Salman Rushdie

Twenty-five years ago, in 1989, four big things happened that still shape our world. The Berlin Wall came down, and with it the empire that Vladimir Putin would love to restore. The Tiananmen Square massacre launched China on a new trajectory, which has made it what it is today. A then little-known British scientist named Tim Berners-Lee invented what would become the World Wide Web. And Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini delivered his fatwa on Salman Rushdie.

Last Sunday, I sat down with Rushdie in New York, at the American PEN World Voices Festival, to discuss the consequences of those events for freedom of expression around the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

It was probably just an eerie coincidence. On Friday night the Islington home, and office, of a publisher were firebombed. It was 20 years to the day since the publication of The Satanic Verses.

Whether the alleged perpetrators of the attack knew the significance of the date I do not know. What seems certain is that Martin Rynja, the director of Gibson Square, was targeted because he is about to publish The Jewel of Medina, a romantic tale about Aisha, the Prophet Muhammad’s youngest wife. Written by an American journalist, Sherry Jones, the novel was originally bought by the American publisher Random House for a $100,000 advance.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Tahar Ben Jelloum, escritor. Premio Goncourt 1987. Traducción: José María Puig de la Bellacasa (LA VANGUARDIA, 01/07/07):
Normalmente, un gran escritor no precisa medallas. Sus galardones son sus libros, que entran en los hogares de millones de lectores y se convierten en sus amigos durante largas veladas invernales. Aunque algunos escritores aprecian en su justo valor tanto su pertenencia a las academias como los honores tributados por su país o por jurados formados por sus colegas, saben que en el fondo lo que cuenta son sus dos o tres obras mejores. La vanidad es, ciertamente, muy humana, aunque estéril; no obstante, debe reconocerse que estimula a un escritor en su resistencia contra la mediocridad.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Sunny Singh es escritora india, autora de El libro de suicidio de la abuelita y La mirada de Krishna. Traducción de M.L. Rodríguez Tapia (EL PAÍS, 29/06/07):

Como ciudadana de una república, la idea de recibir honores reales me resulta un poco anticuada. Más aún, es evidente que la idea de que un escritor postcolonial como Salman Rushdie acepte una condecoración del «imperio» suscita dudas sobre la sinceridad de sus escritos antiimperialistas. Por tanto, no puedo decir que me alegrara demasiado saber que Salman Rushdie figuraba en la lista anual de títulos concedidos por la reina Isabel II.

Pero entonces llegó la noticia inevitable de que «el mundo musulmán» estaba indignado por la distinción.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Timothy Garton Ash (THE GUARDIAN, 23/06/07):

Salman Rushdie, with a little help from Her Majesty, has again clarified the battlelines on which we stand. Because Britain is honouring him for what he has written, he is again being threatened with death. An Iranian organisation has offered a reward of some £80,000 for his murder. Pakistan’s religious affairs minister, Muhammad Ejaz ul-Haq – the son of the former military dictator Zia ul-Haq – told his country’s national assembly that a suicide bombing could be justified as a response. Almost as grotesque was the reaction of a British Muslim peer, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, who expressed his outrage at «honouring the man who has blood on his hands».…  Seguir leyendo »

By Eugene Robinson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 22/06/07):

Later in this column, I’m going to defend Britain’s decision to award a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie, despite a sharp official complaint from the Pakistani government and bitter protests elsewhere in the Muslim world. But first, a story and some shameless name-dropping.

One day in 1993, when I was The Post’s bureau chief in London, I got a phone call from a journalism acquaintance I barely knew, inviting me and my wife to dinner. I accepted, then almost immediately started thinking of reasons to back out — I had other things to do, I needed a break from socializing, who was this guy anyway.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Priyamvada Gopal, profesora de la Universidad de Cambridge y autora de Literary radicalism in India. © Guardian News & Media Ltd 2007. Traducción de María Luisa Rodríguez Tapia (EL PAÍS, 22/06/07):

La concesión del título de sir al escritor angloindio Salman Rushdie por parte de la reina de Inglaterra ha reabierto viejas heridas. En 1989, una fetua (edicto islámico) del ayatolá Jomeini lo condenó a muerte por su novela Los versos satánicos. El tormento terminó en 1998 cuando el Gobierno iraní levantó la fetua. El título de sir ha vuelto a desencadenar la ira contra el escritor en Irán y Pakistán.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Irshad Manji, a senior fellow with the European Foundation for Democracy and creator of the new documentary Faith Without Fear and author of The Trouble with Islam Today: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change (THE TIMES, 21/06/07):

Growing up in Vancouver, I attended an Islamic school every Saturday. There, I learned that Jews cannot be trusted because they worship “moolah, not Allah,” meaning money, not God. According to my teacher, every last Jew is consumed with business.

But looking around my neighbourhood, I noticed that most of the new business signs featured Asian languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi and plenty of Urdu.…  Seguir leyendo »