotry: moral cowardice. All the worse, since the pusillanimous men and women of the media, being 99.99% infidel, are implicitly marked for death. Their fate — and ours too — is daily announced and broadcast from Tehran."


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