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The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

By Dave McCoy

No book in modern times has matched the uproar sparked by Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which earned its author a death sentence. Furor aside, it is a marvelously erudite study of good and evil, a feast of language served up by a writer at the height of his powers, and a rollicking comic fable. The book begins with two Indians, Gibreel Farishta ("for fifteen years the biggest star in the history of the Indian movies") and Saladin Chamcha, a Bombay expatriate returning from his first visit to his homeland in 15 years, plummeting from the sky after the explosion of their jetliner, and proceeds through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations. Rushdie's powers of invention are astonishing in this Whitbread Prize winner.



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"If you would have wrote these things about the Pope you would have no where to hide. On the Day of Resurrection you will not be able to hide ever again. SO REFLECT!"


"What was your real reason for writing the Satanic Verses? What do you hope to gain from it? I would say may Allah have mercy on your soul for slandering His Beloved and His family. But its pointless. If you feel so strongly about what you wrote in the Satanic Verses, and don't feel that your're wrong than why are you hiding? [Editor's note: Always great to hear from religious extremists. If your God is so powerful, why do people like you feel the need to kill Rushdie? Won't your God get even with him in the afterlife? And if you don't like the book or the author, why not just not read it and get on with your life? Hardly anyone in the Western world would have read one page of this book if that madman Khomeini hadn't made such a big deal out of it. Instead, we all learned a great deal about Islamic extremism. And while you might want to kill Rushdie for his thoughts, I allow you to express your thoughts here without threats. I believe in freedom of expression, even if the expression is that Allah or Jesus (or anyone) is a pig. Only those afraid of the truth try to censor it out of existence. I have no such fear.]"

--Jawad Ali

"I have always been a firm believer in the freedom of speech. However, after reading the entire book I do not understand how a work of literature in which British are called "sisterfuckers" and refers to the British as a bastard people and stating that all white women are fit for "only fucking and throwing over" can not be offensive to any "non-muslim" denizen of the civilized world. I believe any person who continues to praise this work without criticizing it in the slightest bit has in fact never read the book at all and probably just enjoys muslim-bashing.

[Editor's note: Your ridiculous criticism of his work would have a much better chance of influencing the ignorant if:
A. This was an unmoderated forum.
B. The editor (that's me) didn't happen to have a copy of the work not more than five feet from him.

That not being the case let us take a look at one of the passages that so offended you - the "sisterfuckers" reference (which takes place during a hijacking):
"After the first nervous days on the ground, during which three turbaned young hijackers went perilously close to the edges of insanity, screaming into the desert night you bastards, come and get us, or, alternatively, o god o god they're going to send in the fucking commandos, the motherfucking Americans, yaar, the sister-fucking British…"

There is one similar reference in the book:
"Rekha complained like crazy, she gave him hell, she bawled him out and cursed him for a useless lafanga and haramzada and salah and even, in extremis, for being guilty of the impossible feat of fucking the sister he did not have."

In context, it is quite clear to all that your reading of it is breathtakingly wrong. Now let's take a look at the "only fucking and throwing over" reference:
"For boys like Battuta, white women - never mind fat, Jewish, non-deferential white women - were for fucking and throwing over… Bigotry is not only a function of power."

Either you have not actually read the book, you haven't any critical thinking skills, or you're just another pathetic Islamic extremist - none of which much recommends you. More to the point, it is a work of fiction and those references, as inoffensive to a thinking person as they are, were made by fictional characters! When a work of non-fiction makes such claims, you'll have something to complain about though I can only assume you will manage to screw that up too.]


"I would encourage all muslims, before condemning something, to find out what its all about - pick up this book and read it. I have found that most muslims refuse to even touch the book and have looked at me in awe when I have mentioned that I am currently enjoying it. It is a belief in Islam that we should have the utmost respect for the prophet. The problem that Islam has with this book is that it doesn't. However, ignoring such things, no matter how "blasphemous, " only makes one ignorant. I implore all muslims who will speak against this book, to first read it, instead of just repeating what you've been told. [Editor's note: Well put. Your words apply to all of the countless books that have been banned over the years and especially to those who would ban them.]"




Author: Salman Rushdie

Released: February 1989

Awards: Whitbread Prize

Availability: Hardcover, Paperback

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