What is really scary is the UK's The Independent saying things that are little different from the

fatwa placed on Rushdie! What is all this nonsense about not hurting the feelings of patriarchal authoritarian theocracies that murder women, gays and apostates freely, just as part of their usual day? What are these apologists for atrocities thinking and what motivates them? We need to acknowledge that there are certain belief systems, societies and countries who despise all other societies or individuals and will without hesitation decapitate them without a second thought. These systems and societies are outside of the civilized humanistic world, in another hellish

universe that should be shunned and publicly shamed. We should not sit down for talks about

nuclear arms or anything else. They should be ignored and isolated forever.

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Religious faith is a form of mental illness, regardless of whether the DSM recognizes it as such. Yes, mental illness can manifest in large groups of humans. Even dominant groups of humans. It has done so throughout history, and this fact is why every human who can should learn defensive arts. You never know what sort of brain fungus the person next to you is infected with.

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Thank you! After all the hubbub about Rushdie, and especially that silly, childish comment from Sean O’Grady, associate editor of the Independent, I just bought a book I've put off reading for the last 30 years.

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Seeing Rushdie's writing as "racist graffiti on a bus stop" is itself "childish" and "silly".

His work can only conceivably offend someone who *reads* it, and none of the people railing on it seem to have done so.

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So...how do we stop these maniacs? They commit an atrocity, we bloviate, and maybe find the perps and so they spend some time in jail, but not as much as advertised, and meanwhile the beat goes on. and it happens again. And again. And again.

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Your thoughts, I assumed, would be veracity-based, proceleusmatic, but they eventually turned out be vacuous, empty-vessels, dying-shouts of a defeated player, drudgery, malaise, and utterly biased due to following reasons:

Hurt feelings' crux has nothing to do with Islamic canon, tenets, teachings, scriptures, and sayings, as what matters is the action; feelings are infinite while actions determine the consequences in Islam. Disappointingly, you appear to be ferdutzt while defending, justifying, and about Salman Rushdie's actions vs the feelings associated with Muslims -- a sheer contraction shrouded with discrimination on all levels, deliberately ignoring the verisimilitude ubiquitous in may statements, replete with kvetching about Muslims not reacting as they were supposed to be after reading the book, uttered on almost every pubic place by SR invoking for the wrath he received - which in letters and spirits should be condemned. Moving on, I distinctly remember in one his interviews upon asking he replied, "bring it on". Surf it.

Sarah Haider, exmna is dying, so are you in the intellect and rhetoric. Endeavouring to brainwash people with thoughts without evidence goes to dogs.

Muslims are not what you are trying to portray them, having interminable hatred for anything or any person. You being quidnunc doesn't hold water in your galimatias.

I might be amiss; I am open to other notions; I am not an hauteur, nor am I trying to bring eristic perspectives. I am just applying the same freedom of speech. I am a pluviophile, logophile, and flag-barrier of peace for all humanity.

Thank you for reading.

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To paraphrase C Hitchens, see how far the rot has spread.

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Some excellent thoughts here. However, what the article is lacking is a proposal of what we can do about the issue.

The key point, it seems to me, is the idea that more must be made of the "distinction between acts of discrimination against Muslims and the badmouthing of their faith". The former is not okay; the latter necessary, though it is _not_ necessary to be overly rude or hurtful about it, nor aimed at the faithful rather than the faith itself (or its tenets).

That said, I know that _any_ criticism will be deemed unforgivable by some, no matter how it is couched or framed.

It's also important to remember that it isn't just Muslim fanatics who are violent; there are plenty of maniacal Christian fundamentalists, and not just in the US (they're just the best-armed ones).

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One wonders what function The Independent can possibly serve in our society. If you want to burn a book, just go ahead and buy it first: I shall not stop you burning your own money. You cannot tell others they ought, or must, burn that book. Does no one remember any history any more? Have not our forefathers fought and died for the freedom we enjoy? Shall we let some spineless journalist or a rabid religionist take it all away from us?

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thank you!

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Sarah, thanks so much for the refreshing perspective you bring to this critical issue.

I am Brit of African descent from a family half-Christian, half Muslim.

For years, I have been perplexed by the stinking "islamophilic" delusion of the Western left-liberal, and even centrist Conservatives and that's almost the entire spectrum of the politically literate. As such the standard statement we get from politicians here in the UK is " th vast majority..''

The most clear-sighted but rare statement I've so far read is, incidentally by one of the British Imams who questioned : if the vast majority of us are peace-loving, why is it that the vast majority of the terrorists from amongst us...'' (paraphrased)

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And in 2023 the hurt feelings stuff is continuing now towards art like in the case of Hamline University and Taravat Talepasand. I've covered why nobody believed the students and it had more to do with liberals finally standing up to this "Islamophobia" as a result of the attack on Salman. There's so much to say about this issue that one article can't do it all.

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Sarah, this makes so much sense to me. I was 13 at the time Satanic Verses was published and I remembered struggling to understand what the controversy was about, though I was well versed on why a lot of Christians were upset by, say, The Last Temptation of Christ.

I have wondered many times if there have been other novels about Muhammad that weren't targeted simply because they were not world-caliber writing? I mean, Rushdie wasn't an Iranian national. Then again, I supposed Khomeni didn't care about nationality as such but the religion as a whole.

Have you read it? I'm reading it this fall and I can see why he became world renowned. He can write about modernity with a 19th century narrator--Satan, in this case---and pull it off.

So glad I got to see him a few years back. He was entirely composed and glided right over my question about whether he felt newly threatened (this was not long after Charlie Hebdo).

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Would someone like to collaborate with me? I have a new Substack and am looking to grow! Open to any ideas, subscriptions and feedback. 

Thank you!



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One thing I've always wondered about the fatwa is how much Khomeini's spiritual authority actually mattered beyond the media attention that he drew to the issue- like were there actually many Sunnis who looked up to him as a spiritual leader or was it enough that he could broadcast "This guy hates islam" and that was enough whether or not the Sunnis liked him in the first place. Looking back on the last 30 years of brutal sectarian war in the middle east it seems extremely odd the amount of legitimacy that a Shi'ite leader's fatwa has in Sunni countries like pakistan or its mostly sunni diaspora in the UK and US.

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