Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quote of the Day: Kenan Malik

Here's Kenan Malik writing in Spiked:
"In 1989 even the Ayatollah’s death sentence could not stop the publication of The Satanic Verses. Rushdie was forced into hiding for almost a decade. Translators and publishers were killed, bookshops bombed and Penguin staff forced to wear bomb-proof vests. Yet Penguin never wavered in its commitment to keep it published.

"Today, all it takes for a publisher to run for cover is a letter from an outraged academic. In the 20 years between the publication of The Satanic Verses and the withdrawal of The Jewel of Medina, the fatwa has in effect become internalised."

Malik is the author of the upcoming book From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy. The passage above is from the transcript of a talk he gave in November. [via Arts and Letters Daily.]

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