Monday, June 18, 2007

Pakistani government minister: homicide bombings in Britain justified over Rushdie knighthood

British author Salmon Rushdie was knighted Saturday in an honors list timed for the official celebration of the Queen's 81st birthday for his achievements in literature. And the Religion of Peace is reacting in typical fashion.

There were numerous violent demonstrations around the Muslim world, with lotsa flag burnings and effgies of the Queen and Rushdie being burnt.

The Pakistani government ( our allies, right?) condemned the knighthood as `an affront to Muslim sentiments'. What's more , a cabinet minister said that honoring Rushdie justified homicide attacks and terroroism. Three guesses what this minister oversees...ri-ight, religion.

"This is an occasion for the (world's) 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision," Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, religious affairs minister, said in parliament. "The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body, he would be right to do so unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the 'sir' title," ul-Haq said.

For those of you who've forgotten Rushdie has been living with a price on his head since 1989 when Iran's late mullah-in-charge, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to murder Rushdiebecause his novel, "The Satanic Verses," supposedly insulted Islam. That particular insult to human freedom - and yes to Islam - has never been removed.Rushdie normally lives under police protection in Britain.

Yesterday, Iranian politicians accused Britain of insulting Islam by awarding the knighthood to Rushdie.

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, a spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, said the decision to honor the novelist was an orchestrated act of aggression directed against Islam.

"Honouring and commending an apostate and hated figure will definitely put the British officials [in a position] of confrontation with Islamic societies," Hosseini said.

"This act shows that insulting Islamic sacred [values] is not accidental. It is planned, organized, guided and supported by some western countries. Giving a badge to one of the most hated figures in Islamic society is ... an obvious example of fighting against Islam by high-ranking British officials."

As a matter of fact, in honor of Sir Salmon's knighthood, the current Mullahs in Iran raised the price on Rushdie's head, to the equivalent of about $150,000.

Britain's envoy to Pakistan defended the decision to honor Rushdie, one of the most prominent novelists of the late 20th century whose 13 books have won numerous awards, including the Booker Prize for "Midnight's Children" in 1981. But no British politician had anything forthright to say to the Pakistanis about a memebr of its government threatening homicide attacks on Britain.

Nor did anyone in the British government have the stones to reply to this gem of a statement essentially endorsing the Pakistani threat by Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain: "Salman Rushdie earned notoriety amongst Muslims for the highly insulting and blasphemous manner in which he portrayed early Islamic figures," Dr Bari said. "The granting of a knighthood to him can only do harm to the image of our country in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Muslims across the world. Many will interpret the knighthood as a final contemptuous parting gift from Tony Blair to the Muslim world."

The silence of Britain's government in view of who carried out the 7/7 bombings and which nationality/religious group is regularly implicated in domestic terrorism is somewhat startling to me. Britain has perhaps changed more than I realize.

Lawmakers in Pakistan's lower house of parliament on Monday passed a resolution proposed by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Khan Niazi that branded Rushdie — who was born in India into a Muslim family — a "blasphemer' which is a death sentence in the Religion of Peace.

"The 'sir' title from Britain for blasphemer Salman Rushdie has hurt the sentiments of the Muslims across the world. Every religion should be respected. I demand the British government immediately withdraw the title as it is creating religious hatred," Niazi told the National Assembly.

Lawmakers voted unanimously for the resolution except for one, Khwaja Asif who - get this - said it exposed a contradiction in the government's policy as an ally of Britain in the international war on terrorism!

Not to worry, Mr. Asif. Based on what kind of `ally' Pakistan has been, there no contradiction, trust me on that.

At one Islamic ragefest in Multan, Asim Dahr, a student leader from the group Jamiat Turaba Arabia, demanded Rushdie face Islamic justice "This queen has made a mockery of Muslims by giving him a title of 'sir.' Salman Rushdie was condemned by Imam Khomeini and he issued a decree about his death. He should be handed over to the Muslims so they can try him according to Islamic laws," he said.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said Rushdie's knighthood would hamper interfaith understanding and that Islamabad would protest to London."We deplore the decision of the British government to knight him. This we feel is insensitive and we would convey our sentiments to the British government."

Frankly, I'm increasingly tired of people who as a matter of doctrine blaspheme and violently prosecute other religions under the auspices of Islam regularly puffing themselves up with righteous indignation to violence because of some supposed `insult' or insensitivity.

People who never grant the slightest bit of tolerance to others have no call on it for themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The West is accusing Muslims of extremism and terrorism. If someone exploded a bomb on his body, he would be right to do so unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the 'sir' title," ul-Haq said.

No, ul-jihaq, we are not accussing you of extremism and terrorism. We don't have to, because your actions speak for themselves.