Queen Knights A Muslim Who Gets It
BBC reports that Rushdie was knighted yesterday. He became Sir Salman because of his contributions to the world of literature, but the timing is exceptionally fine, honoring a man who gives radical Islamism no quarter at a time when England is struggling with how to deal with a growing radical Muslim population.
Rushdie is a modern man: born in India into a Muslim family, educated in England, writing with the sense of an immigrant, a secularist. But interestingly, he is not a secular relativist. Like his good friend Christopher Hitchens (who hid him through much of the fatwah), Rushdie can be both an atheist and a moralist -- and he despises Islamism because it so offends his moral values.
After emerging from the self-imposed exile created by the fatwah, Rushdie has spoken out against the cultural hegemony Islam places on its people. Most famously, when Brit politico Jack Straw was being derided for leading a campaign to ban veils for British Muslims, Rushdie was a vocal supporter, saying:
"I think the battle against the veil has been a long and continuing battle against the limitation of women, so in that sense I'm completely on [Straw's] side."Rushdie has also spoken out against "Islamic totalitarianism" and was one of 12 writers signing a manifesto on that subject following the Danish cartoon riots. That manifesto begins:
After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new global totalitarian threat: Islamism.We can imagine that the Islamist forces of darkness in England are not too happy this morning confronting the reality that the Queen has knighted a man who stands so strongly against the violent, repressive, hateful philosophy they seek to further.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
Recent events, prompted by the publication of drawings of Muhammad in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values.
This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field.
It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism between West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Good. Slap them across the face and slap them and slap them again until they get it. Much of the West may be sleeping as Islamism advances, taking advantage of multi-culturalism and secular relativism, but I believe that if they push too far, the West will rise up to defend its values, and that it may well be a bloody defense.
Rushdie pushes for an intellectual and cultural victory -- although he did support the bombing of Yugoslavia -- and more power to Sir Salman for doing so. That would certainly be the better way to prevail.