Some Muslim responses
Many hitherto ‘closet’ Muslims felt betrayed by the intolerance of their liberal friends and significantly for the future development of the community, from that point onwards were far more willing to be associated with defending the Muslim corner in public and academic debate:
point in my review article was that – whatever the author’s
intentions – The Satanic Verses controversy reinforced the crudest
cultural and religious prejudices about Muslims in general. In the UK, it
re-drew the boundaries around Muslim immigrants, showing them as a species
apart, and opened them to the most horrendous racist taunts and even attacks…British
Muslims – a decent, law-abiding, low-profile community – were
equated to Nazis and barbarians. Muslims explaining why they were deeply
offended by certain passages in the novel were simply dismissed as fanatics
or fundamentalists, and non-Muslim critics became unenlightened cultural
philistines….In a world torn by ethnic and religious confrontation,
I personally abhor violence whether in the name of religion or politics.
But Mr Rushdie must recognize that over 20 people have died protesting about
his book and countless numbers have been humiliated and angered. He owes
the deepest apology to Muslims.
Akbar Ahmed, The Times, 7 Dec 1990
|I look back at
the hundreds of cuttings I collected then and even now feel shaken by the
names, the tone and the content of what was hurled at us all, all Muslims.
Alibhai-Brown, The Independent, 15 Oct 2001