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Poll
Question: Rushdie's knighthood - good or bad idea?  (Voting closed: June 23, 2007, 05:51:10 PM)
Good idea - 0 (0%)
Bad idea - 2 (66.7%)
Not sure - 0 (0%)
Don't care - 1 (33.3%)
Total Voters: 3

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Author Topic: Rushdie's Knighthood  (Read 3543 times)
Ed
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« on: June 18, 2007, 05:48:52 PM »

The Pakistani government have unanimously voted to condemn the British govt's decision to bestow a knighthood on Salman Rushdie. One Pakistani politician even said people should strap bombs to themselves and go on suicide bombing missions unless the honour is withdrawn and an apology issued.

So, bestowing a knighthood on Rushdie - very bad, stupid idea considering our current standing with the international Muslim community, or brave move championing freedom of the arts?
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 02:02:11 PM »

scratch Well I thought it was an interesting discussion point, anyway...
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 03:22:32 PM »

Leaving aside the Islamic countries' views for the moment, I find all of Rushdie's work almost impenetrable. I've not been able to finish half of any of his fiction. His articles are not much better. It might sound like sour grapes, but IMHO he is quite a mediocre writer and many others are much more worthy of recognition for their "services to literature" than he.

This may sound like conspiracy theory, but I wonder how anyone in Iran managed to read Satanic Verses before the Fatwah was declared on it and him? Sales were dismal until then... see where I'm going. Yes it was wrong for a writer to have a death threat on him even though it was virtually programmed in as a consequence of his plot and the attention drawn to his treatment / interpretation of Islam, and the inevitable consequences.

So we come to the knighthood. It can't really be for the quality of his writing. So what is it for? His dedication to being a writer's martyr, which he and his publishers seem to have engineered to an extent? In what way was that a service to literature? If anything the hatred in the Islam world towards him spread to their rejection of British literature as a whole. Sales of UK books to those countries went from low to none.

To me he was an embarrassment to be forgotten. His knighthood at a time of unrest has created illogical but understandable cries for revenge.

Yes, a very bad idea.

Geoff
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 05:28:01 PM »

I agree with you, Geoff. Bloody stupid idea if you ask me. A knighthood, to me, signifies that the recipient is somebody worthy of admiration - somebody who has provided a great service to the people of Britain, or has represented them in some great undertaking. As far as I can tell, the only great undertaking he has ever been a part of is coining the phrase, "Ooh, naughty, but nice." For use in promoting cream cakes.

So, let's recap - he's not British, he doesn't even live here, his books are crap, and he is hated by practically every Muslim on the planet. (IMO, they should be more tolerant, but that's another conversation) Why, oh why is he worthy of this honour?
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