A bejeweled, white-gloved hand turns towards Tehran and slowly extends its middle finger

Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini portrayed the decision as an act directed against Islam by Britain, which is among world powers involved in an escalating standoff with Iran over Tehran’s disputed nuclear ambitions.

“Honoring 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,” he told a regular briefing…

Hosseini said: “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.”

A Pakistani paper frets that the decision might alienate British Muslims, who naturally (and probably correctly) are assumed to dislike Rushdie for his apostasy rather than appreciate him for his art. The veiled threat in such instances of “tension” is, of course, obligatory:

[I]t is being feared here that this surprising decision might create tension within British society, and the process of integration might be affected as the disgruntled Muslims would feel that they were being deliberately made to realize that their religious feelings did not carry any weight in the eyes of the British government. Many Muslims might agitate over this decision and the extremist elements might exploit Rushdie getting a knighthood for their own ends.

Exit question: Per Hosseini’s logic, aren’t Iran’s many, many affronts to western values an obvious example of fighting against the west?

Update: The fighting against the west intensifies.

Tags: Islam religion