Rushdie’s knighthood

posted at 11:41 am on June 19, 2007 by Bryan

We’ll begin with Pakistani government reaction to the British decision to knight novelist Salman Rusdie:

A SENIOR minister in the Pakistani Government has urged Muslim countries to break diplomatic relations with London and claimed a suicide bomb attack would be a justified response to author Salman Rushdie’s knighthood.

The Pakistan Parliament called on the British Government to reverse the decision to award the knighthood or face further protests from Muslim nations.

Break diplomatic relations over a symbolic knighthood? This gives the term “overreaction” a whole new dimension.

“This is an occasion for the (world’s) 1.5 billion Muslims to look at the seriousness of this decision,” Mr ul-Haq said.

Mr ul-Haq is Pakistan’s religious affairs minister. He’s calling on all of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims to “look at the seriousness” of knighting a novelist in Britain. He may not realize that he’s also calling on the rest of the world outside Dar-al-Islam to look at the seriousness of the reaction to the knighthood.

Thus far, commenters and pundits who regularly decry this or that civil liberties “abuse” on the part of any Western government and especially the Bush administration, are silent as Pakistani officials demand what is in effect a tribute from the British government for the crime of knighting a novelist. This is a true attempt to crush dissent, yet the left yawns.

There’s an interesting circumstantial case to be made that Prince Charles of England has secretly converted to Islam, or at least become a syncretic along the lines of that Episcopal priest I posted about yesterday. I’m not going to make or debunk that case since I have no hard opinion on it one way or the other; Daniel Pipes has collected the best evidence for and against and you can judge for yourself whether the future king of England and “defender of the faith” has changed the faith or faiths he would defend. But speaking of that:

Sep. 4, 2005 update: Prince Charles revealed in a letter leaked to the Daily Telegraph that he had strained relations with George Carey, then archbishop of Canterbury, over his attitude toward Islam. Particularly contentious was his expressed intent, on becoming king and supreme governor of the Church of England, to ditch the centuries’ old defender of the faith title and replace it with defender of faith and defender of the Divine.

I will say that given Prince Charles’ obvious affection for Islam, which goes back several years now, the decision to knight Salman Rushdie this week takes on a domestic political dimension, inside the UK and possibly inside the royal family itself. It’s not hard to imagine the Queen and Prince lobbing $5,000 vases at each other in Buckingham Palace over the decision, whether Charles is really a crypto-Muslim or just a very large dhimmi. For the 81 year old queen to end a long succession of badly chosen knighthoods — Elton John, etc — by knighting someone who has actually stood up in the face of mullah-inspired murder plots for nearly 20 years, and with the knighthood coming possibly against the wishes of the heir to the throne, it’s an act of sound judgement and even courage. This is the queen who survived the Blitz and remembers an England that knew how to fight for her life.

Outside the UK, and particularly in Pakistan, Rushdie’s knighthood has inspired adherents to the religion of peace to go ballistic. Back to Mr. ul-Haq, the religious affairs minister.

“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,” Mr. ul-Haq said.

In one breath, the religious affairs minister goes from accusing the West of accusing Muslims of being terrorists, to justifying terrorism itself.

Lawmakers in Pakistan’s lower house of parliament yesterday passed a resolution proposed by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Khan Niazi, who branded Mr. Rushdie a “blasphemer.” Mr. Rushdie was born in India into a Muslim family.

“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,” Mr. Niazi told the National Assembly.

I would humbly suggest that what’s actually creating religious hatred are not knighthoods for novelists who live comfortably in the West, but scenes like this:


That’s a scene in Pakistan, one of our and the UK’s allies in the war against Islamic terrorism. Folks like these are a bullet or a bomb away from taking power in the world’s only acknowledged nuclear Islamic state. And it’s a state in which the religious affairs minister — pause over that government title for a second — justifies terrorism against a British subject, now knight, for the crime of blaspheming a religion in which the knight does not believe.

Adds Pakistan’s Foreign Minister:

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said Mr. Rushdie’s knighthood would hamper interfaith understanding and that Islamabad would protest to London.

I beg to differ: The reaction to Rushdie’s knighthood has enhanced my understanding of the religion of peace a great deal. Pakistani officials, secular and religious, are on the record deploring the British knighthood for Rushdie as “insensitive,” but silent on the 1989 Iranian fatwa that would have seen him murdered. That says quite a bit more about Islam and its adherents than they realize. Like the cartoon jihad, the knighthood jihad is a clarifying moment in history. Most in the West are sure to miss its meaning entirely.

Update: Rushdie has asked for police protection, and an Iranian group has upped the bounty on his head to $150,000. What does the Pakistani minister for religious affairs have to say about that?

And, PJM’s Flemming Rose looks beyond Pakistan to how the UN is being used by tyrants to squelch free speech in the name of religious sensitivity.

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You Go, Queenie!!! I knew I liked that lady.

Send ole taxi-door ears to the woodshed! England’s Next King: William – skip the squeaker!

As it stands, with Charles not being Anglican, he can’t be the defender of the faith – which means he CAN be skipped over. Let’s hope they do it! No wonder that woman has lived as long as she has…Long live the Queen.

As to the Islamists….Are we surprised? Not at all.

tickleddragon on June 19, 2007 at 11:59 AM

At my daughters birthday party, I was forced to listen to my uncle’s future wife extoll the virtues of Islam, I held my tongue simply because I didn’t want to ruin my daughter’s birthday…

Regretfully, it now appears that my mother also holds the same views, which I’m sure will increase the friction in our family even more.

As someone who is still vaguely attached to the crown as head of our state, I dread the day that HRH passes on or abdicates, as she is someone that is deserving of immense respect, whereas Prince Charles doesn’t measure up. Perhaps he could do the world a favor and pass the title of Crown Prince onto someone more deserving. Unfortunately, right now, I’d be unable to tell you who that might be.

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on June 19, 2007 at 11:59 AM


Another excuse for these fantics to burn things and kill people. It must be that ‘religion of peace’ thang.

Seriously, has anyone here actually read Salman Rushdie’s book Satanic Verses? Is it a literary masterpiece of comparative religion or merely a paperback jab at the hornets nest which made Salman Rushdie a cocktail-party-name-drop for the last 20 years, ala woodward & bernstein?

locomotivebreath1901 on June 19, 2007 at 12:09 PM

That’s my head of state, there people. Her power is mostly ceremonial, so that this was done is fantastic.

Krydor on June 19, 2007 at 12:09 PM

“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,” Mr. ul-Haq said.

Can the hypocrisy of Islam be any more clear than that?

Guardian on June 19, 2007 at 12:11 PM

Nature abhors a vacuum–
vacuum thy name is Prince Charles.

If you aren’t a follower of the faith, you cannot swear to be a defender of same.

While the knighthood is essentially meaningless–Elton John/who knew?–It surprises no one that the Islamofascists have their panties in a wad. Or do they not wear them??

Vanquisher on June 19, 2007 at 12:11 PM

Oh boo-hoo, suck it up whining crybabies.
Sir Rushdie needs to write some more books, maybe some with pictures of ankles or something.
As for Chucky, he isn’t worthy of cleaning HRH chamber pot.
His absolute lack of class and morality during and especially after his marriage to Diana, should disqualify him from holding any title.

G-man on June 19, 2007 at 12:14 PM

Good post Bryan…got nothin’, you pretty much said all that was needed.

Bad Candy on June 19, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on June 19, 2007 at 11:59 AM

CIRD I would recommend a book for each of their birthdays. Perhaps Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. That should take care of that problem.

Zetterson on June 19, 2007 at 12:33 PM

Shouldn’t it be Nighthood? He can only come out into da hood at night!!!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on June 19, 2007 at 12:34 PM

The question is does the Queen or the UK in general have what it takes to confront Islam or will they relinquish their sovereignty to these demands.

Buzzy on June 19, 2007 at 12:34 PM

on Jihadwatch:
“Muslims should be very careful, watchful and cold-blooded.”Ibrahimoglu noted.”

and this:

In one breath, the religious affairs minister goes from accusing the West of accusing Muslims of being terrorists, to justifying terrorism itself.

Islam preaches death to all who differ, even if just in thought or words. From cartoons to knighthood, they kill others for what amounts to no rational reason.

They are the worshipers of SATAN and the SATANIC VERSES.

Now they prove it, to the world, but is the world watching and listening? Really listening?

shooter on June 19, 2007 at 12:40 PM

I am impressed. There still seems to be backbone in England, and I applaud their action.

It gives me great joy to see Western Culture stand up to the Islamic Assault. The Islamofacist may have to get used to being ignored in such a way if many have their way.

omegaram on June 19, 2007 at 12:42 PM

But, If i say to bomb these savages (even further) into the stone age, I’m the bad guy.

JayHaw Phrenzie on June 19, 2007 at 12:43 PM

Is it any wonder Islam now produces little more than dirt?

Drum on June 19, 2007 at 1:11 PM

Hitchens will be a hoot to read on this one! (He’s an intimate friend of Rushdie’s and provided an amount of sanctuary for him when the psychos were trying to track him down after the first fatwa.)

Drum on June 19, 2007 at 1:16 PM

Mojave Mark, consider yourself warned. You strayed into Planned Parenthood/Margaret Sanger territory.

Bryan on June 19, 2007 at 1:31 PM


“Choke on it, turban-boy!”

mojo on June 19, 2007 at 1:36 PM

Bryan, I can kind of see Mr ul-Haq’s point. After all, if the Queen ever knights Allahpundit, I’m going to round up a bunch of the guys from my Bible-study class, go find a TV camera, and burn copies of On the Origin of Species in protest!

/sarcasm off

Anton on June 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Question for Brits and Canadians: If Charles were to openly convert to Islam, would that disqualify him for the Crown? After all the king/queen is supposed to be the head of the Anglican Church.

baldilocks on June 19, 2007 at 1:54 PM

This gives the term “overreaction” a whole new dimension.

Shoot, when one is looking for any excuse to kill, even a hangnail would do the trick.

sadatoni on June 19, 2007 at 2:28 PM

interfaith understanding

Ms. Aslam, I understand the convert-or-die aspect of Islam quite well, thank you very much.

infidel4life on June 19, 2007 at 2:51 PM

Ayaan Hirsi Ali yesterday at the National Press Club:

“The 21st century began with a battle of ideas, and this battle is about the values of the West versus those of Islam. Tony Blair and the Pope should not be embarrassed in saying it, and you [the American/Western press] should stop self-censoring. Islam and liberal democracy are incompatible; cultures and religions are not equal. And perhaps most important of all, Muslims are not half-wits who can respond only in violence. The Koran is not a great book; it is reactionary and full of misogyny. The Byzantine emperor’s analysis of Muhammad was correct: he spread his faith by the sword.”

Drum on June 19, 2007 at 3:14 PM

I just hope this doesnt fizzle out into another ‘pope moment’, where the latter had the guts to utter the truth and has been gutlessly backpedalling ever since.

Aylios on June 19, 2007 at 4:28 PM

I can’t, well I should, believe this has been going on since the Carter years. I’ll never forget that appearance on what was once The Tonight Show with Johny Carson when Red Buttons said;

You can call me Iya
You can call me Tolla
But don’t be an Assahola

I’m surprised I can remember back that far and up so late on a school night .

So, now, I’ll read the book.

Kini on June 19, 2007 at 4:29 PM

Break diplomatic relations over a symbolic knighthood? This gives the term “overreaction” a whole new dimension.

Isn’t it common for Muslims to over-react? After all, they killed a bunch of people and rioted over some cartoons over that uneducated pedophile that they worship….

Tim Burton on June 19, 2007 at 4:52 PM

After all, they killed a bunch of people and rioted over some cartoons about that uneducated pedophile that they worship….

Tim Burton on June 19, 2007 at 4:52 PM

Sorry about the typo.

Tim Burton on June 19, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Can someone clarify but I believe isnt the “Satanic Verses” actually stuff that was in the Koran but taken out later by muslims scholars because it made Mohammed look like an insane fool ?

Supposedly Mohammaed had these really weird dreams or pronouncements and later it was simply suggested that he was “possessed by the devil” at the time he made them hence the term “satanic verses”.

The Satanic verses are an embassasment to Muslims so they utterly attack anyone who tries to explain them.

William Amos on June 19, 2007 at 5:13 PM

William Amos on June 19, 2007 at 5:13PM

Hey William, I haven’t read it myself, but I did look up some info about “The Satanic Verses”.

Apparently, it’s a novel with some scenes that are reinterpretations of things that had happened/were written about Mohommed.

This is from Wikipedia:

Embedded in this story is a series of half-magic dream vision narratives, ascribed to the disturbed mind of Gibreel Farishta. They are linked together by many thematic details as well as by the common motif of divine revelation, religious faith and fanaticism, and doubt.

One of these sequences contains most of the elements that have been criticized as offensive to Muslims. It is a transformed re-narration of the life of the prophet Muhammad (called “Mahound” or “the Messenger” in the novel) in Mecca (“Jahilia”). At its centre is the episode of the “Satanic Verses”, in which the prophet first pronounces a revelation in favour of the old polytheistic deities in order to win over the population, but later renounces this revelation as an error induced by Shaitan. There are also two fictional opponents of the “Messenger”: a demonic heathen priestess, Hind, and an irreverent skeptic and satirical poet, Baal. When the prophet returns to the city in triumph, Baal organises an underground brothel where the prostitutes assume the identities of the prophet’s wives. Also, one of the prophet’s companions claims that he, doubting the “Messenger”‘s authenticity, has subtly altered portions of the Qur’an as they were dictated to him.

The second sequence tells the story of Ayesha, an Indian peasant girl who claims to be receiving revelations from the Archangel Gibreel. She entices all her village community to embark on a foot pilgrimage to Mecca, claiming that they will be able to walk on foot across the Arabian Sea. The pilgrimage ends in a catastrophic climax as the believers all walk into the water and disappear, amid disturbingly conflicting testimonies from observers about whether they just drowned or were in fact miraculously able to cross the sea.

A third dream sequence presents the figure of a fanatic expatriate religious leader, the “Imam”, set again in a late-20th-century setting. This figure is a transparent allusion to the life of Ayatollah Khomeini in his Parisian exile, but it is also linked through various recurrent narrative motifs to the figure of the “Messenger”.

JadeNYU on June 19, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Or is someone in the British selection process just trying to get Rushdie killed?

Just as he was finally becoming semi-anonymous, again, to the Muslim masses, the Brits have now repainted the Big Target on Salman’s back, -and front.

No garter or title will compensate for the threat of a renewed suicide bomber following you around for the rest of your life.

I’ll bet Salman’s first real reaction was:

God-almighty, are these Brits nuts! The jihadists had nearly forgotten me! And now this! Thanks a whole helluva lot you malicious twits!

profitsbeard on June 19, 2007 at 6:44 PM

JadeNYU on June 19, 2007 at 5:51 PM

I read that account as well. If you follow the root stories it seems that early Muslim writers quote the satanic verses as actual quotes written by mohammed about his early beliefs in some pagan goddesses. Later these writtings were attacked as anti Muslim propaganda because it make Mohammed seem like a hypocrite when he destroyed some pagan religeons and not others.

The final thing is that Rushdies book is a fictional work. he never states this is what Mohammed believed just that he used the quotes from those early Muslim writers to create a ficitonal story. but like the cartoon Jihad even suggesting anything wrong with Mohammaed is evil.

I admit as a christian Im upset when Christ is portraited in a negative way. I certianly dont like it at all. But neither do I call for the deaths of those that do this nor do I riot when these things happen.

William Amos on June 19, 2007 at 8:11 PM

profitsbeard on June 19, 2007 at 6:44 PM

No doubt! All the older fatwa issuing imams were set to die soon and the younger generation didn’t really know who he was. Now he’s back on the radar (for a silly title).

Unless he got tired of letting all the other ‘infidels’ have all the fun. :)

Is Rushdie married? Perhaps he’s hoping a renewed fatwa will allow him to get closer to the perfect combo (looker/thinker) Hirsi Ali.

JadeNYU on June 19, 2007 at 8:18 PM

I always knew that the Queen had a keen sense of humor. Go Baby go! Elevate him to this highest level you can. Let them all go bat crap and then let us all go bat crap over them. Bomb, Bomb, Bomb….Bomb, Bomb, Iran…Bomb Iran, oh Bomb Iran……yeh, you got it!

NEMETI IN SYRACUSE on June 19, 2007 at 10:02 PM

Long live this queen (and I’m against any form of royalty in this age). The lady has cojones for all of Europe.

Could Charles be any weirder?

Entelechy on June 19, 2007 at 10:47 PM

It will be interesting to hear the reaction of his colleagues, with Rushdie on US soil. I am assuming his employer is in full agreement with is right to free expression. In the past artistic license has given rise any and all expression legal or not, popular or not. Will we witness the ultimate clash between the right and left ideologies? Will The College argue for him? The college campus is the a place where leftist doctrine is given free reign, a State within a State if you will. What would the reaction be if a terror cell smuggled into the US were to carry out the Fatwa. Would the left then see the threat? Would they rething their stance on things like gun control and the military? It’s ironic and oxy moronic at the same time.

sonnyspats1 on June 20, 2007 at 4:07 PM

At my daughters birthday party, I was forced to listen to my uncle’s future wife extoll the virtues of Islam

What virtues?

Charles, Sufi-lite.

Connie on June 21, 2007 at 9:59 AM