Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thanks, Britain

Salman Rushdie, controversial Indian born novelist, has agreed to sell his manuscripts to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Rushdie has been resident in Britain since his boyhood, when he attended Rugby School, Warwickshire, followed by King’s College, Cambridge.

Salman Rushdie

The director of scholarship and collections from the British library, Clive Field said:
I am pleased that Rushdie's papers will be preserved in a publicly accessible institution, but disappointed that we didn't have an opportunity to discuss the acquisition of the archive with him

Perhaps given Rushdie’s scant regard for his host country's sanctuary and the countless man hours its police and intelligence services have given him, it is appropriate his archives should be lodged with those of Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet and terrorist sympathiser.

On 25 July 1992 Britain expelled three Iranian intelligence officers, Mehdi Sayed Sadeghi, Mahmoud Mehdi Soltani and Gassem Vakhshiteh for tracking Rushdie, no doubt in furtherance of the fatwa issued in 1989 by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran following the publication of Rushdie’s book Satanic Verses in 1988.

The fatwa begins
In the name of Him, the Highest. There is only one God, to whom we shall all return. I inform all zealous Muslims of the world that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses—which has been compiled, printed, and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran—and all those involved in its publication who were aware of its content are sentenced to death

Our outspoken commentator on all matters controversial, Ellison Millinocket, states:
we wonder whether Emory University sought guidance from the US government on the implications of acquiring such a sensitive collection, given the current climate of international Muslim extremism. There is also the issue of US-British co-operation in the war on terror. Come to think of it, said Ellison, do we really want his manuscripts in the British Library anyway?

Further reading

New York Times

Earth Times

The Atlantic Online

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