A complaint has been lodged against four authors who read out excerpts from Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in protest to his being prevented from attending Jaipur Literature Festival due to death threats.
One of the authors, Hari Kunzru, says:
‘We wanted to demystify the book. It is, after all, just a book. Not a bomb. Not a knife or a gun. Just a book.’
Yes just a book but clearly Islamist ‘sensibilities’ are more important than death threats and murder.
In support of the authors and Rushdie, I publish the following from the Satanic Verses here.
It happens: revelation. Like this: Mahound, still in his notsleep, becomes rigid, veins bulge in his neck, he clutches at his centre. No, no, nothing like an epileptic fit, it can’t be explained away that easily; what epileptic fit ever caused day to turn to night, cause clouds to mass overhead, caused the air to thicken into soup while an angel hung, scared silly, in the sky above the sufferer, held up like a kite on a golden thread…Gibreel begins to feel that strength that force, here it is at my own jaw working it, opening shutting, and the power, starting within Mahound, reaching up to my vocal chords and the voice comes.
Not my voice I’d never know such words I’m no classy speaker never was never will be but this isn’t my voice it’s a Voice.
Being God’s postman is no fun.
Butbutbut: God isn’t in this picture.
God knows whose postman I’ve been. (114)
[News via Ophelia Benson]