Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Iranian cleric calls for death for Salman Rushdie: Will England's UCU respond with a boycott?

According to a dispatch released by MEMRI, in Tehran in a sermon on this past Friday, Ahmad Khatami of the Iranian Assembly of Experts decreed that the Fatwa against Salman Rushdie must be carried out. His statement was greeted with chants of "Death to England."

He called Rushdie a "wretched man." I wonder if the UCU will propose a boycott of Iran for this attack on one of its own. I am not betting on it...

These are Khatami's words:
"The old, decrepit, and colonialist English regime presents itself as the defender of human rights, yet it awards a medal to such a wretched, bankrupt man [Salman Rushdie], who has offended the sacred values of more than 1.5 billion Muslims. Are these your human rights?"

Crowd chants: "Death to England. Death to England. Death to England."

Ahmad Khatami: "Is this your civilization? This old, decrepit government of England should know that the days of its imperialistic aspirations are gone, and today it is considered America's branded slave. They must also know that the wave of Islamic revival in the world has begun, whether they like it or not.

Under these circumstances, awarding England's highest honor to a wretched man, who lacks any talent whatsoever... He is not considered a prominent novelist or author. They awarded him this medal only because he cursed the Prophet.... Awarding a medal to such a man entails a conflict with one and a half billion Muslims throughout the world, and you will gain nothing from this. The one thing that will happen is that you will see the Islamic world roaring together.

In Islamic Iran, this revolutionary fatwa of Imam Khomeini still exists. It is unchangeable and with God's grace, it must be carried out."
If the UCU doesn't vote for a boycott, will it at least protest??? I doubt that too.


Ian Thal said...

The one thing that would motivate the UCU to respond to the fatwah against Sir Salman Rushdie with a boycott would be to convince British academics that Iran is run by Jews.

J C said...

I think action is needed and will be seen soon. I believe that British academics will see what is right. I live in hope.

Ian Thal said...

Interestingly enough, BBC World Service conducted a panel that included a leader from the British Muslim community who compared Salman Rushdie to David Irving and that a knighthood for Rushdie is the moral equivilent of honoring Irving.

Interesting how an author who acknowledges that he writes fiction (and who actually advocates for a pluralistic society) is being conflated with a liar who misrepresents himself as a historian and is also a known racist.

It was sad that no one on the panel challenged that analogy.